AP Business SummaryLetter at 4:35 p.m. EST | National

Most Fed officials supported slower rate hikes at the last meeting

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Federal Reserve officials at their last meeting preferred to reduce the size of their rate hikes “soon,” just before raising their reference rate by a substantial three-quarters of a point for the fourth straight time . Central bank policymakers saw “very little sign of abating inflationary pressures”. Still, a “substantial majority” of officials believed that smaller rate hikes “would likely be appropriate soon,” according to the minutes of their Nov. 1-2 meeting. The Fed is widely expected to raise key short-term interest rates, which affect many consumer and corporate loans, by half a point at its next meeting in mid-December.

$740 Million in Crypto Assets Recovered So Far in FTX Bankruptcy

NEW YORK (AP) — The company charged with locking down the assets in failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX said they have managed to recover and secure $740 million in assets so far, a fraction of the potential billions which are probably missing from the bankrupt company’s coffers. The numbers were released Wednesday by cryptocurrency custody company BitGo, which hired FTX in the hours after the company filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11.

Shoppers hunt for deals, but inflation makes bargains elusive

NEW YORK (AP) — Consumers waiting for big deals — and some much-needed relief from the skyrocketing costs of just about everything — may be disappointed as they head into the busiest shopping season of the year. While retailers are advertising 50%, 60% and 70% off sales on everything from TVs to gadgets, many items will still cost more than last year due to inflation and finding a real bargain can prove challenging. Consumers paid about 18% more for electronics and appliances from September through October than a year ago, according to analytics company DataWeave. They paid almost 3% more for toys.

Small businesses and shoppers are returning to holiday markets

NEW YORK (AP) — On a recent night in early November, shoppers at New York City’s Bryant Park holiday market were in the festive spirit well before Black Friday. The scent of pine wafted from the candle vendors’ stalls, people snapped gingerbread cookies and hot cider, and skaters turned eights around the rink in the middle of the market. After two years of pandemic holidays, with people spending more dollars online, shoppers are back in force in stores and holiday markets. Small businesses say it’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas, both emotionally and financially.

A lawsuit is looming over small fish in the drought-stricken west

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Conservationists say they will sue U.S. conservationists over overdue decisions on protections sought for two rare fish. They say groundwater pumping in the drought-stricken west threatens the Fish Lake Valley tui chub near the California-Nevada line and the least chub in southwestern Utah. The Center for Biological Diversity last week sent a formal letter of intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service. The environmental group filed a petition last year for fish protection under the Endangered Species Act. It says they are in danger of extinction because the agency continues to miss multiple deadlines under the law.

Protesting workers beaten at Chinese iPhone factory

BEIJING (AP) — Police beat up workers protesting a wage dispute at Apple’s largest iPhone factory, whose new model is being delayed by imposed controls as China tries to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases. Foxconn has struggled to fulfill orders for the iPhone 14 after thousands of workers left its factory in the central city of Zhengzhou last month over complaints of unsafe working conditions. China’s status as an export superpower is based on factories like Foxconn’s that produce the world’s consumer electronics, toys and other goods. The ruling Communist Party is trying to contain the latest wave of outbreaks without factories and shutting down the rest of its economy, as early as 2020.

Thanksgiving travel rush is back with some new habits

The holiday travel rush has already begun and could be spread over more days than usual this year. Travel experts say many people’s ability to work remotely is causing them to leave early for Thanksgiving or return home later. The crowds are expected to rival those of 2019, the last Thanksgiving before the pandemic. The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 2.6 million travelers Monday, more than the 2.5 million screened the Monday before Thanksgiving in 2019. AAA predicts that nearly 55 million people in the US will travel at least 50 miles from home this week, an increase from last week. year and only 2% less than in 2019.

Stocks gain ground on Wall Street ahead of the US holiday

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street after the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent policy meeting, which showed Fed officials agreed that smaller rate hikes would likely be appropriate “soon.” The S&P 500 was up 0.6% on Wednesday, the Nasdaq was up 1% and the Dow was up 0.3%. Deere rose after the equipment maker reported higher revenue than analysts had expected. Yields on long-term government bonds were slightly lower. Oil prices fell, European markets closed mostly higher and Asian markets closed mixed overnight. US markets are closed Thursday for Thanksgiving and close early Friday.

The number of jobless claims rises to 240,000, the highest since August

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose to its highest level since August, but remained low by historic standards. The Labor Department reported on Wednesday that 240,000 people filed for unemployment benefits last week, an increase of 17,000 from the previous week. The four-week moving average of claims, which smooths volatility from week to week, rose 5,500 to 226,750. Claims for unemployment benefits are indicative of layoffs, and the current low levels show that American workers enjoy extraordinary job security.

Nigeria hopes new banknotes will curb inflation and corruption

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria has unveiled newly designed banknotes that the West African country’s central bank says will help curb inflation and money laundering. Unveiling the notes on Wednesday, Nigeria’s central bank governor Godwin Emefiele said the new higher denomination notes of 200, 500 and 1,000 naira would also boost financial inclusion and economic growth. But experts are skeptical of such results in a country that has battled chronic corruption for decades, with government officials known to loot public funds, which has caused more hardship for the many struggling with poverty. Nigeria’s currency has not been redesigned for 19 years and the new initiative is the latest initiative by policy makers in their quest for a cashless and more inclusive economy.

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