Costly Thanksgiving, retail sales rise |

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans are bracing for a costly Thanksgiving this year, with double-digit percent increases in the price of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, canned pumpkin and other staples. Higher production costs are only part of the reason; disease, rough weather and the war in Ukraine are also contributors. Turkey supplies are at their lowest point since 1986 after a deadly avian flu wiped out flocks, and prices are up about 28%. But experts say there won’t be shortages of whole birds because producers shifted production to meet Thanksgiving demand. Meanwhile, stores like Walmart, Lidl and Aldi are offering deals to lessen the sticker shock.


Key Fed official says he’s open to slowing hikes in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Christopher Waller, a key Federal Reserve official, added his voice to a rising number of Fed officials who have suggested that the central bank will likely slow the pace of its interest rate hikes beginning in December. Waller, a member of the Fed’s Board of Governors, said he was open to raising the Fed’s key rate by a half-point next month in light of evidence that inflation may be cooling. At each of its four most recent policy meetings, the central bank has raised its benchmark rate by an aggressive three-quarters of a point. The cumulative effect has been to make many consumer and business loans costlier and to raise the risk of a a recession.


US retail sales rose 1.3% last month, a sign of resilience

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans stepped up their spending at retailers, restaurants, and auto dealers last month, a sign of consumer resilience as the holiday shopping season begins amid painfully high inflation and rising interest rates. The government said Wednesday that retail sales rose 1.3% in October from September, up from a flat reading in September from August. The increase was led by car sales and higher gas prices. Still, excluding autos and gas, retail spending rose 0.9% last month. Even adjusting for inflation, spending increased at a solid pace. Prices rose 0.4% in October from September.


Amazon begins mass layoffs among its corporate workforce

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon has begun mass layoffs in its corporate ranks, becoming the latest tech company to trim its workforce amid rising fears about the wider economic environment. On Tuesday, the company notified regional authorities in California that it would lay off about 260 workers at various facilities that employ data scientists, software engineers and other corporate workers. The company would not specify how many more layoffs may be in the works beyond the ones confirmed through the filing in California. Some corporate employees in Seattle, Washington said on LinkedIn on Tuesday they were let go, too. In an announcement posted on its website Wednesday, Amazon said impacted employees were notified on Tuesday.


Musk testifies in lawsuit over Tesla compensation package

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk is defending himself in a shareholder lawsuit challenging a compensation package he was awarded by the company’s board of directors that is potentially worth more than $55 billion. Musk appeared in a Delaware courtroom Wednesday. He denied that he dictated terms of the 2018 compensation package or attended any board or committee meetings at which the plan was discussed. Musk said instead that he was entirely focused on the execution of the company. An attorney for the shareholder plaintiff spent much of his early cross-examination trying to draw Musk into admitting that he controls Tesla to such an extent that he can sway the board to do his bidding.


Musk says he expects to find a new Twitter CEO “over time”

NEW YORK (AP) — Billionaire Elon Musk, who just took over as the chief executive at Twitter after buying the company, says he does not want to be the CEO of any company. Musk took the witness stand Wednesday in a Delaware court to defend himself in a shareholder lawsuit challenging a compensation package he was awarded by Tesla’s board of directors that is potentially worth more than $55 billion. While testifying, Musk said “I expect to reduce my time at Twitter and find somebody else to run Twitter over time. Musk sent an email to Twitter employees earlier telling them that they must be ” extremely hardcore” to build “a breakthrough Twitter 2.0” He said anyone who cannot keep up can resign.


Tom Brady, Larry David, other celebrities named in FTX suit

NEW YORK (AP) — A host of Hollywood and sports celebrities including Larry David and Tom Brady were named as defendants in a class-action lawsuit against cryptocurrency exchange FTX, arguing that their celebrity status made them culpable for promoting the firm’s failed business model. FTX has been in the public eye for more than a week, after the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange ended up with billions of dollars worth of losses and had to seek bankruptcy protection. The lawsuit names “Seinfeld” creator David, as well as star quarterback Brady, basketball players Shaquille O’Neal and Stephen Curry, and tennis star Naomi Osaka, among several others.


House panel to hold hearing on crypto exchange FTX collapse

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers plan to investigate the failure of FTX, the large crypto exchange that collapsed last week and filed for bankruptcy protection, leaving investors and customers staring at losses that could total in the billions of dollars. The House Financial Services Committee said Wednesday that it expects to hear from Sam Bankman-Fried, the 30-year-old founder and former CEO of FTX, who was previously hailed as a hero in the crypto community but now faces potential civil and criminal charges related to FTX’s collapse. The panel also expects to get testimony from FTX representatives, other crypto exchanges including Binance, Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund, Alameda Research, and others at a December hearing.


The S&P 500 dropped 32.94 points, or 0.8%, to 3,958.79. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 39.09 points, or 0.1%, to 33,553.83. The Nasdaq shed 174.75 points, or 1.5%, to 11,183.66. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 36.04 points, or 1.9%, to 1,853.17.

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