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Market slightly off...Pandemic profits...Deficit surge

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended just below the latest record highs they hit last week as technology companies slipped. The S&P edged down less than 0.1% Monday and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gave up 0.4%. Investors are continuing to focus on the economic recovery as well as concerns about inflation and rising bond yields. Nuance Communications soared after Microsoft agreed to buy the speech technology company.

UNDATED (AP) — The United Nations chief says the world’s failure to unite to tackle COVID-19 has created massive inequalities and is calling for urgent action including a wealth tax on those who profited from the pandemic to help finance the global recovery from the coronavirus. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a high-level U.N. meeting on Monday that latest reports indicate “there has been a $5 trillion surge in the wealth of the world’s richest in the past year.” He urged governments “to consider a solidarity or wealth tax on those who have profited during the pandemic, to reduce extreme inequalities.”

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has selected two former senior National Security Agency officials for key cyber roles in his administration. That’s according to a White House announcement Monday. Former NSA deputy director Chris Inglis is being nominated as the government’s first national cyber director. Former NSA deputy for counterterrorism Jen Easterly has been tapped to run the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government’s budget deficit surged to an all-time high of $1.7 trillion for the first six months of this budget year. That’s nearly double the previous record, as another round of economic-support checks added billions of dollars to spending last month. In its monthly budget report. The Treasury Department says that the deficit for the first half of the budget year — from October through March — was up from a deficit of $743.5 billion for the same period a year ago.

NEW YORK (AP) — Dubai — in the United Arab Emirates — says that self-driving car company Cruise will become the first to operate autonomous taxis and ride-hailing services in the city of more than three million people. It is the first venture outside of the U.S. for General Motors-owned Cruise, which has been operating electric vehicles in San Francisco for years. Dubai officials aim to convert 25% of all trips in the city to driverless transport by 2030.

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