The daily business briefing: October 25, 2021
Huawei's CFO returns to work in China after extradition drama, Yellen says inflation will ease by late next year, and more
Huawei CFO returns to work in Shenzhen after extradition drama
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou returned to work at the Chinese tech giant's Shenzhen headquarters on Monday following the resolution of her three-year battle to avoid extradition from Canada to face sanction-violation charges in the United States. Meng completed three weeks of quarantine last week after being allowed to go home to Shenzhen under a deal with U.S. prosecutors resolving a bank fraud case against her. Canadian authorities detained Meng in Vancouver nearly three years ago under a New York arrest warrant on charges that she covered up Huawei-linked companies' efforts to breach U.S. sanctions by selling equipment to Iran. "Over the last three years, although we have struggled, we have overcome obstacles and our team has fought with more and more courage," she said at an internal company event.
Yellen says inflation will improve by middle or end of 2022
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday she expects inflation to ease by "the middle to end of next year," but that rates could remain abnormally high for months. "The COVID shock to the economy has caused disruptions that we'll be working through over the next year," Yellen told CNN's State of the Union. "And, of course, Americans have not seen inflation like we have experienced recently in a long time." Yellen also pushed back on the idea that the U.S. is losing control of inflation. "As we get back to normal, expect that to end," she added of the high rates. The most recent Consumer Price Index indicated that consumer prices rose 5.4 percent in the past 12 months.
Pelosi says spending deal near as Biden meets with Manchin
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Democrats were nearing a compromise on a major spending bill that will expand the social safety net and clear the way to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill. "We have 90 percent of the bill agreed to and written, we just have some of the last decisions to be made," Pelosi said on CNN's State of the Union. President Biden hosted moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) at his home in Delaware on Sunday as part of a push to get the deal done. Democrats need every vote in their caucus to get the spending bill passed in the 50-50 Senate, and Joe Manchin and fellow moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have used that leverage to be the cost of the proposal slashed from $3.5 trillion to $2 trillion or less.
Stock futures edge higher after Dow's latest record
U.S. stock index futures rose slightly early Monday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed its third straight of gains at an all-time high. Futures tied to the Dow were up by less than 0.1 percent several hours before the opening bell. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures rose by 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. The S&P 500 remained close to the record high it set last week thanks to a strong start to corporate earnings season. So far, 117 S&P 500 companies have reported third-quarter earnings, and 84 percent of those have beaten expectations, according to Refinitiv. "Rising tide of earnings is lifting all the boats and adding fuel to the bull market fire," said Anu Gaggar, global investment strategist at Commonwealth Financial Network.
Hackers step up SolarWinds-type attacks on tech companies
Russia-linked hackers that targeted U.S. government agencies and private companies, including SolarWinds Corp., have intensified their efforts to steal sensitive information from technology companies in recent months, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing cybersecurity experts. New research by Microsoft found that since May the hackers have used basic techniques, including phishing and guessing user passwords, in attempts to breach the computer systems of more than 140 technology companies involved in cloud-computing services. The efforts were successful with roughly 14 of the companies. The activity shows "that Russia is trying to gain long-term, systematic access to a variety of points in the technology supply chain," said Tom Burt, Microsoft's corporate vice president for customer security and trust, according to a blog post.