Fed imposes sweeping new limits on policymakers investments
WASHINGTON: The Federal Reserve is imposing a sweeping new set of restrictions on the investments its officials can own, a response to questionable recent trades that forced two top Fed officials to resign.The Fed announced Thursday that policymakers and senior staff would be barred from investing in individual stocks and bonds.They would also have to provide 45 days advance notice of any trade and receive prior approval from ethics officials.And they would have to hold the investments for at least one year.As a result, Fed officials would essentially be restricted to holding mutual funds.
Trump plan for new media venture gets investors thumbs up
NEW YORK: Some investors arent waiting to see if former President Donald Trumps plans for a media company to challenge the likes of Facebook, Twitter and even Disney can actually become reality theyre all in.Trump said Wednesday that hes launching Trump Media & Technology Group as a rival to the Big Tech companies that have shut him out and denied him the megaphone that was paramount to his national rise.The new venture said it had been created through a merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp., and seeks to become a publicly listed company.Shares of Digital World Acquisition quadrupled in value in afternoon trading Thursday.
Stocks end mostly higher, enough for S&P 500 to set record
NEW YORK: A wave of buying in the last hour of trading left stocks mostly higher on Wall Street, enough for the S&P 500 to beat the record high close it set in early September.The market had spent most of the day wobbling between gains and losses Thursday.Technology companies did well, despite a steep drop in IBM after the company reported disappointing revenue.

IBMs drop left the Dow Jones Industrial Average just barely in the red for the dayThe S&P 500 rose 0.3% and the Nasdaq added 0.6%.Tesla rose 3.3% after reporting record profits despite parts shortages and shipping delays.
US unemployment claims fall to new pandemic low of 290,000
WASHINGTON: The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to a new low point since the pandemic erupted, evidence that layoffs are declining as companies hold onto workers.Unemployment claims dropped 6,000 to 290,000 last week, the third straight drop, the Labor Department said Thursday.Thats the fewest people to apply for benefits since March 14, 2020, when the pandemic intensified.Applications for jobless aid, which generally track the pace of layoffs, have fallen steadily from about 900,000 in January.
Existing home sales surge as interest rates point higher
NEW YORK: Sales of previously occupied U.S.homes bounced back in September to their strongest pace since January as worries about higher mortgage rates motivated buyers to get off the sidelines.The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that existing homes sales rose 7% last month from August to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.29 million units.Sales were down 2.3% from September last year.The median home prices jumped to $352,800, a 13.3% increase from September last year.

At the end of September, the inventory of unsold homes stood at just 1.27 million homes for sale, down 0.8% the previous month and down 13% from a year agoAt the current sales pace, that amounts to a 2.4 months supply, the NAR said.
NTSB: Driver was behind wheel at time of Texas Tesla crash
DETROIT: A driver was behind the wheel when a Tesla electric car crashed and burned last April near Houston, killing two men, neither of whom was found in the drivers seat.The U.S.National Transportation Safety Board announced the findings in an investigative report released Thursday on the April 17 crash on a residential road in Spring, Texas.Although first responders found one man in the back seat and the other in the front passenger seat, the NTSB said both the driver and a passenger were in the front seats with belts buckled at the time of the crash.The agency said the car was traveling up to 67 mph in the five seconds leading up to the crash.
Consumer watchdog to probe Big Tech payment systems
NEW YORK: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is ordering Apple, Amazon, PayPal and other tech giants to reveal how their proprietary payment networks function.Apple Pay, Google Pay and other payment systems created by big tech companies now dominate large portions of e-commerce and person-to-person payments.Agency Director Rohit Chopra is seeking more transparency, as well as more details about what consumer protections have been put in place.It is the agencys first significant action under Chopra.It has already rescinded or scaled back a number of policies put in place by the Trump administration.
American, Southwest post Q3 profits with help from taxpayers
DALLAS: American and Southwest Airlines are reporting that they made profits in the third quarter, thanks to large amounts of government pandemic relief.The airlines said Thursday they are expecting strong traffic over the holidays if cases of COVID-19 keep declining.The highly contagious delta variant cut into revenue over the last couple months.Still, American posted a $169 million profit after collecting nearly $1 billion in taxpayer money to cover most of its payroll costs.

And Southwest earned $446 million after getting $763 million in federal aid.
The S&P 500 rose 13.59 points, or 0.3%, to 4,549.78The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 6.26 points, or less than 0.1%, to 35,603.08.The Nasdaq gained 94.02 points, or 0.6%, to 15,215.70.The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies added 6.42 points, or 0.3%, to 2,296.18.
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