Inventories are rising … Mortgage rates are rising … WHO calls for vaccines

NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks closed largely higher, helping the S&P close its best week since February. This is a notable turnaround for the market, which only the previous week had its worst week since February amid inflation concerns. The Dow Jones gains were driven by a sharp increase in Nike, which reported spectacular earnings Thursday night and gave investors a solid outlook for the year. Investors applauded the data that showed colder-than-expected inflation, as well as the infrastructure deal between President Biden and a bipartisan group of senators.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Mortgage rates crossed the 3% mark this week for the first time in 10 weeks, as the economic recovery from the pandemic recession continues and inflation remains high. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the 30-year key mortgage average rose to 3.02%, from 2.93% last week. The rate on a 15-year loan jumped to 2.34% from 2.24% last week. A government report showed on Friday that consumer spending was flat in May, but inflation posted a huge gain, with non-food and energy prices rising the most in nearly three decades.

GENEVA (AP) – The head of the World Health Organization lamented the lack of COVID-19 vaccines immediately given by rich countries to the developing world, saying the global community is failing and the mistakes of the AIDS pandemic repeat themselves. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday that there was nothing to discuss at a recent meeting of an advisory group established to allocate vaccines against the coronavirus. Dr Bruce Aylward, senior advisor to Tedros, called the current situation in Africa “catastrophic”, noting that there had been a 50% increase in cases across the continent in the past five weeks.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats in Congress have approved a measure reinstating rules to limit global warming-related greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas drilling, a rare effort by Democrats to use the legislature to overturn regulatory retreat under President Donald Trump. The House gave final legislative approval on Friday to a resolution that would overturn a Trump-era rule that relaxed the requirements of a 2016 Obama administration rule targeting methane emissions from oil and gas drilling. The resolution was approved, 229-191, and now goes to President Joe Biden for his signature.

NEW YORK (AP) – Manhattan prosecutors plan to file criminal charges against Donald Trump’s company soon following a lengthy investigation into the former president’s business dealings. The New York Times reported that charges could be filed against the Trump Organization as early as next week over fringe benefits it granted to senior executives, such as the use of apartments. The Times quoted people familiar with the matter. Trump Organization attorney Ron Fischetti confirmed to The Associated Press that he had met with prosecutors virtually on Thursday and that criminal charges were likely. He called them “absolutely scandalous”. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

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