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Money & Markets

Salesforce buying work-chat service Slack for $27.7 billion

SAN RAMON, Calif. — Business software pioneer Salesforce.com is buying work-chatting service Slack for $27.7 billion in a deal aimed at giving the two companies a better shot at competing against longtime industry powerhouse Microsoft. The acquisition announced Tuesday is by far the ...

Unveiling economic team, Biden pledges, ‘Help is on the way’

WILMINGTON, Del. — President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday introduced top advisers he says will help his administration rebuild an economy hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, declaring, “I know times are tough, but I want you to know that help is on the way.” Biden said he’d chosen a ...

Powell says pace of economic improvement has moderated

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says that the pace of improvement in the economy has moderated in recent months with future prospects remaining “extraordinarily uncertain.” In remarks released by the Fed on Monday, Powell said that the increase in new COVID-19 cases ...

AstraZeneca manufacturing error clouds vaccine study results

LONDON — AstraZeneca and Oxford University on Wednesday acknowledged a manufacturing error that is raising questions about preliminary results of their experimental COVID-19 vaccine. A statement describing the error came days after the company and the university described the shots as ...

Picture of US economy is worrisome as virus inflicts damage

WASHINGTON — Gripped by the accelerating viral outbreak, the U.S. economy is under pressure from persistent layoffs, diminished income and nervous consumers, whose spending is needed to drive a recovery from the pandemic. A flurry of data released Wednesday suggested that the spread of the ...

Left for dead, twice, RadioShack gets another shot online

SILVER SPRING, Md. — RadioShack, a fixture at the mall for decades, has been pulled from brink of death, again. It’s the most prized name in the basket of brands that entrepreneur investors Alex Mehr and Tai Lopez have scooped up since the coronavirus pandemic bowled over the U.S. retail ...

GM flips to California’s side in pollution fight with Trump

DETROIT — General Motors is switching sides in the legal fight against California’s right to set its own clean-air standards, abandoning the Trump administration as the president’s term nears its close. CEO Mary Barra said in a letter Monday to environmental groups that GM will no ...

US jobless claims rise to 742,000; millions to lose aid

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose last week to 742,000, the first increase in five weeks and a sign that the resurgent viral outbreak is likely slowing the economy and forcing more companies to cut jobs. The worsening pandemic and the arrival of cold ...

Boeing Max cleared for takeoff, 2 years after deadly crashes

After nearly two years and a pair of deadly crashes, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has cleared Boeing’s 737 Max for flight. The nation’s air safety agency announced the move early Wednesday, saying it was done after a “comprehensive and methodical” 20-month review process. ...

Pfizer: COVID-19 shot 95 percent effective, seeking clearance soon

Pfizer said Wednesday that new test results show its coronavirus vaccine is 95 percent effective, is safe and also protects older people most at risk of dying — the last data needed to seek emergency use of limited shot supplies as the catastrophic outbreak worsens across the globe. The ...

Twitter, Facebook CEOs vow election action

WASHINGTON — As the CEOs of Twitter and Facebook gave assurances of vigorous action against election disinformation, Republicans at a Senate hearing Tuesday pounded the social media companies over political bias, business practices and market dominance, laying the ground for curbs on their ...

States plead for more federal help as outbreak worsens

With more shutdowns looming and a vaccine months away from wide distribution, governors across the U.S. are pleading for more help from Washington ahead of what is shaping up to be a bleak winter. Renewed restrictions on indoor businesses, overloaded hospitals and the coming end of ...

Airbnb details years of losses ahead of planned IPO

Airbnb was losing money even before the pandemic struck and cut its revenue by almost a third, the home-sharing company revealed in documents filed Monday ahead of a planned initial public offering of its stock. The San Francisco-based company has yet to set a date for the IPO but it is ...

New device puts music in your head — no headphones required

LONDON — Imagine a world where you move around in your own personal sound bubble. You listen to your favorite tunes, play loud computer games, watch a movie or get navigation directions in your car — all without disturbing those around you. That’s the possibility presented by “sound ...

Bidenomics: More stimulus, tougher regulation, and gridlock

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden will inherit a vulnerable economic recovery under threat from a resurgent virus, likely with a divided Congress that will hinder his ability to address the challenges. Yet despite the obstacles, the former vice president and senator will pursue a ...

Much at stake as Supreme Court weighs future of ‘Obamacare’

WASHINGTON — When the Supreme Court weighs the fate of “Obamacare” on Tuesday, arguments will revolve around arcane points of law like severability — whether the justices can surgically snip out part of the law and leave the rest. But what’s at stake has real-world consequences for ...

Fed signals readiness to do more for economy

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low near zero Thursday and signaled its readiness to do more if needed to support an economy under threat from a worsening coronavirus pandemic. The Fed announced no new actions after its latest policy meeting but ...

Jackpot! Expansion of gambling in the US wins big at polls

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The U.S. gambling industry won big at the polls Tuesday, with three states authorizing legal sports betting and three others either approving or expanding casino gambling. Maryland, South Dakota and Louisiana approved sports betting. That sets up a situation in which ...

Cruise industry throws in the towel on 2020

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The cruise industry has jettisoned hopes of restarting operations this year. Days after both Carnival and Norwegian extended a halt on cruises through the end of the year, the group that represents cruise lines with 95% of global ocean-going capacity said Tuesday that ...

Surge in virus threatens to reverse global economic rebounds

WASHINGTON — The resurgence of coronavirus cases engulfing the United States and Europe is imperiling economic recoveries on both sides of the Atlantic as millions of individuals and businesses face the prospect of having to hunker down once again. Growing fear of an economic reversal ...