Business highlights: Holmes verdict, Twitter risk


Holmes gets 11+ years in prison for Theranos scam

SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge on Friday sentenced disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes to more than 11 years in prison for defrauding investors in the failed startup that Promising to revolutionize blood testing has made her a symbol of Silicon Valley’s culture of bold self-promotion. U.S. District Judge Edward Davila imposed a sentence shorter than the 15 years federal prosecutors sought, but far harsher than the clemency her legal team sought for the mother of a 1-year-old son, while Another child is about to be born. Holmes, who was chief executive during the company’s turbulent 15-year history, was convicted in January of the scheme, which revolved around the company’s claims that it had developed a medical device that could detect a variety of diseases and conditions from a few drops of blood. But the technique never worked.

Twitter risks collapse as engineer quits over Musk turmoil

SAN FRANCISCO — Elon Musk has dropped an administrative bomb on Twitter, making the ranks of software engineers that keep it running so thin that programmers who were fired or resigned this week said Twitter could soon be shut down. Serious conflicts and possible breakdowns can ensue. Musk ended a very public argument with nearly two dozen programmers about how to proceed by ordering their firing. Hundreds of engineers then resigned as he gave anyone who wasn’t “extremely stubborn” until Thursday to abandon ship. The latest round of departures means the platform is gearing up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off Sunday, one of the busiest events on Twitter.

U.S. home sales fall for ninth straight month in October

NEW YORK — U.S. existing home sales fell for the ninth straight month in October, marking the slowest pre-pandemic sales pace in more than a decade, as homebuyers grapple with sharply higher mortgage rates, rising home prices and a dwindling number of U.S. properties. market. Existing home sales fell 5.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million units last month from September, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. Sales fell 28.4% from October and are now at their slowest annual pace since December 2011, excluding a sharp slowdown in May 2020 at the start of the pandemic. The national median home price rose 6.6 percent in October from a year earlier to $379,100.

Wall Street ends higher, but still down for the week

NEW YORK – Stocks on Wall Street closed higher, but still ended the week with losses after several days of choppy trading. Some retailers jumped after reporting unexpectedly strong quarterly results and giving investors encouraging forecasts. The Gap, Ross Stores and Foot Locker all rose sharply. Energy stocks fell along with crude oil prices. The S&P 500 rose 0.5% on Friday. The Nasdaq edged higher, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6%. Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note, which helps set mortgage rates, climbed to 3.82%.

Biden says inflation help is coming but ‘will take time’

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden has warned that it will “take time” for inflation to recede. But he said legislation he signed in August would soon help limit health care and energy costs. He made the remarks on Friday as he met with business and labor leaders at his first public event since returning from a trip to Egypt and Asia. Biden has been encouraged by Democrats’ stronger-than-expected performance in the midterm elections, but he may be entering a dangerous period for the economy. The White House has been emphasizing a strong job market in an attempt to allay fears of a potential recession on the horizon. However, the Fed has also been raising interest rates to fight inflation by slowing growth.

High energy prices lead to Czech coal revival

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic – High energy prices linked to Russia’s war in Ukraine are paving the way for coal to make a comeback in parts of Europe. Many have turned to coal as a cheaper alternative to gas, jeopardizing climate goals and threatening health through increased pollution. The trend has raised concerns in the northeastern part of the Czech Republic, which has been working for decades to end its industrial legacy as the country’s most polluted region. In the first nine months of 2022, production of the country’s cheapest lignite coal is more than 20% higher than in the same period last year. It was the first increase after almost decades of decline, officials said.

Barbados leads push for climate disaster financing

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — As climate-intensified catastrophes heighten misery, the stodgy international financial system designed for an earlier era may be on the brink of change, driven by those on the front lines. Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley leads developing countries at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt. The countries say they have had enough of high interest rates and borrowing hurdles as they struggle to pay for increasingly frequent and costly climate disasters. ___

U.S. Trying to Kill America’s JetBlue Partnership Goes to Judge

WASHINGTON — The government and two major airlines have offered starkly different views on the impact of airline alliances. On Friday, a federal district court held closing arguments in the government’s lawsuit seeking to end the partnership between American Airlines and JetBlue Airways. The partnership allows airlines to coordinate schedules and share revenue on multiple routes between New York and Boston. The government says this will reduce competition and cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars a year in higher fares. The airline said it had opened new routes without raising prices. The case is an important test of the Biden administration’s aggressive enforcement of antitrust laws.

The S&P 500 rose 18.78 points, or 0.5%, to 3,965.34. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 199.37 points, or 0.6%, to 33,745.69. The Nasdaq added 1.10 points, or less than 0.1%, to 11,146.06. The Russell 2000 index of small companies rose 10.61 points, or 0.6%, to 1,849.73.

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