Business briefing

The daily business briefing: September 21, 2021

U.S. stock futures bounce back from steep drop, GM plans to replace batteries in recalled Chevrolet Bolts, and more

1

U.S. stocks dive in S&P 500's biggest drop since May

U.S. stocks fell sharply on Monday in Wall Street's worst day in months. The S&P 500 fell by 1.7 percent, its biggest drop since May. At one point the benchmark index was down by 2.9 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down by 1.8 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 2.2 percent. The losses came after Hong Kong's main index plunged on concerns about weakness among property stocks. U.S. investors also are increasingly worried about signs of economic damage from the Delta-variant-fueled surge in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations. "What's happened here is that the list of risks has finally become too big to ignore," said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors. Futures for the three major indexes rose by up to 1 percent early Tuesday.

2

GM to replace batteries in 142,000 recalled Chevy Bolts

General Motors said Monday that next month it would start fixing Chevrolet Bolt electric cars recalled over potential fire risk. It might take months for some Bolt owners to get the repairs. GM said it would begin shipping new battery cells to dealerships within weeks so potentially faulty ones can be replaced. GM expanded a recall to cover about 142,000 Bolts in late August after receiving fresh reports of battery fires and determining that a previous fix didn't do the trick. Thirteen fires now have been attributed to the problem. GM has committed to introducing dozens of electric models in coming years, but for now the Bolt is its only EV sold in the United States. GM estimates the recall campaign will cost roughly $1.8 billion.

3

U.S. to lift travel ban for vaccinated foreigners

The White House said Monday said it would lift its travel ban on fully vaccinated people from 33 countries. The ban was imposed 18 months ago to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Vaccinated travelers will have to show a negative coronavirus test conducted within three days of their departure. Unvaccinated Americans will be allowed to travel, but will have to test negative within a day of departure, then get another test after arrival, White House pandemic coordinator Jeffrey Zients said. "International travel is critical to connecting families and friends, to fueling small and large businesses, to promoting the open exchange of ideas and culture," Zients said. In New York City alone, the loss of tourists resulted in the loss of an estimated 89,000 jobs.

4

Universal Music Group shares surge in 1st day of trading 

Universal Music Group shares jumped by more than 35 percent above their reference price in the stock's market debut Tuesday. The listing, Europe's biggest so far this year, lifted the company's valuation to 45 billion euros or nearly $53 billion. UMG is the world's largest music company, with such platinum-selling artists as Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift. The company also has a back catalog that includes Bob Dylan and the Beatles. French media group Vivendi won shareholder backing in June to spin off UMG, which has accounted for about three-quarters of Vivendi's profits. Vivendi will own just a 10 percent stake in UMG after the listing, raising questions about its strategy for generating profits in the future.

5

Report: Apple working on ways iPhones could spot depression, cognitive decline

Apple is developing technology aiming to help diagnose depression and cognitive decline using iPhones and other devices, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter and documents the newspaper reviewed. Researchers hope that sensors measuring mobility, physical activity, sleep patterns, and other behavior will provide data that could be plugged into algorithms to spot mental health issues. The project is related to research partnerships Apple has announced with the University of California, Los Angeles, where researchers are studying stress and depression, and pharmaceutical company Biogen, which is studying mild cognitive impairment. The Journal said representatives for Apple, Biogen, and UCLA declined to comment for its report.

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