Stocks wobble…Record job openings…Trade deficit narrows

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have wobbled between small gains and losses in early trading. Investors continue to search for direction as the economy recovers from its pandemic slump. Banks were the biggest drag on the market as bond yields, which they rely on to charge more lucrative interest on loans, slipped. Technology stocks were the bright spot, with much of the sector rising broadly. The stock of Fastly, an internet cloud services provider, was 4.6% higher after the company said it had addressed an internal problem that caused dozens of websites around the globe to go down briefly.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers posted a record 9.3 million job openings in April as the U.S. economy reopens at break-neck speed. Openings were up 12% from 8.3 million in March. But employers hired just 6.1 million, up 1% from March, according to a Labor Department report, suggesting that job vacancies are opening faster than companies can fill them. Hotels and restaurants, reopening after being forced to close or curb hours during the coronavirus pandemic, reported the biggest increase in job openings.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in April to $68.9 billion as an improving global economy boosted sales of American exports. The April deficit, the gap between what America buys from abroad and what it sells to other countries, was down 8.2% from a record March deficit of $75 billion. The improving economic situation overseas drove up demand for American goods while domestic demand for imports slowed.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chief executive of the massive fuel pipeline hit by ransomware last month will tell senators that authorizing a multi-million-dollar payment to hackers was “one of the toughest decisions I have had to make in my life” but also the right thing to do for the country. Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount will face the Senate Homeland Security Committee one day after the Justice Department revealed it had recovered the majority of the $4.4 million ransom payment the company made in hopes of getting its system back online.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The World Bank is upgrading the outlook for global growth this year, predicting that COVID-19 vaccinations and massive government stimulus in rich countries will power the fastest worldwide expansion in nearly five decades. In its latest Global Economic Prospects report, the 189-country anti-poverty agency forecasts that the world economy will grow 5.6% this year, up from the 4.1% it forecast in January. The global economy last year shrank 3.5% as the coronavirus pandemic disrupted trade and forced businesses to close and people to stay home.

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