Business Highlights: Fox settlement, smaller tax refunds

The day's top business stories.

Fox and Dominion settle election claims for $787M

(AP) - Fox and Dominion Voting Systems reached a settlement of $787 million in the defamation suit filed by the voting machine manufacturer. The settlement avoids a court trial in the case which exposed how Fox, the most popular network, lured viewers to its channel by spreading lies about the 2020 Presidential Election. Justin Nelson, a lawyer for Dominion, said that the agreement shows truth matters and lies can have consequences. Dominion asked for $1.6billion, arguing that Fox damaged its reputation through the peddling of phony conspiracies about its equipment shifting votes from Donald Trump to Democrat Joe Biden.

You may receive a smaller refund than you did last year. Why?

NEW YORK, AP -- Your tax refund could be less than last year. With inflation high, your money will not go as far as a year ago. More than 101 million taxpayers had filed by April 7, and received refunds on average 9.3% lower than last year. This is partly due to the expiration of pandemic relief programmes. Taxpayers in most states have until Tuesday to file their returns, but eight states who were severely affected by the severe weather will be allowed an extension. The average refund, according to the latest IRS data, is $2,878, a decrease from $3,175. This is a difference in more than $300.

S&P 500 gains a little, Dow is flat

NEW YORK, NY (AP) - U.S. stocks indexes closed little changed in Wall Street after a mixed batch of earnings reports from large companies. The S&P 500 gained 0.1% on Tuesday, after oscillating between small gains or losses all day. Dow Jones and Nasdaq were barely moving. Lockheed Martin gained after it reported a higher profit than expected. Goldman Sachs dropped when its revenue missed forecasts. Reports also indicated that China's economy grew faster. This boosted hopes for global growth, as investors prepare for another rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

Biden criticizes McCarthy's debt-plan as a 'huge cut' to Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has been working hard to gain support for a Republican plan that would increase the debt limit of the United States. Joe Biden also wants the legal borrowing limit to be raised, but not the other part of McCarthy’s demands - a limit for future federal spending to increase by 1% per year. He still needs to bring together the divided House GOP factions in order to pass legislation that the GOP controls.

Netflix is closing its DVD-by mail service

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (AP) -- Netflix plans to close its DVD-by-mail service. This service was the precursor to the company's groundbreaking video streaming service. This move ends an era in which delivering discs by mail was viewed as a groundbreaking concept a quarter-century ago. Netflix still sends out DVDs and TV shows using the same red-and-white envelopes. The California-based company has stated that it will mail out its last discs on 29 September. Netflix had nearly 231 millions worldwide subscribers at the end of last year. As its DVD-by-mail business steadily declined, it stopped disclosing the number of people who still paid for this service.

Netflix reports explosive growth in its subscriber base during the first quarter

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (AP) - Netflix started the year with a surge in subscribers that exceeded analysts' expectations for the third quarter running. The results provide further evidence that the video streaming service is regaining its momentum following a shocking downturn in customer numbers which prompted a shake-up. The 1,75 million new Netflix subscribers announced Tuesday for the period January-March was more than 550,000 above the average analyst's estimate. Netflix's first-quarter subscriber growth was lower than it has been in the past, but the increase is still a significant improvement over the 200,000 subscribers the company lost at the same point last year.

Southwest passengers face delays after nationwide grounding

Southwest Airlines in Dallas (AP) says that planes have taken off again following delays caused by what it calls an intermittent problem. Southwest Airlines requested the Federal Aviation Administration to pause its flights, the agency said on Tuesday. Although the ground stop was short, it resulted in delays for nearly half of Southwest's flights. Southwest claims that a firewall provided by a vendor failed early on Tuesday and that the connection to certain operational data was lost. The airline apologized on Twitter for the delays.

United Airlines losses $194 million in 2Q but has a turnaround

United Airlines reported a loss in the first quarter. It says that travel demand is high and it expects to see much better results in the second quarter. United announced Tuesday that the company lost $194m in the period ending March 31. Revenue was up 51% compared to the same period last year. Scott Kirby, CEO of United, says that the airline is closely monitoring the economy, but travel demand, particularly for international flights, is still high. United's losses were much lower than the $1.38bn it reported last year in its first quarter and they were also smaller than what Wall Street expected. Analysts expected revenue to reach more than $11billion.

China's economy grows faster with a consumption boost

BEIJING, China (AP) - China's economy grew at a faster pace in the last quarter after the sudden end of antivirus controls. Consumers returned to restaurants and shops. The growth of 4.5% in the gross domestic product between January and March in comparison to the same period in 2020 was the fastest this year. The data released by the government on Tuesday shows that the quarter surpassed the 2.9% growth of the previous quarter. The government set the economic growth goal for this year at "around 5%". This target will only be achieved if GDP increases faster in the coming months.

The S&P 500 rose 3.55 points or 0.1% to 4,154.87. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 10.55 points or less than 0.1% to 33,976.63. The Nasdaq Composite fell 4.31 points or less than 0.1%, to 12,153.41. Russell 2000, an index of smaller companies, fell 7.29 points or 0.4% to 1,795.