Stocks rally, Fed signals rate hike

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rebounded from big early losses on Monday as investors intervened before the closing bell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average swung 1,217 points and closed up 0.3% after falling 1,000 points as investors anticipated the Federal Reserve’s inflation-fighting measures and worried about a possible conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Benchmarks flirted with nearly 4-month lows as the market braces for the Fed to raise interest rates to rein in inflation, which is at its highest level in nearly four decades. Retailers saw some of the biggest gains: the spread jumped nearly 8%.

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Fed to signal rate hike as it launches risky inflation fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — With inflation punishing consumers and threatening the economy, the Federal Reserve will likely signal its intention this week to begin raising interest rates in March for the first time in three years. The Fed’s challenges will get harder and harder from there. Among Fed officials, there is broad support for a rate hike — one that would come much sooner than officials expected just months ago. But after that, their policymaking will become more complicated and could sow internal divisions, especially as a number of new officials join the Fed. How many times, for example, is the Fed expected to raise rates this year?

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Federal Government Launches Website to Claim Part 2 of Child Tax Credit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House and the Treasury Department have launched a revamped Child Tax Credit website to help those who qualify for the expanded tax credit under the Childhood Relief Bill. last year’s pandemic to claim the second half of the payment owed to them. The website includes a new tool that will help filers determine their eligibility and how to obtain the credit. Many families became eligible for credit after President Joe Biden expanded credit under the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. Families received half of their 2021 expanded credit on a monthly basis and the other half will be received once they file their taxes. The enhanced portion of the child tax credit program has since lapsed.

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DC, 3 States Sue Google Saying It Invaded Users’ Privacy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The District of Columbia and three states are suing Google. They allege the internet search giant is misleading consumers and invading their privacy by making it nearly impossible for them to prevent their location from being tracked. In the lawsuit in District of Columbia court, DC Attorney General Karl Racine said Google “systematically” misled consumers about how their locations are tracked and used. He also claims that Google has tricked users of its services into believing that they can control the information the company collects about them. Attorneys general in Texas, Indiana and Washington state are filing similar lawsuits in their state courts.

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Rail contract talks head to mediation after deadlock

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Contract talks between the largest freight railroads and unions that represent 105,000 employees are heading for mediation this week. The development comes after unions declared a stalemate after more than two years of negotiations. Unions said on Monday contract talks were at an impasse because the railways were still seeking concessions. This, even after workers stayed on the job throughout the pandemic and suffered major staff cuts in recent years as the railways overhauled their operations. Michael Maratto of the National Railroad Labor Conference, which represents the railroads, said it’s routine for federal mediators to get involved in contract negotiations. He says the railways welcome the help of mediators to reach an agreement.

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Biden revives ‘clean energy’ program with $1 billion loan guarantee

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has issued its first clean energy loan guarantee, reviving an Obama-era program that disbursed billions of dollars in guarantees to help launch the first large-scale wind and solar farms. nationwide a decade ago, but has largely gone dormant in recent years. The Department of Energy said it would guarantee up to $1 billion in loans to help a Nebraska company scale up production of ‘clean’ hydrogen to convert natural gas into commercial products that improve tires and produce ammonia-based fertilizers. Lincoln-based Monolith Inc. says it can create both products while dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. With $40 billion in loan authorization, the Department of Energy said it expects to make more loan commitments in 2022.

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Taxpayers face overburdened IRS as filing season opens Monday

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. taxpayers, brace yourselves because tax filing season begins Monday and you can expect it to be heavier than usual this year. This is due to an overstretched and understaffed IRS workforce, as well as programming complications related to the pandemic. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the IRS had “unacceptable backlogs” and she said the customer service people are getting “isn’t what the American public deserves.” There will be a lot of new issues to go through this year. For example, people who qualify for the child tax credit and who received advance payments throughout the year may get a lower refund than they would normally see.

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Facebook Parent Meta Creates Powerful AI Supercomputer

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Facebook parent company Meta said it has created what it believes to be one of the fastest artificial intelligence supercomputers in operation today. He hopes this will help lay the groundwork for his construction of the Metaverse, a virtual reality construct intended to supplant the internet as we know it today. The company says it believes the computer will be the world’s fastest once it’s fully built in mid-2022. Supercomputers are extremely fast and powerful machines designed to perform complex calculations. Meta did not reveal where the computer is located or how much it will cost to build it.

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The S&P 500 rose 12.19 points, or 0.3%, to 4,410.13. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 99.13 points, or 0.3%, to 34,364.50. The Nasdaq added 86.21 points, or 0.6%, to 13,855.13. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index rose 45.59 points, or 2.3%, to 2,033.51.

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