US goods trade deficit rises by 3.5% in June
The US goods trade deficit jumped 3.5% in June as imports rose amid strong economic activity in the second quarter.
The American economy rebounded faster than its global rivals, boosted by massive fiscal stimulus, low-interest rates, and vaccinations.
The Commerce Department said the goods trade deficit grew by 3.5% to US$91.2 billion in June, as imports, mainly industrial supplies and food, climbed 1.5% to US$236.7 billion. Conversely, auto and consumer goods imports fell.
The data shows that consumer spending shifted from services to goods during the pandemic as people remained confined in their homes.
On the other hand, goods exports increased marginally by 0.3% to US$145.5 billion. Although capital goods exports declined, motor vehicles and consumer goods exports increased, the department said on Wednesday.
The report was published ahead of its GDP data on Thursday.
President Biden asks companies to beef up cybersecurity
President Joe Biden on Wednesday urged the American companies to ramp up their cybersecurity amid several instances of breaches in recent times.
Biden signed a national security memo that seeks a public-private partnership to address cybersecurity threats against critical US companies. The private sector has been asked to take steps for preventing data theft and other internet crimes.
Hackers have recently attacked several high-profile American companies for ransom.
In May, Russia-based hackers had targeted the Colonial Pipeline that caused widespread supply disruptions, mainly affecting supplies to the eastern part of the country.
In another ransomware attack, hackers targeted the world's largest meat supplier JBS S.A., a Brazilian company with production facilities in the US, causing massive supply disruptions to several countries, including Canada and Australia.
Language-learning app Duolingo makes Nasdaq debut
Language-learning app Duolingo Inc. started trading on Nasdaq under the ticker 'DUOL' on Wednesday. The stock rose by 36.28% to US$139.01 at the market close, bringing its valuation to US$4.98 billion.
The company offered 3.7 million shares at US$102 apiece on Tuesday, more than its initial target of US$85-US$95. The company recorded a revenue growth of 129% to US$161.7 million last year, it said in its IPO prospectus.
Its March quarter revenue was US$55.4 million, an increase of 97% YoY. The Pittsburgh-based firm provides 95 courses in 40 languages, including Italian, French, and Spanish.
The company, co-founded by Luis Von Ahn and Severin Hacker, offers language courses and content translation services.
Mr. Ahn is known for his contribution in developing the concept of CAPTCHA and ReCAPTCHA that is widely used today to differentiate humans from robots.
Rollins appoints interim CFO amid SEC probe
Rollins Inc. has appointed Julie Bimmerman as interim Chief Finance Officer amid an ongoing probe by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on its accounting practices.
The pest control firm has been under SEC investigation since last year.
The company said that it has come to know about the allegation by a former senior member over its accounting practices only recently.
The Atlanta-based company said it has launched an in-house inquiry into the allegations that were related to the period between 2015 and 2017. Meanwhile, Paul Northern, who has been the CFO of the firm since 2015, is given the role of senior vice president.
Bimmerman served the Rollins brand since 2004. She also held the position of Vice President Finance and Investor Relations in the company. She also served as the managing director of Rollins Independent Brands, and other senior roles.