Highlights: More aggressive Fed, Yellen on Russia

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Fed signals more aggressive measures to fight inflation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials are signaling they will take a more aggressive approach to tackling high inflation in the months ahead — actions that will make borrowing significantly more expensive for consumers and businesses and increase risks to the economy. Minutes after their policy meeting three weeks ago, Fed officials said aggressive half-point rate hikes, rather than traditional quarter-point hikes, “may be appropriate” several times. times this year. At last month’s meeting, many Fed policymakers favored a half-point hike, but waited due to uncertainties created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Instead, the Fed raised its short-term rate by a quarter point and signaled that it planned to continue raising rates until next year.

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Democrats accuse oil companies of ‘scamming’ gas prices

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats accuse oil companies of “ripping off the American people” and putting profits before production as Americans suffer from rising gas prices amid the war in Ukraine. Oil executives, testifying before Congress for the second time in six months, responded that oil is a global market and oil companies do not dictate prices. The hearing comes as President Joe Biden ordered the release of one million barrels of oil a day from the country’s strategic petroleum reserve for six months in a bid to control prices. Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington blamed Biden for the raise.

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Russia will pay bonds in rubles, which could lead to a default

NEW YORK (AP) — Russia said it made a ruble debt payment this week, a move that may not be accepted by Russian foreign creditors and could put the country on the path to historic default. Russia’s action was in response to the latest US sanctions, which prohibited Russia from using dollars or euros held in US banks for debt payment. The Kremlin said on Wednesday it would continue to pay in rubles using a special bank account and may allow investors to exchange those payments for dollars or euros in the future. It is not clear that Russian debt holders will accept this as payment. ___

Stocks fall, yields rise as Fed details inflation efforts

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks tumbled and bond yields rose on Wall Street on Wednesday after details from last month’s Federal Reserve meeting showed the central bank intended to be aggressive in its moves. efforts to fight inflation. Minutes of the meeting show that policymakers agreed to start cutting the Fed’s stock of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities by about $95 billion a month, starting in May. The S&P 500 fell 1%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4%. Technology companies suffered some of the biggest losses, sending the Nasdaq down 2.2%. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.61%.

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Toyota Buyers Will Soon Lose U.S. Electric Vehicle Tax Credits

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota customers will soon no longer be able to receive U.S. federal tax credits for the purchase of electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. Toyota North America sales chief Bob Carter said Wednesday that the automaker expects to hit a cap of 200,000 vehicles on credits before the end of June. After that, the credits will be phased out over the next year, reaching zero. Tesla and General Motors hit zero. The lack of credits is problematic for automakers as the industry shifts from petroleum-powered vehicles to batteries in a bid to reduce emissions, meet government fuel economy standards and fight climate change.

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Yellen: Russian invasion will have ‘enormous repercussions’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told a House panel that Russia’s actions in Eastern Europe “will have enormous economic repercussions in Ukraine and beyond.” Yellen said on Wednesday that globally, the “fallout from the crisis” is deepening economic vulnerabilities in many countries that already face higher debt burdens and limited policy options as they are recovering from COVID-19. She added that rising prices for energy, metals, wheat and corn produced by Russia and Ukraine “will also add to inflationary pressures.”

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Miami’s crypto craze on full display at Bitcoin conference

MIAMI (AP) — Thousands of cryptocurrency enthusiasts are gathering in Miami as the city builds its reputation as one of the key places to develop blockchain technology despite its underdog status. Dozens of companies use the Bitcoin Conference 2022 which runs from Wednesday to Saturday as a place to network, pitch ideas, and share announcements with the industry and beyond. Cryptocurrency exchange FTX bought the naming rights to the NBA arena in downtown Miami last year, replacing American Airlines. And the largest crypto company to move to Miami so far, Blockchain.com, will house 200 employees in a location in trendy Wynwood, where other tech companies and investors are also moving in.

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Chanel limits its sales to Russians abroad during the war in Ukraine

PARIS (AP) — Luxury fashion brand Chanel said it would stop selling its luxury clothes, perfumes and other products to Russian customers abroad if they considered bringing the products back to the country. Some call the move a bold response to the invasion of Ukraine, while others say it goes too far. It comes after the French fashion house closed its stores in Russia. Chanel says this step is simply complying with Western trade sanctions that prohibit transactions with named individuals. Some Russian social media influencers say they are asked for ID and denied the ability to purchase goods at Chanel boutiques from Paris to the United Arab Emirates.

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The S&P 500 fell 43.97 points, or 1%, to 4,481.15. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 144.67 points, or 0.4%, to 34,496.51. The Nasdaq lost 315.35 points, or 2.2%, to 13,888.82. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index fell 29.11 points, or 1.4%, to 2,016.94.

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