China reversing zero COVID prompts plunge in economic activity

China’s abrupt reversal of its Covid Zero policy pushed economic activity — its service sector in particular — to the slowest pace since February 2020, as the virus swept through major cities and prompted people to stay home and businesses to shut.

The official manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 47 this month from November’s 48, the National Bureau of Statistics said Saturday. That was worse than an estimate of 47.8 in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

The non-manufacturing index, which measures activity in the construction and services sectors, declined to 41.6 from 46.7 in November, lower than the consensus estimate of 45. A reading below 50 indicates contraction, while anything above suggests expansion. Both readings were the lowest level since February 2020. 

The services PMI, a sub-index of the non-manufacturing gauge, fell to 39.4 from 45.1 in November. That’s the lowest reading since February 2020 and the fourth consecutive

Video of Southwest passengers threatened with arrest tops 900K views

Southwest Airlines was already having a terrible year’s end after a massive winter storm forced it to make flight cancellations that far outpaced those of industry rivals. Then, somehow, the PR nightmare got even worse. 

At Nashville International Airport on Christmas night, a police officer threatened to arrest stranded Southwest passengers if they didn’t leave a secured area of the airport. A video of the incident went viral across social media after being posted by a passenger to TikTok.

In the video, which has been viewed over 900,000 times since being posted two days ago, the officer warned passengers they must leave the area or they’d be “arrested for trespassing.” 

“Right now,” he continued. “Everybody to the unsecured side. The ticket counter will help you with any questions you have.”

Shelley Morrison, who was among the passengers with her three daughters, had been in line at a

Warren Buffett opposes Omaha streetcar project, lobbies for bus instead

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett broke with his practice of staying out of local politics to urge his hometown of Omaha to abandon its planned streetcar project because he says it’s too expensive and not as flexible as buses.

Buffett wrote a letter to the editor of the Omaha World-Herald and met with the mayor this week to lobby against the $306 million project and urge the city to let residents vote on it.

But city officials are moving forward with the streetcar because they believe it will spur development, including Mutual of Omaha’s planned $600 million headquarters tower downtown.

Buffett said in his letter that he decided to make an exception to his policy of staying out of local issues even though “it can be off-putting to many to have a wealthy 92-year-old tell them what is good for their future.” He said he wanted to weigh in on the

Loop Capital analyst says this holiday season was Bed Bath & Beyond’s ‘Custer’s last stand’

In June 1867, over 700 U.S. troops led by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer were soundly defeated by the Lakota Sioux and allied Native American tribes in the legendary Battle of the Little Bighorn, also known as Custer’s Last Stand. It’s rare to hear Wall Street analysts reference 19th-century history, but Loop Capital managing director Anthony Chukumba believes that is something like what we’re seeing with Bed Bath & Beyond this holiday season.

“This really was Custer’s Last Stand, and it’s going to pretty much end the same way that it did for Custer,” he told Yahoo Finance on Wednesday. “We will not be having this same conversation a year from now about Bed Bath & Beyond. Bed Bath & Beyond will be gone.” Of course, Custer did not survive Little Bighorn, as depicted in countless books and adaptations, such as Son of the Morning Star.

If Bed Bath

Your tax to-dos before the end of the year

Many people avoid thinking about taxes until the April deadline rolls around each year. But by then it may be too late to take advantage of the top strategies to cut down your tax bill—or get a bigger refund.

Take some time before January 1 to check off these tasks while they still count.

6 tax to-do’s before 2022 ends 

Federal tax returns and payments are due on April 18, 2023 (state deadlines vary, but many match the federal deadline). While W-2 income statements won’t be sent out until late January, you can use an online calculator now to estimate what you might owe. All you need are your pay stubs for the year, showing how much you earned and how much you paid in income taxes. 

If you’re hoping to shrink your tax bill, or possibly boost your refund, here are some strategies to try—plus one time-saving tool that’ll