Stocks flat, Deficit soars, COVID vaccine poll out – KVIA El Paso

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Biz/Tech

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended another up-and-down day of trading more or less where they started out on Wall Street, although a small gain nudged the Dow to another record high. The S&P ended down less than 0.1%, while the Nasdaq gave back 0.3%. Treasury yields fell after a government report showed that inflation remained tame last month. That’s encouraging for investors because it suggests the U.S. economy will be able to receive more stimulus without overheating. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.13% after being as high as 1.20% earlier this week.

WASHINGTON (AP)— The U.S. government’s budget deficit hit $735.7 billion through the first four months of the budget year — an all-time high for the period. The shortfall accumulated as a pandemic-triggered recession cut into tax revenues while spending on COVID relief measures sent outlays soaring. The Treasury Department reported today that the deficit for the budget year that began Oct. 1 is 89% higher than the deficit run up in the same period a year ago. Last year’s deficit through January had not yet been impacted by the pandemic which hit in February.

NEW YORK (AP) — About 1 in 3 Americans say they definitely or probably won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine. That’s according to a new poll that some experts say is discouraging news if the U.S. hopes to achieve herd immunity and vanquish the outbreak. The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that while 67% of Americans plan to get vaccinated or have already done so, 15% are certain they won’t and 17% say probably not. Many expressed doubts about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness, even though few if any serious side effects have turned up more than a month and a half into the vaccination drive.

ATLANTA (AP) — A report out today says election systems in the U.S. are vulnerable to cyber intrusions similar to the one that hit federal agencies and numerous businesses last year and remain a potential target for foreign hacking. The report by the Center for Internet Security, a nonprofit that partners with the federal government on election security initiatives, focuses on how hardware and software components can provide potential entryways for hackers. The nation’s decentralized system of election administration means voting technology varies from state to state and even county to county, providing multiple ways for malicious actors to gain access.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A federal control board that oversees Puerto Rico’s finances says it has reached an agreement in principal with creditors to reduce a portion of the U.S. territory’s public debt load that is more than $70 billion. The tentative deal followed a mediation process with creditors holding some $7 billion worth of bonds issued by the U.S. territory. The Governor said that he believes that the economic terms are feasible, but he would not support a plan that calls for pension cuts.

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