Stocks fell sharply on Wall Street Tuesday, continuing a volatile bout of trading that has sent markets swinging between steep losses and gains as investors gauge several threats. The S&P 500 fell 2.1% and moved closer to so-called correction territory, which is a drop of 10% or more from its recent high on Jan. 3. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.4% and the Nasdaq fell 2.7%. The swings are coming as traders try to assess how a stubborn resurgence of inflation will affect the economy and how well the Federal Reserve will succeed in fighting it by pulling back its stimulus policies and raising interest rates.
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Michigan’s economic development board has approved $824 million in incentives and assistance for General Motors Co. to put electric vehicle and battery plants in its home state, adding as many as 4,000 jobs. The Detroit-based automaker plans to spend up to $4 billion converting and expanding its Orion Township assembly factory to make electric pickup trucks and $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion with a joint venture building a third U.S. battery cell plant in Lansing. The package was authorized by the Michigan Strategic Fund Board on Tuesday. Michigan last year missed out on three Ford Motor Co. battery factories and an electric vehicle assembly plant that were placed in southern states.
The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics open in just over a week. When Beijing held the Summer Olympics in 2008, the International Olympic Committee predicted the Games could improve human rights, and Chinese politicians hinted at the same. There are no soaring promises this time. The Games are again a reminder of China’s rise, but also its disregard for civil liberties. This has prompted a diplomatic boycott led by the United States, which has termed China’s internment of at least 1 million Uyghur Muslims a genocide. China has more clout now and worries much less about global scrutiny. The Olympics open on Feb. 4.
The latest national child welfare report shows an increase in the number of Black children who died, even though fewer abuse-related fatalities were investigated in the yearlong period that included the first several months of the pandemic. The findings were released in the 2020 Child Maltreatment Report, issued Friday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The report covers data from October 2019 to September 2020 and only partially reflects how COVID-19 disrupted child-welfare work. The report noted an overall 10% drop in the number of child protective services cases handled by states in the early days of the pandemic. That’s a troubling trend The Associated Press revealed last year with an analysis of state data.
Quarterly survey of U.S. homebuyer assistance programs highlights growing availability of help for first responders and other community heroes
Opponents of abortion rights insist their work won't end even if the Supreme Court decides to dismantle the Roe v. Wade decision establishing the constitutional right to an abortion. A conservative majority of justices on the high court have indicated openness to upholding a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks. Since then, the political fundraising arm of one anti-abortion group, Susan B. Anthony List, has raked in donations. The pile of cash virtually guarantees that the court's decision, expected by the summer, will do little to quell one of the nation's most animating political issues. Abortion opponents say they will pump their newfound resources into the November midterm elections.
Federal judges have blocked Alabama from using newly drawn congressional districts in upcoming elections. A three-judge panel issued a preliminary injunction Monday. The judges wrote that Alabama should have two districts _ instead of one _ in which Black voters are a sizeable portion of the electorate. The judges blocked use of the map and stayed the party qualification deadline from Friday until Feb. 11 to allow the Legislature the opportunity to enact a remedial plan. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office said the ruling will be appealed. Spokesman Mike Lewis wrote in an email, “The Attorney General’s Office strongly disagrees with the court’s decision and will be appealing in the coming days."
New research suggests giving extra cash to low-income mothers can change their infants’ brain development. Measurements at age 1 showed faster brain activity in key regions in infants whose families received $300-plus each month. That's compared to infants in families who got $20. The same type of brain activity has been linked in older children to learning skills and other development. It's not known, though, whether the differences found in the infants will persist or influence their future. The U.S. researchers published their findings Monday. They are investigating whether the payments led to better nutrition, less parent stress or other benefits to the infants.
A federal lawsuit alleges a high-ranking white sheriff's deputy in Wyoming subjected a Black subordinate to years of racist name-calling and torment and finally “sham” discipline that led him to quit. Former Albany County sheriff's Cpl. Jamin Johnson is suing former Patrol Sgt. Christian Handley in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne. Johnson alleges Handley, who is white, called him the N-word and used racial epithets against him and other Black people for years. Handley declined to comment Monday. The lawsuit alleges Sheriff Aaron Appelhans fired Handley after an internal review substantiated Johnson's claims. Appelhans didn't immediately return messages Monday seeking comment.