Business Highlights: China lockdowns; Consumer confidence

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AP Interview: IMF chief urges China to end mass lockdowns

BERLIN (AP) — The head of the International Monetary Fund says it’s time for China to come out of mass lockdowns with a “zero-Covid” approach. Kristalina Georgieva warned in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday that the recalibration of the difficult approach could lead to more targeted restrictions. That would be easier on the Chinese people and less damage to the global economy. She said it was too early for the U.S. Federal Reserve to ease its pace of interest rate hikes. High inflation in the US and Europe means it is “too early to go back”. She said the Fed had “no choice but to stay the course” until reliable inflation fell.

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US consumer confidence fell for the 2nd month in November

U.S. consumer confidence fell for the second straight month in November amid high inflation, rising interest rates and layoff announcements by several large tech companies. The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index fell to 100.2 this month, down from 102.2 in October.

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China is ready for a ‘close partnership’ with Russia in energy

BEIJING (AP) — President Xi Jinping says China is ready to “establish a close partnership” with Russia in energy. A state news agency said Xi made the comments in a letter to the China-Russia Business Forum. That could widen ties that have upset Washington by helping the Kremlin deal with sanctions over its war on Ukraine. The announcement did not provide details. China’s energy-starved economy is one of the biggest customers for Russian oil and gas. Purchases more than doubled to $10.2 billion in October from a year earlier as Chinese importers took advantage of Moscow’s concessions. Washington, Europe and Japan cut off Russian energy purchases after President Vladimir Putin kicked the country out of the international banking system.

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At the Mitch chip plant, Biden said unions have ‘built a middle class’.

BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) — President Joe Biden is telling Americans he’s a “pro-union” president, a day after he joined business leaders in asking Congress to pass legislation to end the crippling rail strike. He toured a technology factory in Michigan on Tuesday to highlight a $300 million expansion. South Korean company SK Siltron is expected to quadruple production at the plant in the coming years. As he often does, Biden said he was supportive of his work. He told how American workers talked to factory owners saying, “You’re the best workers in the world, you’re the most qualified workers in the world.”

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Competitors have rushed Tesla’s U.S. electric vehicle share.

DETROIT (AP) – New electric vehicle models from several automakers are starting to chip away at Tesla’s dominance of the U.S. EV market, according to national vehicle registration data. But according to numbers compiled by S&P Global Mobility, Tesla controlled about 65% of the growing electric vehicle market in the first nine months of this year. And in the sub-$50,000 sticker price range, where Tesla rarely competes, its competitors have profited. S&P estimates EVs have gained 2.4 percentage points of U.S. market share this year, outpacing light vehicle registrations to 5.2 percent. Of the 525,000 electric vehicles registered in nine months, 340,000 were Teslas.

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He pleaded no contest to gas drilling for polluting the city’s water

Montrose, Pa.-based Houston-based Coterra Energy Inc. filed the plea Tuesday in Susquehanna County Court. Residents of Dimock, a small intersection in near northeastern Pennsylvania, have been unable to repair a Coterra Energy water tank that damaged their home. That has led to one of the most well-known pollution issues to come out of America’s drilling and fracking boom. Kotera agreed to pay $16.29 million to connect residents’ homes to a clean water source and pay their water bills for the next 75 years.

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Twitter has stopped enforcing its Covid misinformation policy

Twitter has stopped enforcing its policy against misinformation about Covid-19. The change was announced in an online update to Twitter’s rules and comes after the platform was bought by Elon Musk, who himself previously tweeted misleading COVID claims. The platform rolled out its Covid-19 misinformation policy in early 2020 and has since suspended more than 11,000 accounts and removed nearly 100,000 posts of potentially harmful content. Some users celebrated the change Tuesday, and public health experts warned it could discourage vaccination and other efforts to stop the still-spreading virus.

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The former mayor, who was elected at the age of 23, lost his appeal of the corruption case

BOSTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld the fraud and embezzlement conviction of a once-respected Massachusetts mayor accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from marijuana businesses. In a ruling published Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit upheld former Fall River Mayor JCEL Corrian’s 1999 conviction. Rejecting a series of challenges to the 2021 trial, it concluded that the 30-year-old had been “fairly tried by an independent jury in accordance with the law”. Correa’s attorneys declined to comment Tuesday. In their appeal, prosecutors alleged an “unfair smear campaign in court” and called the evidence against their client “incredibly shallow.”

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The S&P 500 fell 6.31 points, or 0.2%, to 3,957.63. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 3.07 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 33,852.53. The Nasdaq was down 65.72 points, or 0.6%, at 10,983.78. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 5.59 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,836.55.

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