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U.S. considered shooting down Chinese spy balloon: 'That was an option,' Pentagon saysExternal Link

The Pentagon said the U.S. military considered shooting down the Chinese spy balloon that's over the continental U.S. "That was an option," said a Pentagon spokesman, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, during a press briefing. "Because we assess that it currently does not pose a physical or military risk to people on the ground, for now we're continuing to monitor and review options." Some Republican lawmakers have called for shooting down the balloon. When asked about Canadian claims about a second potential incident, Ryder said the U.S. is "tracking one balloon," so "in regards to statements by Canada, I'd refer you back to them." Earlier in the briefing, he said the surveillance balloon is over the center of the continental U.S. and moving eastward.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Fri, 03 Feb 2023 17:45:15 GMT
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Pentagon: Chinese spy balloon is over center of continental U.S. and moving eastExternal Link

The Pentagon's press secretary declined to give many details on the Chinese spy balloon that is over the U.S. during a press briefing Friday. "I can tell you that the balloon continues to move eastward and is currently over the center of the continental United States," said the spokesman, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder. When asked about shooting down the balloon, as some Republican lawmakers have suggested, Ryder would only say officials are reviewing options. When asked about China's assertion that it’s a weather balloon, he said, "The fact is, we know that it's a surveillance balloon."

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Fri, 03 Feb 2023 17:14:48 GMT
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Jobs report is proof that 'the state of our economy is strong,' Biden saysExternal Link

President Joe Biden on Friday hailed stronger-than-expected job creation in January and called the robust reading proof that the U.S. economy is showing strength. Biden said in a statement at the White House: "I'm happy to report that the state of our union, and the state of our economy, is strong." Biden spoke after the U.S. reported that the number of new jobs created in January rose by 517,000, marking the biggest gain in six months. The unemployment rate slid to a 54-year low of 3.4% from 3.5%, the government reported. That's the lowest level since 1969. The stronger-than-expected jobs figures come as Biden is preparing to deliver a State of the Union speech before a joint session of Congress. on Tuesday night. The address is expected to focus on the debt-limit standoff and recession worries, among other topics. One caveat to the jobs report, meanwhile, is that the government's formula to adjust for seasonal swings in hiring sometimes exaggerates employment levels in January. It's unclear whether that was the case last month. Employment grew even faster in the waning months of 2022 than previously reported, indicating the labor market was still quite robust.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Fri, 03 Feb 2023 16:04:43 GMT
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Amazon may be target of antitrust suit as FTC reviews practices deemed anticompetitive: WSJExternal Link

The Federal Trade Commission is preparing a possible antitrust lawsuit against Amazon.com Inc. , the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. The suit could challenge many of the tech giant's business practices as being anticompetitive, the people said. Amazon officials have not yet had meetings with FTC commissioners to argue against any suit, but the agency has been reviewing the company's practices to determine whether it favors its own products over competitors' on its platform, and how it treats third-party sellers on Amazon.com, some of the people said. Amazon and the FTC declined to comment to the paper. Amazon stock is down 4.4% Friday, after it reportedits least profitable holiday quarter since 2014 late Thursday and biggest annual loss on record, along with a forecast miss.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Fri, 03 Feb 2023 16:03:16 GMT
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Blinken's trip to Beijing postponed after U.S. spots Chinese spy balloon External Link

The U.S. State Department has postponed Secretary of State Antony Blinken's trip to Beijing after American officials said they had found a Chinese spy balloon above the continental U.S., according to multiple published reports. China's Foreign Ministry said Friday that the balloon the U.S. suspects of conducting surveillance was a civilian “airship” used for research, mainly meteorological purposes.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Fri, 03 Feb 2023 15:28:01 GMT
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