Activity Highlights: Fall of Wall Street, Trade with China

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Biggest stock drop on Wall Street in 20 years as oil soars

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell sharply on Wall Street on Monday after another big jump in oil prices threatened to reduce inflation’s grip on the global economy. The S&P 500 fell 3%, its biggest drop in 16 months, after a barrel of US crude jumped to nearly $120 on the possibility that Washington could ban imports from Russia. Overseas markets also fell, taking inspiration from oil moves. Oil prices had hit $130 a barrel. Gold and some jitters on Wall Street also rose. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.4% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 3.6%.

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Gasoline tops average by $4 a gallon, first time since 2008

NEW YORK (AP) — The average price of regular gasoline in the United States topped $4 a gallon for the first time since 2008. The AAA automobile club said the price of regular gasoline rose nearly $4 a gallon. 41 cents over the past week. This follows Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and represents the second biggest jump in national average prices in a week. GasBuddy’s head of oil analysis said the Russian invasion and seasonal price changes mean Americans should be prepared to pay more for gas than ever before. The historic high for average gasoline prices was set on July 17, 2008 at $4.10 per gallon.

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China’s trade up in January-February, before Russia invades Ukraine

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese exports rose by double digits in January and February before Russia’s attack on Ukraine rattled the global economy. Customs data shows exports rose 16.3% from a year earlier, a sign global demand was picking up ahead of President Vladimir Putin’s Feb. 24 invasion. Imports grew by 15.5% despite a Chinese economic slowdown that the war threatens to worsen. Forecasters say China and other Asian oil importers will be hit by the surge in prices caused by Putin’s war. China’s No. 2 Premier Li Keqiang warned on Saturday that global conditions are “volatile, severe and uncertain” and that achieving Beijing’s economic goals will require “arduous efforts”.

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Russian banks consider China UnionPay; exit of the major accounting firms

LONDON (AP) — Major Russian banks are considering using a Chinese payment rival after Visa and Mastercard suspended operations following the invasion of Ukraine. All major global accounting firms have also said they will pull out of Russia in the latest economic fallout. Sberbank and Tinkoff Bank say they are considering the possibility of payment cards powered by China’s UnionPay system. They told users that Visa and Mastercard will work in Russia but stop working for payments outside the country after Wednesday. Meanwhile, Ernst & Young and Deloitte severed ties with their Russia operations on Monday, a day after KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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EPA rule would require heavy-duty trucks to reduce smog and soot pollution

DETROIT (AP) — The Biden administration is proposing tougher pollution regulations for new tractor-trailers that would clean up smoky diesel engines and encourage new technologies over the next two decades. The proposal released Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency would require industry to reduce emissions of smog- and soot-forming nitrogen oxide by up to 90% per truck from current standards by 2031. Although Truckmakers are working on battery-electric fuel and hydrogen cellular powertrains, the EPA says the proposal is not a requirement for zero-emission trucks. Instead, the agency says there are pollution control devices being developed that can continue to use diesels while purifying the air.

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Food or electricity: late fees on energy bills force tough choices

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Americans paid a total of $561 million in late payment fees to electric utilities in 2019. But how much you pay depends on where you live. An AP analysis of federal regulatory data found that several large utility companies in states like Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Florida and Maryland charge late fees well above the national average. Late fees typically punish customers who are least able to pay their utility bill. Royalties represent only a small part of the overall turnover of large energy companies. But for the people who have to pay for them, they can be overwhelming.

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Kohl’s to open 100 small-format stores and expand Sephora stores

NEW YORK (AP) — Department store chain Kohl’s said it aims to grow sales by single digits a year. The retailer plans to open 100 new small-format stores over the next four years and expand its partnership with Sephora to become a $2 billion business, among other measures. Kohl’s announced its long-term goals Monday ahead of the company’s annual investor meeting. The channel is facing increasing pressure from activist investors. Kohl’s is on track to have Sephora stores in 850 of its stores by next year.

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Bed Bath & Beyond shares soar as Ryan Cohen takes huge stake

NEW YORK (AP) — Billionaire Ryan Cohen’s investment firm has taken a large stake in Bed Bath & Beyond and is recommending the struggling retailer sell all or part of its business. RC Ventures LLC has acquired a nearly 10% stake in Bed Bath & Beyond, according to a regulatory filing. RC stands for Ryan Cohen, co-founder of Chewy, who was at the heart of the GameStop meme saga last year. Cohen built a huge following on Reddit and social media in 2021 as small investors gobbled up GameStop and other meme stocks. News of his possible involvement with Bed Bath & Beyond sent the company’s shares soaring 34% on Monday.

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The S&P 500 fell 127.78 points, or 3%, to 4,201.09. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 797.42 points, or 2.4%, to 32,817.38. The Nasdaq lost 482.48 points, or 3.6%, to 12,830.96. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index fell 49.57 points, or 2.5%, to 1,951.33.

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