Business Highlights: Outdoor workers and wildfire smoke, bull market for stocks

The top stories in the business world for the day.

In the East, outdoor workers are caught off guard by smoke from wildfires.

NEW YORK, NY (AP) - The haze caused by Canada's wildfires has taken its toll on outdoor employees in the Eastern U.S. They continued their jobs despite the orange skies that forced cancellations of school field trips, sports events and Broadway shows. Construction workers, railroad, airport, and farm workers all faced similar risks as their West Coast counterparts. Smoky skies, however, were a new danger on the East Coast. Many workers and employers were caught off guard and unsure of what to do. Some workers quit their jobs mid-day, unable continue as the air pollution worsened. The majority of people pushed on in the hope that the crisis would pass quickly and with minimal damage.

The S&P 500 index is currently in a bull's market. What does that mean and how long will the bull market last?

NEW YORK, NY (AP) - The S&P 500 index is now in a bull market. This means that the index has risen at least 20% from its recent low. The S&P 500 index closed Thursday at 4,294. It is believed that the bull market began on October 13, 2022. This was a day after it closed at 3,577. The rally was fueled by a small number of high-valued tech stocks. Wall Street calls a surging market a "bull market" because bulls are on the move. Bears hibernate in contrast to bulls, which represent a declining market.

Stock market today: Wall Street bulls are back in action as S&P 500 rises 20% above its October low

NEW YORK, NY (AP) - Stocks have risen just enough to propel Wall Street into a new bull run as the S&P 500 continues its rally from its autumn low. The index rose by 0.6% on Thursday, putting it 20 percent above the October bottom. This means that Wall Street's primary measure of health is now out of the painful bear market which saw it fall just over 25 percent in about nine months. This is a shorter bear market than the average, with a smaller loss. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite added 1%.

Europe's economy shrank. The numbers are not important to households who are suffering.

LONDON (AP), the European economy contracted at the end and beginning of this year. The European Union's Statistics Agency released revised figures on Thursday that highlight the impact of high inflation and the loss of Russian gas on consumer spending. The 20 euro-using countries' economic output dropped by 0.1% between the last quarter of 2022 and the first three months this year. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters with declining output. The economists who declare eurozone recessions, however, use a wider set of data including unemployment statistics.

The number of US applicants for unemployment benefits has increased since October 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits in the U.S. last week reached its highest level since 2021. However, the labor market is still one of the most healthy parts of the U.S. economic system. The Labor Department announced Thursday that the number of U.S. jobless claims for the week ended June 3 was 261,000, an increase by 28,000 over the 233,000 reported the previous week. Weekly layoffs in the United States are reflected by weekly jobless claims. The four-week average, which smooths out the fluctuations in weekly claims, increased by 7,500, to 237 250. In total, 1,76 million people received unemployment benefits in the week ending May 27.

Tesla's massive charging network will be available to GM's electric cars

DETROIT (AP), -- Starting early next year, electric vehicles from General Motors can use a large part of Tesla's charging network. GM also plans to adopt Tesla's plug, which connects an electric vehicle with a charging station. GM and Ford are both moving their vehicles to Tesla chargers. Both Detroit automakers want to make Tesla connectors the industry standard. GM CEO Mary Barra made the announcement with her Tesla counterpart Elon Musk during a Twitter Spaces discussion. The discussion took place two weeks after Ford CEO Jim Farley and Musk announced that Ford's Electric Vehicles would have access to a large portion of Tesla's EV charging network, which is the largest in the country.

This week, the average long-term US mortgage rates dropped from a 7-month-high to 6.71 percent.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) - The average U.S. long-term mortgage rate fell this week from a seven month high. This is a welcome development for homebuyers who are coping with high borrowing costs and increased competition for the few houses for sale. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac announced Thursday that the 30-year benchmark rate fell from 6.79% to 6.71%. In the past, this rate was 5.23% on average. This pullback comes after three consecutive weekly increases. This week the average rate for 15-year fixed mortgages, which are popular among those who refinance their homes, fell as well, dropping to 6.07%, from 6.18%, last week. Freddie Mac reported that the average rate was 4.38% a year ago.

Los Angeles District Attorney's Office quits Twitter after a barrage of vicious homophobic comments

The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office has quit Twitter because of a barrage of vicious homophobic abuse. The account with the handle URL is no longer on Twitter. The office reported Thursday that the comments ranged from homophobic, transphobic slurs and sexually explicit images to graphic and explicit tweets. The office added that the comments were still visible in replies on Twitter more than 24 hour after they had been reported. According to multiple advocacy groups, attacks against LGBTQ+ users increased significantly since Elon Musk became CEO of Tesla last fall.

Supreme Court rules in favor of Jack Daniel's over dog toy makers

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The Supreme Court has given whiskey maker Jack Daniel a reason for celebration. The Supreme Court gave Jack Daniel's a second chance on Thursday to win the trademark dispute against the makers of the dog toy that mimics its signature bottle. The justices unanimously ruled that a lower court made a mistake in ruling for the makers Bad Spaniels' toy. The court didn't decide whether or not the maker of the toy had violated trademark laws with its toy that squeaks, and looks like the whiskey bottle's signature. The justices instead said that a lower court should redo its case analysis and send it back to be further reviewed.

The S&P500 rose 26.41 or 0.6% to 4,293.93. Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 168.59, or 0.5% to 33,833.61. Nasdaq Composite gained 133.63 or 1% points to 13,238.52. Russell 2000, an index of smaller companies, fell 7.67 points or 0.4% to 1,880.78.