Stock Market and Business News: Live Updates – The New York Times

The official debut of the former president’s social media platform on Monday was marred by error messages and a long waiting list for people who had signed up for access.
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The rollout of Truth Social, former President Donald J. Trump’s social media alternative to Twitter, has gotten off to a slow start.
On Wednesday morning, Mr. Trump’s account on the app, available free on Apple’s App Store since Monday, had just under 50,000 followers. That is a far cry from the tens of millions of followers he had on Twitter before he was barred from the social media platform last year, following the attack on the Capitol by some of his supporters.
Mr. Trump’s account still has a single post, which the company calls “truths” as opposed to “tweets.”
The official debut of Truth Social on Monday was marred by error messages and a long waiting list for people who had already signed up to download the app. (This reporter was at 94,000 on the list but was able to download the app on Tuesday.)
Technical glitches for new apps are not uncommon, and the parent company, Trump Media & Technology Group, had said it didn’t expect the new platform to be fully operational before end of March. Truth Social posted a message from its own account that said “our team is working as fast as possible.”
The app’s glitchy start didn’t appear to have deterred investors, who continue to push up the share price of Digital World Acquisition, the special purpose acquisition company that Trump Media announced plans to merge with in October. On Tuesday, Digital World’s stock rose 14 percent to close at just over $96 a share.
Digital World has become the best performing SPAC — a kind of company that goes public first, raising money from investors to buy a private company. The stock has continued to rise even in the face of regulatory investigations into how exactly Digital World’s deal with Trump Media came about.
Because of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, it is unclear when the merger will close. If and when it does, Trump Media will gain access to nearly $1.3 billion in cash, which will help build its social media business.

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By: Ella Koeze
Global markets steadied on Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 closed more than 10 percent below its January peak, a fall known on Wall Street as a correction, as investors responded to the coordinated sanctions Western countries imposed on Russia.
The S&P 500 rose 0.8 percent in early trading, and most European and Asian indexes were also higher.
The trading came after a tumultuous day on Tuesday. The S&P 500 had dropped as much as 1.9 percent before rebounding off those lows, and stock indexes in Europe closed higher after recovering from an early slide.
Still, by the end of the day Tuesday, the S&P 500 had dropped 1 percent, tumbling into correction territory, a gauge of investors’ dismal mood toward the markets. The last time the index fell into a correction was February 2020, when investors were assessing the potential economic damage of the emerging coronavirus.
Russia is under increasing pressure as the United States and its allies rolled out measured penalties in response to the crisis in Ukraine. The global response began Tuesday in an effort to deter President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia from further aggression. Germany halted a key natural gas pipeline for Russia, while Britain imposed sanctions on several Russian banks and three Russian billionaires.
Oil prices edged lower after they surged to nearly $100 a barrel during Tuesday’s session after Russia ordered troops into eastern Ukraine. On Wednesday, Brent crude was 0.2 percent lower, at about $96.60 a barrel.
An earlier version of this article misstated the last time stocks fell into a correction. It was February 2020 not February 2000. 

President Biden announced several public and private investments on Tuesday aimed at expanding the domestic supply of minerals that are needed to make electric vehicles, computers, solar panels and other products but are currently sourced from overseas.
“We can’t build a future that’s made in America if we ourselves are dependent on China for the materials that power the products of today and tomorrow,” Mr. Biden said at a White House event.
The initiative is part of a White House push to make the United States less dependent on foreign products, given supply chain disruptions that have resulted in shortages of goods, helping to fuel inflation. The investments announced on Tuesday were aimed at boosting domestic supplies of minerals — including lithium, cobalt and rare earths, many of which typically come from China — that are used in a wide array of technologies.
The Pentagon awarded MP Materials, an American mining company, $35 million to expand a rare earths project in Mountain Pass, Calif., with the company expected to invest another $700 million in the supply chain by 2024. The project would establish the first complete supply chain within the United States for permanent magnets, which are used in electric vehicle motors, wind turbines and defense applications, according to a White House statement.
Berkshire Hathaway Energy Renewables announced plans to break ground this spring on a California facility to test the commercial viability of a process that extracts lithium from geothermal brine. If the test is successful, the company could start commercial production of lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate by 2026.
Redwood Materials said it would discuss a pilot project with Ford Motor and Volvo to extract lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite from retired lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, according to the White House statement.
The Biden administration has warned that a dependence on foreign lithium, cobalt, nickel and other minerals, particularly from China, poses a threat to America’s economy and security. It has promised to expand domestic supplies of semiconductors, batteries and pharmaceuticals, as well as the mining, processing and recycling of critical minerals.
The infrastructure law passed last year contained funding for projects to recover rare earths and other critical minerals from coal ash and mine waste, refine battery materials, and recycle electric vehicle batteries.
Mr. Biden said Tuesday that the United States had to import close to 100 percent of the critical minerals it needed from other countries, particularly China, Australia and Chile. “I was determined to change that, and we’ve seen what happens when we become dependent on other countries for essential goods,” he said.

It said creatures were living on the moon, argued that Santa Claus is real, and inspired Marlon Brando to plead, “I coulda been a contender.”
The New York Sun, which published a paper for more than 100 years before closing in 1950 and was briefly revived in the 2000s, is back as an online only publication.
“We are a newspaper for this very moment,” Dovid Efune, The Sun’s publisher, said in a statement. Mr. Efune, a former top editor of The Algemeiner, a Jewish-interest print and online publication based in New York, bought The Sun in October from Seth Lipsky, who ran it from 2002 through 2008 and will do so again.
A former Wall Street Journal reporter and editorial writer, Mr. Lipsky in 1990 established The Forward, an English-language offshoot of the venerable Yiddish-language newspaper, and served as its editor for 10 years.
By 2001, Mr. Lipsky was raising funds to introduce a new version of The New York Sun, which debuted in 2002 and shuttered in 2008. That year, The New York Times described it as “an audacious bet that there was room for a cerebral, politically conservative daily in the already crowded New York City newspaper market.”
The Sun has made splashes from its inception. It debuted in 1833 and two years later began publishing a series of bogus articles about creatures found living on the moon. Later, in 1897, it answered a letter from a young reader with what became one of journalism’s most famous editorials: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”
The 1954 film “On the Waterfront,” (in which Mr. Brando says “I coulda been a contender,”) was inspired by The Sun’s coverage of labor union corruption. And the final scene of the 2006 film “The Devil Wears Prada” was filmed inside The Sun’s office.
Mr. Efune last year praised The Sun for “practicing precisely the form of journalism that’s so lacking in today’s media environment: values-based, principled and constitutionalist.”
Subscriptions to The Sun — which cost a penny when it debuted on newsstands in 1833 — will range from $12 a month for articles and access to comments, to $25 a month for audio, video and crossword puzzles, to $2,500 annually, for “invitations to regular phone briefings and exclusive events,” according to a company statement.

The automaker Stellantis said its profit more than doubled in 2021 to 13.3 billion euros, a result of cost savings and higher car prices that more than offset disruptions to production and sales caused by the global shortage of computer chips.
The company, which was formed a year ago by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and France’s Peugeot, said revenue for the year rose 14 percent to €149 billion from €134 billion in 2020.
In a conference call with analysts, the company’s chief executive, Carlos Tavares, said Stellantis was watching the tension between Ukraine and Russia closely. The automaker has a plant in Russia, and Mr. Tavares said it was unclear how it would be affected by the economic sanctions imposed by Western nations on Russia.
The sanctions are intended to punish President Vladimir Putin of Russia for recognizing two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine and deter him from invading Ukraine.
The Stellantis plant, in Kaluga, about 165 miles southwest of Moscow, makes small delivery vans and has the capacity to make up to 125,000 vehicles a year. Stellantis has been planning to export vans from the plant.
“If we cannot supply the plant, if that is the reality, we have either to transfer that production to other plants, or just limit ourselves,” Mr. Tavares said.
Stellantis is the fourth largest automaker in the world and sells cars under 14 different brands, including Chrysler, Ram and Jeep in the United States, and Peugeot, Opel and Fiat in Europe.
Mr. Tavares is scheduled to outline a long-term strategic plan for the company next week, which will include the development of more than two dozen electric models over the next several years.
The automaker’s 2021 profit represented a big improvement from 2020, when Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot’s combined profit would have totaled just €4.8 million had they been one business at the time. In 2021, Stellantis benefited from €3.2 billion in cost savings made possible by the merger, the company said.
Stellantis sold 6.1 million cars and light trucks last year, up from 5.9 billion in 2020. Its North American operations generated about half of the company’s revenue and €11.3 billion in pretax profit.
“The current conditions are very positive for margins,” Mr. Tavares said.
A renewed emphasis on energy independence and national security may encourage policymakers to backslide on efforts to decrease the use of fossil fuels that pump deadly greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Already, skyrocketing prices have spurred additional production and consumption of fuels that contribute to global warming. Coal imports to the European Union in January rose more than 56 percent from the previous year, Patricia Cohen reports for The New York Times.
In Britain, the Coal Authority gave a mine in Wales permission last month to increase output by 40 million tons over the next two decades. In Australia, there are plans to open or expand more coking coal mines. And China, which has traditionally made energy security a priority, has further stepped up its coal production and approved three new billion-dollar coal mines this week.
Get your rig count up,” Jennifer Granholm, the U.S. energy secretary, said in December, urging American oil producers to raise their output. Shale companies in Oklahoma, Colorado and other states are looking to resurrect drilling that had ceased because there is suddenly money to be made. And this month, Exxon Mobil announced plans to increase spending on new oil wells and other projects.
Ian Goldin, a professor of globalization and development at the University of Oxford, warned that high energy prices could lead to more exploration of traditional fossil fuels. “Governments will want to deprioritize renewables and sustainables, which would be exactly the wrong response,” he said.
Europe’s transition to sustainable energy has always been an intricate calculus. READ THE FULL ARTICLE →

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