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Recognition…Jianan Yu / Reuters
US stocks were expected to fall when trading starts Thursday as investors continue to worry about inflation. The S&P 500 should open 0.5 percent lower according to futures, which would extend the losses for the US benchmark index to a fourth day.
Concerns about rapid economic growth fueling inflation, as well as rising cases of coronavirus in some parts of the world, have undermined recent optimism about the global economic recovery from the pandemic.
On Wednesday, minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting indicated that several officials believed they might begin discussing the bank’s bond-buying program “at some point in the upcoming meetings”. Investors have speculated that the central bank would have to do this as price hikes accelerated. On the same day, data showed that the UK’s annual inflation rate doubled to 1.5 percent in April.
The latest weekly data on new government unemployment benefit claims will be released on Thursday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect 450,000 claims. This would be the third straight weekly decline and further evidence that the labor market is slowly recovering. By April, claims consistently exceeded 700,000 a week.
The European stock indices were mixed on Thursday. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.4 percent as gains in healthcare and industrials outweighed falls in energy company stocks. The CAC 40 in France rose by 0.5 percent and the DAX in Germany by 0.4 percent. The FTSE 100 in Great Britain has hardly changed.
Bitcoin traded just below $ 40,000 on Thursday morning after a volatile day on Wednesday when the price fell below $ 32,000.
Another major cryptocurrency, Ethereum, has made up some of its losses since Wednesday when it fell about 20 percent.
Elsewhere in the markets
Oatly, the oat-based milk substitute, has valued its shares at $ 17 each for its IPO, the company said on Wednesday, valuing them at around $ 10 billion. Oatly is expected to trade with the ticker symbol “OTLY” on Thursday.
Oil prices fell. The futures on West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, fell 1.7 percent to $ 62.28 a barrel.
Metal prices fell after reaching record highs on expectations of a strong global recovery that would increase demand for industrial materials. Iron ore futures fell more than 6 percent on Thursday and copper prices fell nearly 4 percent on Wednesday.
In China, officials have warned of “unreasonable” increases in raw material prices, Bloomberg reported. Officials said they would increase the supply of goods domestically to lower prices and strengthen oversight of trading in those markets.
Recognition…Jessica Kourkounis for the New York Times
Joshua Harris, a top executive at Apollo Global Management, said Thursday that he was planning to quit his day-to-day duties at the private equity giant after arguing with his co-founders over Leon Black’s departure from the company’s CEO .
Mr. Harris’s departure comes months after arguing that Mr. Black should resign immediately after Apollo’s investigation into his ties to Jeffrey Epstein, the late financier and registered sex offender. Mr. Harris was overruled by the other two members of the Apollo Executive Committee, the company’s other founders, Mr. Black and Marc Rowan.
And instead of following Mr. Black as chief executive after serving as one of Apollo’s most visible and practical managers, Mr. Harris lost to Mr. Rowan, who announced last year that he would be doing a “semi-sabbatical” By the company.
In March, Mr. Black, who had agreed to step down as director in July and remain chairman, unexpectedly relinquished all of his duties. Until then, however, Mr. Harris had less of a managerial role in the company. It was Mr. Rowan who planned Apollo’s acquisition of Athene, a large insurance company designed to boost the company’s investment power.
Mr Harris was not on Apollo’s quarterly earnings call with analysts earlier this month, an absence noted by someone on the call.
Mr. Harris will step down as early as January after Apollo closes the Athene deal, although he will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors and executive committee.
He is expected to focus on a number of other business interests, including his co-ownership of several professional sports franchises – including the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team and the New Jersey Devils hockey team – and his family office.
“I became increasingly involved in these areas and knew that one day they would be my primary responsibility,” Harris wrote in an internal memorandum reviewed by the New York Times.
Ford on Wednesday unveiled an electric version of its popular F-150 pickup truck called the Lightning, which signals a shift in the thrust of electric vehicles in the auto industry that was previously geared towards niche markets.
With an electric motor on each of its axles, the vehicle offers more torque – effectively faster acceleration – than any previous F-150 and can pull up to 10,000 pounds, reports Neal E. Boudette for The New York Times. According to Ford, the battery can consume 9.6 kilowatts of energy, so it can supply a house with electricity for about three days in the event of a failure.
For contractors and other commercial truck users, the Lightning can power electric saws, tools, and lights, potentially replacing or reducing the need for generators in workplaces. It has up to 11 sockets.
The truck is expected to go on sale next spring. It starts at $ 39,974 for a model that can travel 230 miles on a full charge. A 300-mile range version starts at $ 59,974.
The base price of the truck is a few thousand dollars less than a Tesla Model 3 and even the company’s own Mustang Mach-E sport utility vehicle. The total cost is even lower as Ford EV buyers are still eligible for the $ 7,500 tax credit available for EV purchases. Some states, such as California, New Jersey, and New York, offer additional discounts up to $ 5,000.
Recognition…Philip Cheung for the New York Times
The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain took its 3,100 employees on leave during the pandemic, filed for bankruptcy in December, closed three theaters as part of its restructuring plan and suspended a planned project in Orlando. AMC Entertainment’s executive director Adam Aron said this month that the chain “ran out of cash five different times between April 2020 and January 2021 in a matter of months or weeks”.
Now the theaters are trying to reassure people that the problems are over, reports Nicole Sperling for the New York Times. That films are coming back with a vengeance and going to the cinema should soon be back to normal.
“It’s magical what we do,” said Tim League, Alamo’s founder, in a telephone interview. He admitted his company was dangerously close to running out of money in December before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. “We strive to create the best possible viewing experience – to lose ourselves in an amazing story and increase the emotions. It’s amazing when done right and we are in the business of getting it right. I know that people yearn to return to any kind of experience outside of the home, being with people, and feeling like they are re-entering the community. “
Around 70 percent of moviegoers like to return to the theater, according to the exhibition research company National Research Group. The box office for April was $ 190 million, up 300 percent since February. This is a welcome relief for the South African director Neill Blomkamp, whose new horror film “Demonic” from the indie outfit IFC will not be released until the end of August.
“I enjoy that,” he said in a video message. “I want people to be scared in a darkened theater.”