Stocks tumble, Glum world food outlook, Sriracha shortage

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks on Wall Street tumbled today following the latest reminder that central banks now care more about fighting inflation than propping up markets. The S&P dropped 2.4%, putting it on track for its ninth losing week in the last 10. The losses for markets began across the Atlantic after the European Central Bank said it would raise interest rates next month for the first time in more than a decade. Wall Street’s losses accelerated late in the day, as investors got their final opportunities to make trades before a highly anticipated report on U.S. inflation due Friday morning.

ROME (AP) — A U.N. agency has issued a glum world forecast, saying that food import bills appear headed to a record high and food markets are likely to tighten. The Food Outlook, which is issued twice a year by the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization, found that “many vulnerable countries are paying more but receiving less food” in imports. Farmers are facing low real prices despite the high prices paid by consumers. The forecast cites soaring agricultural production costs, such as fuel and fertilizers. Weather — including droughts — and increased uncertainties stemming from the war in Ukraine also play a role.

RENO, Nevada (AP) — Republicans are pushing an anti-Big Tech message in the midterm campaigns as they look to tap into the resentment toward large technology companies. For voters confronting everything from inflation to gun violence, it’s unclear whether the push will resonate broadly. But it does feed a sense of animosity among some of the GOP’s most loyal voters. In Nevada, Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalt knocks “censorship of speech” as “one of the most onerous threats to our free democracy.” In Ohio, Senate Republican nominee JD Vance has warned Big Tech companies are going to ​“destroy our nation.”

UNDATED (AP) — A federal labor board has denied Amazon’s request to bar the public from a hearing on the company’s bid to overturn a historic union win at one of its Staten Island, New York, warehouses. Hearings by the National Labor Relations Board are typically held in person and open to the public. But the Seattle-based company filed a motion Tuesday arguing the agency should make the hearing private because it will be held on Zoom. Today, a regional director with the NLRB field office who will oversee the hearing, denied the request, saying the company hasn’t “put forward any compelling reason” to depart from long standing policy of holding public hearings.

IRWINDALE, Calif. (AP) — Bottles of the popular Sriracha hot sauce could be hard to find on store shelves this summer. Southern California-based Huy Fong Inc., told customers in an email earlier this year that it would suspend sales of its famous spicy sauce over the summer due to a shortage of chili peppers. Orders submitted after April 19 will be fulfilled after Labor Day. The company sources its peppers from various farms in California, New Mexico and Mexico. Weather conditions are affecting the quality of the peppers and deepening the chili pepper shortage.

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