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News of the day for May 22, 2023


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President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will meet today in a another effort to avoid a default and the European Union issued a record data privacy fine to Facebook parent Meta Platforms. Here’s what investors need to know today.

1. EU Fines Facebook Parent Meta Record $1.3 Billion for Data Transfers

The European Union fined Facebook parent Meta Platforms (META) $1.3 billion for the social media company’s data transfers to the U.S., a record high penalty. The ruling increases pressure on the U.S. to negotiate a data transfer arrangement with the E.U., after it has also fined Amazon in 2021 for privacy violations, a $806 million fine that was the previous record. Meta shares were down more than 1% in pre-market trading.

2. Biden, McCarthy to Meet on Debt Ceiling

President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will meet on Monday afternoon in another effort to avoid a default of the U.S. debt ceiling. The meeting follows a call between the two that McCarthy called “productive,” before Biden returned to Washington, D.C. from Japan. Top Republican and Democratic negotiators met for more than two hours on Sunday in advance of the June 1 deadline for the U.S. government to run out of funding.

3. China Bars Purchases from US Chipmaker Micron

Citing “serious network security risks,” China told operators of critical information infrastructure to stop purchasing products made by Micron Technology (MU), the biggest U.S. maker of computer memory chips. The move is seen as a response to efforts by the United States, Europe and Japan to restrict Chinese access to advanced chipmaking. Shares of Micron were down more than 5% in pre-market trading.

4. Applied Materials to Build $4 Billion Silicon Valley Research Center

U.S. semiconductor toolmaker Applied Materials (AMAT) said it will build a new $4 billion research center in Silicon Valley as part of efforts to speed up advances in semiconductor manufacturing. The facility will host about $25 billion in research work. The announcement comes after the U.S. passed $52 billion in incentives to help increase domestic advanced semiconductor manufacturing. Shares of Applied Materials traded about 1% lower in pre-market trading.

5. More Fed Officials to Speak After Powell Leaves Open Future Rate Hikes

After Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Friday that it was still unclear whether another rate hike would be necessary when it next meets on June 14,  St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, and Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin are all scheduled to speak today. Also this week, the April Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index, which the Fed uses to gauge inflation, will be released Friday.

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  1. Wall Street Journal. “Meta Fined $1.3 Billion Over Data Transfers to U.S.

  2. Wall Street Journal. “Biden, McCarthy Attempt to Revive Budget Talks as Debt Default Looms.”

  3. AP News. “China tells tech manufacturers to stop using Micron chips, stepping up feud with United States.”

  4. Reuters. “Applied Materials to invest $4 bln in Silicon Valley chip research center.”

  5. MarketWatch. “U.S. Economic Calendar.”

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