Wall St.’s 1st week of 2022 ends lower; 2,000 NC jobs lost to warehouse fire |

Tech sinks again, shaking US stocks

NEW YORK – Stocks closed lower and Treasury yields rose to close the first week of 2022, with much of Wall Street predicting that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as early as March despite a mixed report in the market of American labor.

The pessimistic end of Jan. 7 closed the worst week for the S&P 500 tech sector since October 2020 and the biggest weekly drop for the high-tech Nasdaq in nearly a year.

The S&P 500 fell 0.4%, and the 10-year Treasury yield hit its highest level since COVID-19 started hitting markets in early 2020. The benchmark had risen by 0. 3% at the start, then fell as much. to 0.7 percent on the mixed reading from the US Department of Labor, which is typically the most anticipated economic data each month.

“Does this bring the Fed to the table in March or June?” said Megan Horneman, director of portfolio strategy at Verdence Capital Advisors. “That’s a moot point, long term. They’re going to raise rates in 2022.”

Higher rates could help stem the high inflation sweeping the world, but they would also end the conditions that have put financial markets in “easy mode” for many investors since early 2020. Higher rates do stocks as well. in high-tech companies. and other less attractive expensive growth stocks.

QVC fire kills nearly 2,000 NC jobs

RALEIGH – The company that runs QVC is shutting down a North Carolina distribution center heavily damaged by fire last month, putting nearly 2,000 employees out of work, according to a filing with state officials.

On December 29, Qurate Retail Group filed a notice with the North Carolina Department of Commerce announcing its plans, media reported. The company wrote that “it will shut down and cease all operations” at its distribution center near Rocky Mount, according to a copy obtained by WRAL-TV. The company announced that it would lay off all employees at the site, which employed 1,953 people as of December 29. The notice says the company plans to complete the layoffs by mid-2022.

In a statement to The News & Observer, the company said it would begin providing “severance pay” to affected workers on February 1. The company said it has provided workers with $ 500 in emergency funds, and QRG said workers will have an opportunity to seek employment in other locations.

HI sees tax increase due to tourism rebound

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Revenue Council predicted on Thursday that Aloha State General Fund tax revenues will increase 15% in the current fiscal year through June as tourism recovers from the COVID-19 crisis.

In the next fiscal year, which runs from July to June 2023, the board expects general fund tax revenues to increase 6.9% from this year as the rebound continues.

Hawaii law requires the governor and the legislature to use council forecasts when writing their budgets.

Council members said the omicron variant of the coronavirus is increasing the number of COVID-19 cases in many parts of the world, but that hasn’t stopped tourists from coming to Hawaii.

“What we’re seeing right now is that visitors to America don’t seem to care. They’re traveling. And what happens doesn’t seem to matter,” said Carl Bonham, professor of economics. at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Alaska Air cuts flights to deal with epidemic

SEATTLE – Alaska Airlines has said it will cut its schedule by about 10% for the remainder of January as it processes an “unprecedented” number of employees calling in sick during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Alaska’s decision on Jan.6 is similar to a decision made last week by JetBlue Airways to cut about 1,300 flights until mid-January.

The Alaska announcement came on a day when more than 2,100 US flights were canceled early in the evening on the East Coast, according to FlightAware. The tracking service said this amounted to about 8% of the day’s scheduled flights, and it was the 12th day in a row of more than 1,000 cancellations, which airlines blamed on the virus wave and weather conditions. winter.

Worldwide, airlines have canceled approximately 4,700 flights.

Alaska had cleaned about 125, or 17% of its flights.

The Seattle-based airline said in a statement that “the continued impacts of omicron have been disruptive in all of our lives and the unprecedented sickness calls from employees have impacted our ability to operate our airline reliably. “. Alaska said the reduction in flights through the end of January “will give us the flexibility and capacity to reset.”

Ryanair closes its base at Frankfurt airport

BERLIN – Low-cost airline Ryanair announced on January 7 that it plans to stop serving Frankfurt’s busiest airport in Germany at the end of March. and close its base there.

Ryanair has said it is closing its base in Frankfurt and reallocating its five planes there to other airports which “have responded with lower airport charges to stimulate the resumption of traffic.”

The airline complained that instead of providing incentives as the aviation industry battles the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Frankfurt Airport “has chosen to raise prices further, making Frankfurt uncompetitive with European airports “.

The Ireland-based company said all Frankfurt-based crews “can obtain alternate positions within the Ryanair network” and passengers affected by the cancellations will receive notifications and refunds “over the next few days.”

Contact John mcdermott at 843-937-5572 or follow him on Twitter at @byjohnmcdermott

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