The daily business briefing: November 25, 2022
Musk announces 'amnesty' for most banned Twitter accounts, Black Friday sales launch holiday shopping season as inflation looms, and more
Musk announces 'amnesty' for most banned Twitter accounts
Elon Musk said Thursday that he would reinstate most banned Twitter accounts, after 72.4 percent of respondents to a Twitter poll said they favored "a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam." Musk, Twitter's new owner, said Thursday: "Amnesty begins next week." The news sparked concern among online safety experts, who warned the moves could result in a surge of harassment, hate speech, and misinformation. Musk recently said he was lifting a ban on former President Donald Trump's account that was imposed after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, although Trump, who now has his own social media company, has said he has no plans to return to Twitter.
Black Friday sales launch holiday season as shoppers squeezed by inflation
The holiday shopping season kicks off unofficially with Black Friday, but post-Thanksgiving crowds are expected to be watching every dollar this year as continued high inflation threatens their buying power. The National Retail Federation projects holiday sales to grow 6 percent to 8 percent, down from a strong 13.5 percent last year and possibly marking a decline after adjusting for inflation. Recent data has shown that Americans are increasingly holding out for big discounts, or replacing luxury goods with less expensive alternatives. Shoppers also are more likely to choose "buy now, pay later" options this year and pay in installments, according to The Associated Press.
Epstein accusers sue Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase
Women who accused Jeffrey Epstein of sexual abuse filed two lawsuits against Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase on Thursday, alleging the banks ignored red flags about Epstein and thus enabled the late financier's reported sex-trafficking operation. "The time has come for the real enablers to be held responsible, especially his wealthy friends and the financial institutions that played an integral role," one of the lawyers in the cases, Bradley Edwards, said in a written statement. "These victims were wronged, by many, not just Epstein. He did not act alone." A spokesperson for Deutsche Bank said "this claim lacks merit" and that the bank "will present our arguments in court."
Dow, S&P 500 rise slightly as holiday-shortened week winds down
U.S. stock futures were little changed early Friday as a holiday-shortened week headed for an early close. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up 0.2 percent at 6:30 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were flat. The market was closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, and trading closes at 2 p.m. on Friday. The Dow and the S&P 500 gained 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent on Wednesday, after the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's November meeting fueled expectations that the central bank's leaders would soon slow the aggressive interest rate hikes they are using to fight high inflation.
'Russia's Google' leaving to avoid fallout from Ukraine invasion
The Dutch parent company of Yandex, often referred to as "Russia's Google," is planning to get out of Russia to protect itself from damage related to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, The New York Times reported Thursday. The company would transfer key technologies — including self-driving cars, cloud services, and artificial intelligence — to other markets, and sell its best-known Russian businesses, including a popular internet browser and food delivery and taxi-hailing apps, the Times reported, citing two people familiar with the matter. The overhaul could mark a setback for Russian President Vladimir Putin as he tries to develop domestic alternatives to replace high-tech Western products and services blocked by sanctions.