Business and labor at a glance
Local bank stocks remain unchanged
Local financial stock prices have stayed stagnant since last week, with First Niles Financial closing at $9 per share in trading Wednesday and Cortland Bancorp holding steady at $16.50 per share.
The stock market is closed today in observance of Thanksgiving.
Holiday giving may depend on how you voted
NEW YORK — This holiday season, elves and “joy” may be on the way out and “peace” and “hope” on the way in. A divisive election that left half the country deflated and the other half rejuvenated could reverberate through the holiday shopping season in the gifts people give or how they spend.
Some retailers say they have seen a surge in feel-good items such as spa treatments, candles and comfort food, while executives at some major retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and Macy’s have said there’s no discernable shift in consumer behavior since the presidential election won by Republican Donald Trump.
The divide in the outlook may reflect the rift in the election, as Americans split along geographic lines as well as by income.
Fed minutes raise expectations for Dec. hike
WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve officials earlier this month believed it would be appropriate to raise a key interest rate “relatively soon,” with some arguing for a hike at the Fed’s next meeting in December in order to preserve the Fed’s credibility.
Minutes released Wednesday show that Fed officials were moving closer to hiking rates for the first time in nearly a year. Some officials argued that if the Fed did not raise rates at its December meeting, it ran the risk of harming the central bank’s credibility given the many signals it had sent about an impending hike.
Lufthansa pilot strike forces 1,800 cancelations
BERLIN — German airline Lufthansa canceled nearly 900 flights Wednesday and scrapped 912 more scheduled for today after pilots launched a two-day strike in a pay dispute.
The Cockpit union initially called members out on a 24-hour strike Wednesday. Late Tuesday night, after Lufthansa tried and failed to have courts block the walkout, it said that they would also strike today. Still more cancellations were expected for Friday, after the union said late Wednesday that all pilots flying short-haul routes would stay off the job that day as well.
Juno Therapeutics halts study after more deaths
WASHINGTON — Juno Therapeutics again halted its study of an experimental leukemia treatment Wednesday after two more patients died of complications.
It was the second setback for the closely watched study, which was previously halted after two patient deaths in July.
The company said that the latest deaths occurred after patients suffered a severe form of brain swelling, similar to the previous two fatalities. Juno said it’s working with regulators to determine what to do next.
Gov’t wants phone makers to lock most apps for drivers
DETROIT — The government wants smartphone makers to lock out most apps when the phone is being used by someone driving a car.
The voluntary guidelines unveiled Wednesday are designed to reduce crashes caused by drivers distracted by phones. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also wants automakers to make infotainment systems easy to pair with smartphones.
Drivers could still make calls but the phones and automaker systems would lock out the ability to enter text. Internet browsing, video not related to driving, text from books, and photos also would be locked out. Navigation systems would be permitted, but with guidelines on how to avoid driver distraction.
Twitter accidentally suspends CEO’s account
SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey says the social media platform accidentally suspended his account.
Dorsey tweeted Tuesday night, “just setting up my twttr … again (account suspension was an internal mistake).” The post was an echo of his first-ever tweet, which came in 2006.
San Francisco-based Twitter suspended the accounts of several prominent members of the “alt-right” in an apparent crackdown on accounts tied to hate speech or threats of violence.