Business briefing

The daily business briefing: August 30, 2022

Exxon notifies Russia of plan to sue over blocked exit from oil project, fewer Americans are living paycheck to paycheck as inflation eases slightly, and more

1

Exxon tells Russia it plans to sue over blocked exit from oil project

Exxon has notified Russian officials it plans to sue over Moscow's attempt to block the energy giant from getting out of a big oil-and-gas project, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The Kremlin has banned some transactions through the end of 2022, and prevented Exxon from selling its 30 percent stake in the Sakhalin-1 venture in Russia's far east. The moves came after Exxon said it was transferring its operational role in the project to another party in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Exxon says Russia is violating its rights. The company has filed a notice required under commercial contracts to resolve conflicts before a lawsuit. Russia, through its embassy, declined to comment.

2

Fewer Americans living paycheck to paycheck as inflation eases slightly

The percentage of Americans living paycheck to paycheck has fallen slightly as inflation inches back from a 40-year high, according to a LendingClub report released Monday. In July, 59 percent of respondents said they were living paycheck to paycheck, down from 61 percent in June. The number remained higher than a year ago, when it was 54 percent. Among people earning less than $50,000 annually, about three-quarters said they were earning only enough to get by until their next payday, compared to 63 percent of those making between $50,000 and $100,000. Among those making $200,000 or more, about 30 percent said they were living paycheck to paycheck, down from 36 percent in June.

3

FTC sues Kochava over sale of tracking data

The Federal Trade Commission announced Monday it is suing data broker Kochava Inc. for allegedly selling data from hundreds of millions of phones that traced users' movements, allowing "anyone with little effort to obtain a large sample of sensitive data and use it without restriction," the FTC said. The commissioners voted 4-1 to authorize the suit against Kochava in a federal court in Idaho, where the company is based. Brian Cox, general manager of Kochava Collective, the company's data marketplace, said the lawsuit shows "the unfortunate reality" that the FTC doesn't understand Kochava's business. "Kochava operates consistently and proactively in compliance with all rules and laws, including those specific to privacy," Cox said.

4

Stock futures rise after 2nd straight day of losses

U.S. stock futures rose early Tuesday after a second straight trading day of losses. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up 0.7 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively, at 6:30 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were up 1.2 percent. The Dow and the S&P 500 fell 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively, on Monday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 1.0 percent. The three main U.S. indexes lost ground in two straight sessions after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said at the central bank's annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that the Fed would need to continue aggressively raising interest rates to curb high inflation, even if it hurts the economy.

5

Melting Greenland ice sheet will raise sea levels nearly a foot, study says

Climate change caused by human activity is melting so much of Greenland's ice sheet that sea levels will rise nearly a foot even if greenhouse gas emissions stop today, according to a study published Monday in Nature Climate Change. The study concluded that 3.3 percent of the Greenland ice sheet, or 110 trillion tons of ice, will inevitably melt. Much of the melting and sea-level rise will occur by the year 2100, the authors said. Some forecasts are more dire. "We need to plan for that ice as if it weren't on the ice sheet in the near future, within a century or so," said research climatologist William Colgan, a study co-author. "Every study has bigger numbers than the last."

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