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Strong hiring report, mixed markets

WASHINGTON (AP) — A strong hiring report for June eased fears that the U.S. economy is on the verge of a recession — and highlighted the resilience of the nation’s labor market. Yet the figures the government released on Friday also highlighted the stark divide between a healthy labor market and the rest of the economy: inflation has hit 40-year highs, consumers are increasingly sluggish, home sales and manufacturing are weakening and the economy may actually have shrunk over the past six months. The contrasting picture suggests an economy at a crossroads. Strong hiring and wage growth could help avoid recession.

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EXPLAINER: 5 key takeaways from the June jobs report

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation is raging. The stock market crashes and interest rates rise. American consumers are depressed and angry. Economists warn of potentially dark times ahead. But the employers? They just keep hiring. The Labor Department reported Friday that the sluggish and battered U.S. economy managed to add a healthy 372,000 jobs in June, well above the 275,000 expected by economists. And the unemployment rate remained at 3.6%, just a tick above the 50-year low recorded just before the coronavirus pandemic flattened the economy in early 2020.

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Musk drops deal to buy Twitter; the company says it will file a complaint

Elon Musk announced on Friday that he would drop his tumultuous $44 billion bid to buy Twitter after the company failed to provide enough information about the number of fake accounts. Twitter immediately hit back, saying it would sue the Tesla CEO to enforce the deal. The likely outcome of the acquisition was just the latest twist in a saga between the world’s richest man and one of the most influential social media platforms, and it could portend a titanic legal battle at come. Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor tweeted that the board was committed to completing the transaction.

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Former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe assassinated during a speech

NARA, Japan (AP) — Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated on a street in western Japan by a gunman who opened fire on him from behind as he delivered a campaign speech. The attack stunned the nation which has some of the strictest gun control laws. Abe, 67, who was Japan’s longest-serving leader when he stepped down in 2020, collapsed bleeding and was airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead from injuries injuries to the heart and two neck injuries. Police arrested the suspected shooter at the scene and identified him as Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, a former member of the Japanese Navy.

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Retailers cut hiring as concern of slowdown grows

NEW YORK (AP) — After riding a frantic hiring spree for a year and a half to meet growing buyer demand, U.S. retailers are beginning to temper their recruiting. The shift in mentality comes as businesses grapple with declining consumer spending, the prospect of an economic slowdown and rising labor costs. Some analysts suggest traders have also learned to do more with fewer workers. The nation’s largest employer, Walmart, said it recently overhired due to a COVID-related staffing shortage and then reduced its workforce through attrition. In April, Amazon said it too had decided it had a surplus of workers in its warehouses.

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Wall Street ends its winning week with a mixed close in jobs data

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street capped off a winning week with a sputtering end Friday, as stocks tumbled on the back of a stronger-than-expected report in the U.S. jobs market. The S&P 500 slipped 0.1% after earlier toggling between a 0.9% loss and a 0.4% gain. A surprisingly strong jobs report showed employers are continuing to hire despite fears of a possible recession. But the data likely keeps the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates sharply. Treasury yields rose. Despite its weak finish, the S&P 500 only delivered its third winning week in the past 14.

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Yellen to push Russian oil price ceiling during Asia visit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will travel to Asia this month, her first trip to the Indo-Pacific since she headed the agency. Yellen will represent the United States at the Group of 20 finance ministers’ meetings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. At G-20 meetings and on his broader trip, Yellen will advocate for a cap on Russian oil prices, to cut Kremlin revenue as it continues its attack on Ukraine. Yellen will address the economic and humanitarian challenges caused by the Russian invasion. Unlike the G-7 financial leaders’ meetings in April, the G-20 will involve participating countries that are not united against Russia’s invasion.

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Sri Lanka imposes curfew as cops fire tear gas at protesters

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Police have imposed a curfew in the Sri Lankan capital a day before a planned protest demanding the resignation of the country’s president and prime minister due to the economic crisis that has caused severe shortages of essential goods. Hours before the curfew was announced, police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse thousands of protesting students. Protest leaders said thousands more would gather in Colombo on Saturday. But police said the curfew that began at 9 p.m. Friday is in effect until further notice in Colombo. Critics say President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is responsible for the worst economic crisis since the country’s independence in 1948.

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Inflation, spending rises sharply as priorities: AP-NORC poll

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows a shift in priorities just months before the critical midterm elections. Concerns about inflation and personal finances have risen as COVID has evaporated as a major issue for Americans. Many American adults also prioritize other issues, including abortion, women’s rights and gun politics. In a troubling sign for both sides, the poll finds many Americans say they think neither side of the aisle is better at focusing on issues important to them or getting things done. .

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German energy giant Uniper seeks bailout over Ukraine war

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has pledged to help struggling energy giant Uniper after asking the government for a bailout to deal with soaring natural gas prices due to the war in Ukraine. Uniper said the “stabilization measures” sought were “to end the current accumulation of substantial losses, meet Uniper’s liquidity needs and protect Uniper’s investment grade credit rating.” Scholz assured the company – Germany’s largest importer of Russian gas – of government support. Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Friday that next steps were still being discussed. Germany activated the second phase of its three-stage gas supply contingency plan last month.

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Presbyterians agree to divest from fossil fuel companies

The largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States plans to shed its investments in five fossil fuel companies. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) overwhelmingly passed a resolution targeting Chevron, ExxonMobil, Marathon Petroleum, Phillips 66 and Valero Energy for a divestment. In recent years, Presbyterian officials have sought to persuade several fossil fuel companies to take action to reduce greenhouse gases. According to the resolution, these efforts have not produced enough substantial change from the five companies now targeted for divestment. Several other faith groups have divested from some or all of the fossil fuel companies.

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The S&P 500 fell 3.24 points, or 0.1%, to 3,899.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 46.40 points, or 0.1%, to 31,388.15. The Nasdaq rose 13.96 points, or 0.1%, to 11,635.31. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index fell 0.24 points, or less than 0.1%, to 1,769.36.

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