Business briefing

The daily business briefing: December 10, 2021

Stock futures rise ahead of key inflation data, FDA backs Pfizer coronavirus boosters for 16- and 17-year-olds, and more

1

Stocks edge higher ahead of key inflation data

U.S. stock futures rose slightly early Friday ahead of key inflation data expected to show that consumer prices rose last month at the fastest pace since 1982. Wall Street expects the Labor Department to report Friday morning that the consumer price index jumped by 0.7 percent last month, marking a 6.7 percent increase from a year ago. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up by about 0.3 percent at 6:30 a.m. ET. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was up by 0.4 percent. The three main U.S. indexes struggled on Thursday, snapping Wall Street's three-day winning streak. The Dow was flat, and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq dropped by 0.7 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. Earlier in the week, U.S. stocks jumped as concerns eased about potential economic fallout from the newly emerged Omicron coronavirus variant.

2

FDA backs COVID boosters for 16- and 17-year-olds

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday authorized giving 16- and 17-year-olds booster shots of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. If Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky endorses the recommendation, as expected, it will expand the pool of people eligible for a third shot of the vaccine just as demand for boosters is rising due to concerns about the newly emerged Omicron coronavirus variant. Early studies indicate that Omicron is more resistant to vaccines than previous strains, including the still-dominant Delta variant, but Pfizer said Wednesday that fully vaccinated people who get its booster have significant protection from Omicron. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines aren't authorized for anyone younger than 18.

3

American cuts international flights, citing Boeing Dreamliner delays 

American Airlines plans to cut back on international flights next summer due to delays in deliveries of new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Production problems have hampered Boeing's efforts to get the popular wide-body jets to airlines for more than a year, leaving the aircraft maker with more than $25 billion of jets in its inventory. "Without these wide-bodies, we simply won't be able to fly as much internationally as we had planned," Vasu Raja, American's chief revenue officer, wrote in a memo American released after The Wall Street Journal reported on the cuts. American plans to halt flights to Edinburgh; Shannon, Ireland; and Hong Kong next summer, and reduce flights to Shanghai, Beijing, and Sydney, according to an internal airline memo the Journal viewed.

4

N.Y. attorney general requests Trump deposition in civil fraud case

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has asked to question former President Donald Trump under oath in an investigation into possible civil fraud at the Trump Organization, Trump's property company. James' office is looking into whether Trump's company fraudulently reported property valuations, inflating them to get better loans and under-reporting them to lower tax bills. In the civil case, James could file a lawsuit against Trump if she finds evidence of fraud, but she couldn't bring criminal charges. But James' office also is collaborating in a criminal investigation being led by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. that is seeking to determine whether Trump was involved in a pattern of criminal fraud by giving lenders false property values. James on Thursday ended her campaign for governor as the Trump investigations intensified.

5

Starbucks workers in Buffalo vote to become company's 1st unionized store 

Starbucks workers at a Buffalo, New York, store voted to unionize on Thursday, a first in the coffee giant's 50-year history. The National Labor Relations Board said that workers at one of Starbucks' three stores in Buffalo voted 19-8 in favor of a union. A second store voted 12-8 against unionizing, although the union said it was considering contesting that vote. Both sides challenged the balloting in a third store. Starbucks and the union, Workers United, have five days to submit any objections. The company has aggressively tried to keep out unions, and it spent months urging baristas to vote against organized labor representation. The Buffalo vote marked the latest sign of renewed strength for organized labor after decades of waning influence.

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