Business briefing

The daily business briefing: October 10, 2022

Ben Bernanke, Douglas Diamond, Philip Dybvig win Nobel Prize in Economics, Tesla's China sales hit a monthly record, and more

1

Ben Bernanke, two others receive economics Nobel for work on financial crises

The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded Monday to former Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke, Douglas Diamond of the University of Chicago, and Philip Dybvig of Washington University for their work during the 1980s on banks and financial crises. Bernanke, who chaired the Fed during the 2008 financial crisis, received the award for his research on the Great Depression. Stockholm University economist John Hassler announced the prize, saying the laureates' work was crucial to understanding and addressing the 2008 crisis. "The measures that were undertaken rest on the ideas that we recognize today," Hassler said. Diamond said the award came as a surprise. "I was sleeping very soundly, and then all of a sudden, off went my cellphone," he said.

2

Tesla China sales hit record

Tesla sold a record 83,135 of its China-made wholesale electric vehicles in September, according to data released Sunday by the China Passenger Car Association. The new high mark was well above Tesla's previous record of 78,906, set in June. The September number represented a 48.4 percent year-over-year increase, and an 8.0 percent jump over August. Tesla upgraded its Gigafactory Shanghai production lines during the third quarter, so analysts expect it to be able to keep its numbers up, possibly hitting 266,500 in the fourth quarter of the year, which would help it realize its goal of a 50 percent sales increase over last year.

3

Amazon to invest nearly $1 billion in electric vans, trucks in Europe

Amazon said Monday it would invest $974.8 million over the next five years to step up its push toward net-zero carbon emissions by adding electric vans and trucks, and low-emission package hubs in Europe. Amazon said the investment also would encourage innovation and the construction of public charging stations for EVs. The online retail giant said the move would help it more than triple its last-mile electric-vehicle fleet in Europe from 3,000 vans to more than 10,000 by 2025. Amazon also said it would buy more than 1,500 "middle-mile" electric trucks to handle shipments to package hubs.

4

Stock futures edge lower after a volatile week

U.S. stock futures fell early Monday ahead of a week of key economic reports. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were down 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, at 6:30 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were down 0.4 percent. Wall Street is coming off a volatile week that started with a relief rally in which the S&P 500 jumped more than 5 percent in its biggest two-day gain since 2020. But strong jobs data later in the week fueled concerns that the Federal Reserve would continue raising interest rates aggressively to cool the economy and fight high inflation, possibly tipping the economy into a recession. The three main U.S. averages still ended the week higher for the first time in a month.

5

Man sues Texas Pete after learning hot sauce is made in N.C.

California resident Philip White has filed a class action lawsuit against Texas Pete after finding out that the Louisiana-style hot sauce is made in North Carolina, not Texas. The lawsuit says White would not have paid as much for a bottle of the Texas Pete that he purchased at a Ralph's supermarket last year if he had known it wasn't made in Texas. In the complaint, he says Texas Pete's parent company, T.W. Garner Food Co., "capitalized on consumers' desire to partake in the culture and authentic cuisine of one of the most prideful states in America." The hot sauce company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from USA Today. Its website says company founder picked the name Texas Pete in a nod to his son's nickname and Texas' "reputation for spicy cuisine."

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