WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve is keeping its ultra-low interest rate policies in place, a sign that it wants to see more evidence of a strengthening economic recovery before considering easing its support. The Fed says the economy and labor market have “strengthened”, and as inflation has risen, Fed policymakers have attributed the increase to temporary factors. The Fed has left its short-term benchmark rate close to zero to help keep lending rates low to encourage borrowing and spending. He also said in a statement after his last policy meeting that he would continue to buy $ 120 billion in bonds each month to try to keep long-term lending rates low.
Apple profits soar in last quarter amid surging iPhone sales
CUPERTINO, Calif .– Demand for the iPhone drove Apple’s profits to more than double between January and March, as the tech giant continued to capitalize on dependence on smartphones. Profits and revenues exceeded analysts’ expectations. The iPhone, Apple’s crown jewel, had not sold as well in recent years as people kept their existing models for longer. But the release of four iPhone 12 models last fall appears to have sparked purchases. IPhone sales soared 66% in addition to a holiday quarter when iPhone sales jumped 17%. The share rose 3% in the aftermarket.
EU lawmakers approve post-Brexit trade treaty
BRUSSELS (AP) – EU lawmakers have approved the final ratification of the post-Brexit trade deal between the EU and the UK, almost five years after Britain decided to leave the bloc. The agreement had already been ratified by the British Parliament and entered into force conditionally pending the approval of the European Parliament. European Parliament lawmakers voted 660 to 5 and 32 abstentions to approve the free trade agreement. The vote took place on Tuesday but the results were not announced until Wednesday morning. EU lawmakers said in a resolution accompanying their consent that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU was a “historic mistake, as no third country can enjoy the same benefits as an EU member.” “
Facebook announces rise in quarterly ad revenue and stock jumps
MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) – Facebook shares are on the rise after the social media giant reported stronger-than-expected results for the first quarter thanks to surging ad revenue. The social media giant said on Wednesday it earned $ 9.5 billion, or $ 3.30 per share, between January and March. This is up 94% from $ 4.9 billion, or $ 1.71 per share, a year earlier. Facebook averaged 2.85 billion monthly users in March. This is an increase of 10% from a year earlier. Shares of the Menlo Park, Calif., Based company rose nearly 6% after hours.
Ford Posts Surprise First Quarter Profit of $ 3.26 Billion; the shortage of chips is looming
DETROIT (AP) – Ford posted a surprising first-quarter profit of $ 3.26 billion, but the company says a worsening global computer chip shortage could cut production in half in the current quarter. Excluding one-time items, the automaker says it earned 89 cents per share from January through March, beating Wall Street estimates of 22 cents per share. CFO John Lawler attributed the large profit to years of restructuring to lighten the business, as well as rising prices for its vehicles due to tight inventory. He says the second trimester is expected to be the low point of the chip shortage.
Boeing reports first quarter loss, takes a hit on Air Force One’s job
Boeing records another loss as the pandemic continues to reduce demand for new aircraft and the company faces more issues around its 737 Max airliner. Boeing Co. said on Wednesday it lost $ 537 million in the first quarter. That’s less than what the company lost a year ago, but still more than analysts expected. Since the end of the quarter, Boeing has suffered yet another setback with its 737 Max airliners, more than 100 of which are parked again due to issues with the electrical grounding of some parts. CEO David Calhoun says 2021 is a “inflection point” for Boeing, with COVID-19 vaccines distributing and helping the airline industry.
US Government Takes Creative Steps to Counter Cyber Threats
WASHINGTON (AP) – An FBI operation has given law enforcement remote access to hundreds of computers to counter a massive hack of Microsoft Exchange mail server software. Now, the Justice Department’s top national security official says this kind of tool is likely to be deployed “wisely” in the future as the government develops a framework for the use of the tool. ‘tool. The ministry announced earlier this month that it had obtained a warrant from a federal judge in an operation involving the removal of malicious code allowing hackers to gain access to networks. The government has removed these web shells from hundreds of vulnerable computers affected by a hack that Microsoft blamed on a group operating in China.
Sony profits zoom to record on video games, ‘Demon Slayer’
TOKYO (AP) – Sony’s profits from January to March increased eightfold to 107 billion yen, or $ 982 million from a year earlier, as people stayed at home during the coronavirus pandemic turned to turned to video games and other visual content from the Japanese electronics and entertainment company. Sony Corp. reported a record profit of 1.17 trillion yen, or about $ 11 billion, for the fiscal year ended March 31, about double the previous fiscal year. The popularity of the animated film “Demon Slayer” also helped, along with strong sales in mobile game applications and digital content. Sony has announced that it has sold 7.8 million PlayStation 5 game consoles worldwide.
The S&P 500 lost 3.54 points, or 0.1%, to 4,183.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 164.55 points, or 0.5%, to 33,820.38. The highly technological Nasdaq lost 39.19 points, or 0.3%, to 14,051.03. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks rose 2.89 points, or 0.1%, to 2,304.16.
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