AP Business SummaryBrief at 2:05 p.m. EDT

Major retailers are offering summer deals to entice inflation-weary shoppers

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans who spend Memorial Day scouting sales online and in stores may find more reasons to celebrate the return of warmer weather. Major retailers are stepping up discounts heading into the summer months, hoping to entice inflation-weary shoppers into opening their wallets. Target, Walmart and other chains have rolled out price cuts — some permanent, others temporary — with the stated aim of giving their customers some relief. The reductions, which mostly involve groceries, are getting introduced as inflation showed its first sign of easing this year but not enough for consumers who are struggling to pay for basic necessities as well as rent and car insurance.

Elon Musk's xAI says it has raised $6 billion to develop artificial intelligence

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A group of investors will put up $6 billion to fund development of artificial intelligence by Elon Musk’s xAI. The company said on its website Sunday that the Series B funding round will be used to take xAI’s first products to market and speed up research. xAI said it has made “significant strides” during the past year in developing the technology, which will continue in the coming months. Musk wrote on the social media site X that before the investment, xAI had a valuation of $18 billion. The funding should help Musk’s company compete in a race to develop artificial intelligence against Microsoft and Open AI.

What's open and closed on Memorial Day

In what had long been celebrated every May 30 to honor America’s fallen soldiers, Memorial Day officially became a federal holiday in 1971, observed on the last Monday in May. Businesses increasingly have chosen to stay open on the holiday, leading to what is now one of the biggest retail sales and travel weekends of the year. Government offices, post offices and schools are closed, as is the stock market, banks and a handful of businesses. The vast majority of retailers will be open, with many trying to lure customers with big promotional sales. Hours may vary by location.

In one North Carolina county, it's 'growth, growth, growth.' But will Biden reap the benefit?

SILER CITY, N.C. (AP) — Just 81,000 people live in rural Chatham County in North Carolina, where there are more than 1,000 farms. But life is changing. The new Wolfspeed factory that overlooks I-64 will soon produce advanced wafers for computer chips. Automaker Vinfast is scheduled to open a factory next year. Both projects stem in large part from incentives that President Joe Biden signed into law. The Democrat has campaigned on how his policies helped pump hundreds of billions of dollars in private and federal investment into companies. But so far this election year, the investments haven’t significantly swayed a public concerned about inflation.

As Atlantic hurricane season begins, Florida community foundations prepare permanent disaster funds

As climate change makes storms more frequent and intense, Florida community foundations are looking for new ways to make sure they have resources on hand to support the public before, during and after a disaster. Some are establishing permanent disaster relief funds, the earnings of which can be used to quickly deploy money to frontline nonprofits as soon as a storm is forecasted. Those nonprofits say knowing they will receive those resources right away allows them to act faster and more robustly to support the community with critical needs like food, housing and financial assistance.

Walmart ends credit card partnership with Capital One, but shoppers can still use their cards

Walmart has ended a partnership with Capital One that made the banking company the exclusive issuer of Walmart’s consumer credit cards. The companies announced the change Friday. The companies said card holders can still use their Capital One Walmart Rewards cards, which will continue to accrue rewards unless customers are notified of a change. Walmart partnered with Capital One in 2019 but eventually soured on the deal. In 2023, Walmart sued Capital One, saying Capital One was taking too long to process payments and mail replacement cards. A federal judge ruled in March that Walmart could terminate the deal.

‘Furiosa’ sneaks past ‘Garfield’ to claim No. 1 spot over Memorial Day holiday weekend

Furiosa won the holiday box office over Garfield by a hair. It was a close race, but the wasteland warrior of “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” came out slightly ahead of the plump orange cat with an estimated $32 million in ticket sales over the four-day weekend according to studio estimates Monday. “The Garfield Movie,” a Sony release, earned $31.1 million in its first four days. This weekend has also been a sobering one for Hollywood as one of the worst Memorial Day weekend box office showings in decades and the gap may only get bigger.

China has threatened trade with some countries after feuds. They're calling 'the firm' for help

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. State Department has set up an eight-person team known as “the firm” to provide help to countries cut off from Chinese trade. The team emerged after Washington stepped in to help Lithuania when the northern European country found its cargo shipments to and from China stranded two years ago during a feud over Taiwan. State Department officials say Washington sees ”the firm” as an emergency response when a country fears facing economic pressure from China. The Chinese Embassy in the U.S. says Beijing opposes economic coercion and calls the American allegation “completely unfounded."

Stock market today: World shares are mostly higher after rebound on Wall St

Shares have advanced in Europe and Asia ahead of Monday's Memorial Day holiday in the United States. Oil prices also rose. European shares saw modest gains after the opening while Asian benchmarks gained upward momentum as the day wore on. On Friday, Wall Street bounced back after its worst day since April, as the S&P 500 gained 0.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq composite gained 1.1% to top its all-time high set earlier this week. Nvidia climbed again following its blowout profit report earlier this week to help push the market higher.

Nigeria is emerging as a critical mineral hub. The government is cracking down on illegal operations

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s government is cracking down on illegal mining, making dozens of arrests of unlicensed miners since April for allegedly stealing the country’s lithium, a critical mineral used in batteries for electric vehicles, smartphones and power systems. The recent arrests come as Nigeria seeks to regulate its mining operations of critical minerals, curb illegal activity and better benefit from its mineral resources. Illegal mines are rife in the country’s fledging industry as corruption among regulatory officials is common and the mineral deposits are located in remote areas with minimal government presence. Officials say profits from illicit mining practices has helped arm militia groups in the north of the county.

The Associated Press