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United States

Business Highlights: May's jobs report, Facebook's Trump ban

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US businesses struggle to fill jobs even as hiring picks up

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added a modest 559,000 jobs in May, an improvement from April’s sluggish gain but still evidence that many companies are struggling to find enough workers as the economy rapidly recovers from the pandemic recession. Last month’s job gain was above April’s revised total of 278,000. The unemployment rate fell to 5.8% from 6.1%. The speed of the rebound from the pandemic recession has caught employers off guard and touched off a scramble to hire. The reopening of the economy, fueled by substantial federal aid and rising vaccinations, has released pent-up demand among consumers to eat out, travel, shop, attend public events and visit with friends and relatives.

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Facebook suspends Trump for 2 years, then will reassess

MENLO PARK, Calif (AP) — Facebook says it will suspend former President Donald Trump’s accounts for two years following its finding that he stoked violence ahead of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection. Facebook also plans to end a contentious policy championed by CEO Mark Zuckerberg that automatically exempted politicians from certain moderation rules on its site. The social media giant said on Friday that while it will still apply this “newsworthiness” exemption to certain posts it deems to be in the public interest even if they violate Facebook rules, it will no longer treat material posted by politicians any differently from what’s posted by anyone else.

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Stocks end the week higher as US jobs report calms Fed fears

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended the week with solid gains on Wall Street after a lukewarm report on the job market raised hopes the Federal Reserve will keep the accelerator floored on its support for the economy. The S&P 500 rose 0.9% Friday following several days of choppy trading. The Labor Department reported that U.S. employers added 559,000 jobs in May. That was an improvement from April’s sluggish gain but still fell short of forecasts. Companies are still struggling to find enough workers as the economy recovers. Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.55%.

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European regulators launch fresh probes of Facebook, Google

LONDON (AP) — European Union and British regulators have opened dual antitrust investigations into into whether Facebook distorts competition in the classified advertising market by using data to compete unfairly against rival services. German officials, meanwhile, launched a fresh investigation of Google using stepped up powers to scrutinize digital giants. The probes represent an escalation by European regulators in their battle to rein in the dominance of big American tech companies. The EU and U.K. investigations highlight a longstanding concern that the data the companies collect from people or businesses with their platforms is used to get an advantage over competitors. Facebook said it “will cooperate fully with the investigations to demonstrate that they are without merit.”

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Bargain hunters pounce as Trump condo prices hit decade lows

NEW YORK (AP) — Bargain hunters are scooping up units in Trump buildings as hostility toward Donald Trump combines with the pandemic to push prices for condos and hotel rooms to decade lows. It’s a stunning reversal for a brand that once lured the rich and famous willing to pay a premium to live in a building with Trump’s gilded name over the door. Now buyers in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas and Honolulu are betting people will forget the name or, better yet, it will be stripped from the facade. Says one buyer, “They’re giving them away.”

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Walmart to again close its US stores on Thanksgiving Day

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Walmart says it will close its U.S. stores on Thanksgiving for the second consecutive year. The nation’s largest retailer and biggest private employer said Friday that it wants to give workers time off for all their “hard work and dedication” to the company. It follows the decision by Target Corp., which announced back in January it would be closing its stores again on the annual late-November turkey feast. The move shows how the pandemic will have lasting effects on the retail industry’s strategies even as the health crisis ebbs. For almost a decade, Black Friday store shopping had kicked off with big crowds on Thanksgiving and expanded into Friday.

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Fisher-Price recalls baby soothers after 4 infant deaths

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Fisher-Price says it is recalling a model of its baby soothers after the deaths of four infants who were placed on their backs unrestrained in the devices and later found on their stomachs. In a joint statement with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Fisher-Price said Friday it is recalling its 4-in-1 Rock ’n Glide Soothers, which are designed to mimic the motion of a baby being rocked in someone’s arms. The fatalities between April 2019 and February 2020 were a 4-month old from Missouri, a 2-month old from Nevada, a 2-month old from Michigan and an 11-week old from Colorado.

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Fed chief Powell: Climate policy is for elected officials

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says the central bank can help assess risks to banks from climate change but that addressing the broader issue is up to private companies and elected officials, underlining that U.S. central bankers are not climate policy makers. Powell said at an online conference Friday that “there is no doubt that climate change poses profound challenges” for the global economy, banks and financial institutions. But, he added, meeting that challenge is up to the private sector and elected officials.

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The S&P 500 rose 37.04 points, or 0.9%, to 4,229.89. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 179.35 points, or 0.5%, to 34,756.39. The Nasdaq added 199.98 points, or 1.5%, to 13,814.49. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies advanced 7.16 points, or 0.3%, to 2,286.41.

The Associated Press