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Stock Market News: Target talks inflation, crime, Tesla jumps, debt ceiling talks

Stocks rise as investors monitor ongoing debt ceiling talks, as well as key earnings from major retailers including Target and TJX. Tesla CEO Elon Musk impressed investors at the company’s annual shareholders meeting. FOX Business is providing real-time updates on the markets, commodities and all the most active stocks on the move. FOX Business is providing real-time updates on the markets, commodities and all the most active stocks on the move.


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Breaking News

Stocks surge on hopes of debt deal

XLU $66.43-0.21-0.32

Dow Jones Averages.

U.S. stocks rallied across the board with the Dow Jones Industrial Average tacking on over 400 points, as financial, energy and consumer discretionary stocks drove the S&P 500's 1.2% gain, while utilities were fractionally lower. The Nasdaq Composite added 1.3%

Lawmakers appear to be moving in the right direction as talks to avoid a government default continue.

Posted by FOX Business Team

Bankman-Fried faces long odds of tossing charges despite Supreme Court decision

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is hoping a recent Supreme Court decision limiting the scope of fraud prosecutions will bolster his defense as he fights charges stemming from the collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange. But legal experts said Bankman-Fried's odds of getting the charges dismissed remain slim.

On May 8, Bankman-Fried asked U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan to dismiss most of the charges against him, arguing that some were based on a theory of fraud that centers around depriving a victim of economically-valuable information rather than tangible property.

Days later, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated that theory known as "right to control" when it overturned the conviction of a Buffalo construction executive accused of bid-rigging. The Court said the theory is "inconsistent with the structure and history of the federal fraud statutes."

Lawyers for Bankman-Fried, who has pleaded not guilty, said in a May 12 letter to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is overseeing his case, that the Supreme Court's decision had a "direct bearing" on his case.

Posted by Reuters

BP unit to pay record $40 million to settle US air pollution civil charges

A subsidiary of BP plc will pay a record-setting $40 million penalty to settle civil U.S. charges that its Indiana-based oil refinery violated federal laws aimed at curbing emissions of cancer-causing benzene in wastewater and other harmful pollutants, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday.

The DOJ will require the oil major to make significant investments to curb benzene pollution at its 134 year old Whiting, Indiana refinery.

The settlement between BP Products North America Inc., the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency will also require the company to invest approximately $197 million in new technology and other capital improvements to reduce air pollution.

Those improvements are expected to reduce benzene by an estimated seven tons per year, other hazardous air pollutants (HAP) by 28 tons per year, and volatile organic compound emissions (VOC) by 372 tons per year at its Whiting Refinery in Indiana, the Justice Department said.

Posted by Reuters

Kevin McCarthy doubles down on GOP’s debt ceiling stance: ‘I never give up’

As the U.S. House Speaker and President Biden’s office prepare to enter refreshed debt ceiling negotiations, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has reiterated the GOP’s intentions not to move on their hard lines.

"The one thing you know about me," House Speaker McCarthy said on "Mornings with Maria," Wednesday, "I never give up. We have the perseverance and the grit, so we're going to sit in the room and we're going to get this done."

After 104 days of back-and-forth with Biden on debt limit negotiations, McCarthy claimed they reached a "structure" agreement to start reevaluating fiscal common ground that avoids a debt default.

"The president finally admitted he would negotiate. He would assign two people from his administration to negotiate with us. We started last night," the speaker explained. "So we finally have a process, a structure that has worked every time in the past, but now we have a short time frame to get the job done."

Posted by FOX Business Team

Housing starts unexpectedly increase in April after falling in March

New U.S. home construction rebounded in April as limited inventory helped to jolt homebuyer demand, but the housing market remains in a slump.

Housing starts climbed 2.2% last month to an annual rate of 1.40 million units, according to new Commerce Department data released on Tuesday. That is above Refinitiv economists' forecast for a decline.

In a sign the deep freeze that has paralyzed the housing market for months is not over yet, housing starts remain down 22.3% compared with the same period one year ago.

Posted by FOX Business Team

Musk tells Tesla shareholders he's not stepping down as CEO: 'It ain't so'


Elon Musk assured Tuesday that he would not step down from his position as the chief executive of Tesla. 

When responding to questions during the company's annual shareholder meeting in Texas, the billionaire touted the company's latest advances and said that rumors about leaving his position were not true. "Say it ain’t so," one shareholder asked Musk about stepping down as Tesla’s leader. "It ain’t so," he replied without further discussion.

A recent letter from shareholders, who collectively hold more than $1.5 billion in Tesla shares, called on the company's board to rein in Musk – who has also led Twitter since acquiring it last year – and voiced concerns regarding the direction of Tesla.

Musk recently announced his successor, Linda Yaccarino, as chief executive of the social media platform. 

Posted by FOX Business Team

US regional bank shares jump on Western Alliance deposits growth

Western Alliance Bancorp.

WAL$35.33 3.7311.82

Shares of U.S. regional lenders climbed premarket on Wednesday, looking to break out of range-bound trading as an update on Western Alliance Bancorp's deposit levels soothed concerns that the U.S. banking crisis was getting worse.

Western Alliance shares shot up 11% to $35.18, on course to erase losses recorded over the last two weeks if gains hold.

Deposits growth at the lender exceeded $2 billion as of May 12, it said after markets closed on Tuesday, while brokerage Bank of America Global Research resumed coverage of the bank with a "buy" rating and a $42 price target.

Its business model "was more resilient than perceived", BofA said.

Posted by Reuters

T.J. Maxx parent lifts profit view on easing costs


TJX Cos Inc raised its annual profit forecast on Wednesday, benefiting from easing cost pressures even as consumers turned cautious on their discretionary spending. 

The T.J. Maxx parent also missed first-quarter revenue estimates and joined bigger retailer Target Corp in forecasting a downbeat second quarter as sticky inflation forces consumers to rethink discretionary purchases such as furniture and kitchenware.

Still, TJX's gross margin increased by 1 percentage point to 28.9% as it started to see expenses ease after months of grappling with sky-high costs related to raw materials, labor and freight.

It also beat expectations for first-quarter profit and maintained its annual sales forecast.

Posted by Reuters

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