Business briefing

The daily business briefing: September 9, 2022

ECB raises interest rates by most since 1999 to fight inflation, study finds 650,000 U.S. properties to fall under rising tide boundaries by 2050, and more

1

ECB announces biggest rate hike since 1999

The European Central Bank on Thursday raised interest rates by 0.75 percent, its biggest hike since 1999, early in the history of Europe's currency union. The move is intended to help bring down record inflation. That effort, however, is being complicated by an energy crisis sparked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine that has already nearly pushed Europe into recession. Rising borrowing costs are likely to increase the chances of a recession. ECB President Christine Lagarde said inflation, which is forecast to average 8.1 percent this year, is threatening to spread beyond energy to many other goods. "We want all economic actors to understand that the ECB is serious" about fighting inflation, she said.

2

Report: 4.4 million U.S. acres to fall below tidal boundary by 2050

Nearly 650,000 private coastal properties will fall below changing tide boundaries by 2050 as sea levels rise, according to an analysis released Thursday by the research nonprofit Climate Central. The researchers reviewed scientific data on projected sea-level rise and looked at records for more than 50 million individual properties to identify parcels at risk. They found 4.4 million acres of privately owned land projected to be under the tide line by 2050, and 9.1 million acres threatened by 2100, with a collective assessed value of $108 billion. The calculations are based on current levels of greenhouse gas emissions. The authors noted that complete property values were not available for all counties, so the actual economic cost could be higher.

3

Effort to list Trump's social media company on Nasdaq hits snags

Former President Donald Trump's social media company has hit another speed bump in its effort to list on the Nasdaq stock exchange through a complicated merger. Digital World Acquisition Corp., the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that plans to help Trump Media and Technology Group join the Nasdaq, failed Thursday in its second attempt this week to get enough shareholders to agree to extend Thursday's merger approval deadline. Digital World Acquisition Corp. adjourned the special shareholder meeting until Oct. 10. Trump Media and Technology Group includes Truth Social, the social media app launched earlier this year. A listing would let Trump's company raise $1 billion to continue operating. The companies also need regulatory approval for their SPAC merger.

4

Mortgage rates jump to highest in nearly 14 years

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose to their highest level since November 2008, just after the housing market collapse that triggered the Great Recession, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday. The popular 30-year fixed mortgage jumped to 5.89 percent from 5.66 percent last week. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 5.16 percent from 4.98 percent a week earlier. Interest rates have been climbing as the Federal Reserve aggressively hikes its benchmark short-term rates to fight high inflation. Sales of existing homes have fallen for six straight months as many potential buyers get discouraged by higher rates and high real estate prices that combine to put homes out of reach.

5

Stock futures rise as Wall Street poised to snap 3-week losing streak

U.S. stock futures gained early Friday following a positive but choppy session Thursday. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up 0.9 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively, at 7 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were up 1.2 percent. All three of the main U.S. indexes closed up just over 0.6 percent on Thursday following comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who reiterated promises that the central bank is "strongly committed" to fighting high inflation. The gains signal that investors are betting "tough talk from Federal Reserve officials now won't prevent a pivot down the road," MarketWatch said. The Dow, S&P 500, and the Nasdaq are now in position to snap three-week losing streaks.

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