Business Highlights: King on Books Merger, Job Openings

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Stephen King testifies for government in books merger trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bestselling author Stephen King has testified at a federal antitrust trial in Washington. Beginning his history as an anonymous author in the 1970s, King painted a portrait of a publishing industry that has become more focused over the years. He testified as a witness for the US Department of Justice. The government is trying to convince a federal judge that a proposed merger of Penguin Random House and rival Simon & Schuster, the world’s two largest publishers, would thwart competition. In his testimony on Tuesday, King described himself as “a freelance writer.” He added that the publisher “consolidation is bad for the competition.”

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House Panel Subpoenas Gunmakers for Data on Rifle Sales

WASHINGTON (AP) – Gun maker Smith & Wesson is facing new scrutiny from Congress. The House Oversight Panel on Tuesday summoned the company for documents related to the manufacture and sale of AR-15-style guns. The move comes after the CEO of Smith & Wesson refused to appear for a hearing on firearms frequently used in mass shootings. The committee said the Massachusetts company’s CEO, Mark P. Smith, originally agreed to testify along with the heads of two other companies, but was abruptly rescinded. Democratic Representative of New York Carolyn B. Maloney says the company also did not provide all the information needed to the committee to investigate the gun manufacturer’s profits from AR-15-style weapons.

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Stocks slip after another horrific day on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) – US stocks fell on Tuesday as Wall Street’s modest August return continued for another day. The stock remained volatile throughout the day as investors are unsure whether the strong market move in July is the start of a turnaround or a temporary setback. The S&P 500 was down 0.7% and the Nasdaq and Dow Jones Industrial Average also fell. Analysts cited comments from Federal Reserve officials suggesting continued interest rate hikes are being used to moderate inflation. Caterpillar took a hit after reporting weaker-than-expected sales. Uber shares rose after its strong quarterly report. Treasury yields climbed.

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Number of uninsured Americans falls to record low

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of people living in the US without health insurance coverage fell to its lowest level so far this year at 8 percent, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday. The conclusion comes days after Democrats hammered a 725-page climate, health care and tax deal that would expand generous federal subsidies to people buying private health insurance, credited with reducing the number of uninsured Americans. Are being given. Democrats have proposed spending $64 billion to extend those price breaks for three more years.

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US job opportunities drop to 10.7 million in June

WASHINGTON (AP) – US employers posted fewer job openings in June as the economy grapples with raging inflation and rising interest rates. Job openings fell from 10.7 million in June to 11.3 million in May, the Labor Department said Tuesday. In its monthly job openings and labor turnover survey, the Labor Department said the number of Americans leaving jobs declined slightly in June, while layoffs fell. The job market has been resilient so far this year: employers added an average of 457,000 jobs a month in 2022; And unemployment is nearing a 50-year low.

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Elon Musk’s tech allies are angry about Twitter summons

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk’s wealthy high-tech allies aren’t too happy to receive a summons from Twitter as part of the company’s legal battle with the Tesla CEO. San Francisco-based Twitter is suing Musk in Delaware in an effort to complete its $44 billion acquisition of the social media company, a deal Musk is trying to pull out. According to a report in The Washington Post, Twitter’s legal team has sought information about several tech investors and entrepreneurs linked to Musk in a detailed summons. Twitter declined to comment. One of the recipients of the summons posted a photo of a Mad Magazine cover in response with one hand raising the middle finger.

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Starbucks reports record revenue as store numbers, prices rise

Starbucks posted record revenue in the April-June period, benefiting from hundreds of new stores and higher prices. The Seattle-based coffee giant said its revenue rose 9% to $8.2 billion, a quarterly record. It exceeded Wall Street’s forecast. Global same-store sales, or sales at stores open for at least a year, rose 3%, a far cry from Wall Street’s expectations. Starbucks said traffic was slow, mostly due to frequent shutdowns in China. But customers spent more on visiting. Starbucks said its net income fell 21% as the company spent more on labor, worker training and supply chain costs.

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Airbnb posts 2Q profit of $379 million on record bookings

Airbnb is reporting a profit of $379 million for the second quarter, and it says bookings were a record. The company also said Tuesday that it would spend up to $2 billion to buy its own stock, something that typically drives up the price of shares. The results were in contrast to losses in the second quarter of both last year and 2019. Airbnb is benefiting from increased travel and the exodus of workers from offices, which frees them up to work from almost anywhere they can have Internet access. Airbnb says bookings in the second quarter were about one-quarter higher than last year and the second quarter of 2019.

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Uber stock rises on positive trends despite big Q2 losses

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Uber’s effort to merge its pioneering ride-hailing service with food and freight showed signs of progress during the last quarter, even as the company suffered heavy losses from a sharp decline in its external investment . Instead of focusing on Uber’s $2.6 billion loss in the second quarter announced on Tuesday, investors celebrated the San Francisco-based company reaching an important milestone. The good news came under a key metric known as free cash flow. Uber earned $382 million in cash during the April-June period, marking the first quarter of the company’s 13-year history that it hasn’t bleed money. The success helped propel Uber’s bearish stock up to nearly 17%.

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The S&P 500 fell 27.44 points, or 0.7%, to 4,091.19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 402.23 points, or 1.2%, to end at 32,396.17. The Nasdaq closed 20.22 points, or 0.2%, down at 12,348.76. The Russell 2000 Index of Small Companies fell 0.86 points, or less than 0.1%, to 1,882.45.