Business Highlights: Bankman-Fried, Tesla discounts | Technology


FTX founder Bankman-Fried allowed $250M bond, house arrest

NEW YORK (AP) — Cryptocurrency entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried has left Manhattan federal court after his parents signed a $250 million personal recognizance bond. He wore an electronic monitoring bracelet as he rushed to a car Thursday to head with his parents to their California home to await trial. Bankman-Fried is accused of swindling investors and looting customer deposits on his FTX trading platform. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos said that the 30-year-old Bankman-Fried “perpetrated a fraud of epic proportions.” Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein largely agreed to bail terms proposed by lawyers on both sides. Bankman-Fried is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 3.

Tesla offers rare year-end discounts on 2 top-selling models

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla is offering rare discounts through year’s end on its two top-selling models, an indication that demand is slowing for its electric vehicles. The Austin, Texas, company started offering a $3,750 incentive on its Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV on its website earlier this month. But on Wednesday it doubled the discount to $7,500 for those who take delivery between now and Dec. 31. The move comes ahead of a new federal tax credit of up to $7,500 that’s scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. Until the new year, Teslas weren’t eligible for a previous federal tax credit program because the company had reached a limit of 200,000 vehicles sold.

Group urges feds to investigate Snapchat over fentanyl sales

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the U.S. deals with its deadliest overdose crisis to date, a national crime-prevention group is calling on the Justice Department to clamp down on social media’s role in the spread of fentanyl, the drug largely driving a troubling spike in overdose deaths among teenagers. The National Crime Prevention Council sent a letter Wednesday to Attorney General Merrick Garland. The group known for ads featuring McGruff the Crime Dog is calling for an investigation into fake, fentanyl-laced pills sold on the popular teen platform Snapchat. The company says it has been working to address the national crisis in recent years will continue to do everything it can.

US economy grew 3.2% in Q3, an upgrade from earlier estimate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shrugging off rampant inflation and rising interest rates, the U.S. economy grew at an unexpectedly strong 3.2% annual pace from July through September, the government reported Thursday in a healthy upgrade from its earlier estimate of third-quarter growth. The rise in gross domestic product — the economy’s output in goods and services — marked a return to growth after consecutive drops in the January-March and April-June periods. Driving the third-quarter growth were strong exports and healthy consumer spending.

US probing automated driving system use in 2 Tesla crashes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government’s highway safety agency says it’s sending teams to investigate November crashes in California and Ohio involving Teslas that may have been operating on automated driving systems. The probes bring to 35 the number of crashes investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since 2016 in which either Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” or “Autopilot” systems likely were in use. The California crash occurred on Thanksgiving Day involving eight vehicles on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The Ohio crash happened Nov. 18 near Toledo, when a Tesla Model 3 crashed into an Highway Patrol SUV. A message was left Thursday seeking comment from Tesla.

US stocks slide as economic data stokes rate hike worries

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed lower on Wall Street as stronger-than-expected reports on the economy caused worries to flare about interest rates staying high. The S&P 500 closed 1.4% lower after being down as much as 2.9% earlier. The Nasdaq fell 2.2% and the Dow gave up 1%. Employers laid off fewer workers than anticipated last week and the economy grew more strongly in the summer than expected. Usually that would be good news, particularly when worries are high about a possible recession looming. But it also suggests the Federal Reserve may follow through on its pledge to stay aggressive on economy-crunching interest rates.

Applications for jobless claims up slightly last week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Slightly more Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the labor market continues to show strength even as the Federal Reserve has tried for nearly a year to slow the economy by raising its main lending rate. The Labor Department reported Thursday that applications for jobless claims for the week ending Dec. 17 inched up by 2,000 to 216,000 from the previous week’s 214,000. Jobless claims are generally viewed as a representation of layoffs. The four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out some of the week-to-week swings, fell by 6,250 to 221,750.

Holiday procrastinators are back in force. Blame inflation.

NEW YORK (AP) — Inflation is driving many consumers to put off their holiday shopping until the last minute. For the first two years of the pandemic, many were buying earlier in the season, afraid of not getting what they wanted because of shortages of products or delays in deliveries. They also had more money to spend thanks to government stimulus checks and child care credits. But this year, higher prices on everything are squeezing shoppers’ budgets and pushing them to postpone their buying. A quirk in the calendar is also encouraging procrastination. With Christmas falling on Sunday, consumers have all week to shop.

The S&P 500 fell 56.05 points, or 1.4%, to 3,822.39. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 348.99 points, or 1.%, to 33,027.49. The Nasdaq dropped 233.25 points, or 2.2%, to 10,476.12. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 22.85 points, or 1.3%, to 1,754.09.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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