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Somerville battery startup’s first factory to be built in West Virginia

Ted Wiley (left) and William Woodford are cofounders of Form Energy in Somerville.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff


Somerville battery startup’s first factory to be built in West Virginia

Somerville-based battery startup Form Energy has struck a deal with the state of West Virginia to build its first manufacturing facility in Weirton, a onetime steelmaking center located along the Ohio River. The factory is expected to create at least 750 jobs and will receive an investment of up to $760 million. Form Energy has developed iron-based batteries designed to serve as backup power for electric utilities. ― HIAWATHA BRAY


Applications for US jobless claims rose slightly last week

Slightly more Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the labor market continues to show strength even as the Federal Reserve has tried for nearly a year to slow the economy by raising its main lending rate. Applications for jobless claims for the week ending Dec. 17 inched up by 2,000 to 216,000 from the previous week’s 214,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Jobless claims are generally viewed as a representation of layoffs. The four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out some of the week-to-week swings, fell by 6,250 to 221,750. About 1.67 million people were receiving jobless aid the week that ended Dec. 10, about 6,000 fewer than the week before. ― ASSOCIATED PRESS



Tesla offers $7,500 discount in rare move to lift deliveries by year’s end

Tesla is offering US consumers $7,500 to take delivery of its two highest-volume models before the end of the year, adding to indications the carmaker is struggling with demand. The discount on new Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport utility vehicles is double what the company was offering earlier this month. It mirrors an anticipated change in how much of a tax credit certain consumers will be eligible for early next year. Tesla vehicles were expected to be in line for $3,750 tax credits starting in January as part of changes that the Inflation Reduction Act made to federal incentives for electric vehicles. That changed this week when the US Treasury Department announced it was delaying guidance on new battery content requirements. Postponing those restrictions likely will make certain EV models eligible for a full $7,500 credit early next year. It’s highly unusual for Tesla to offer such perks, as company head Elon Musk has for years enforced a no-discounts policy. ― BLOOMBERG NEWS


A sign is posted in front of the Gilead Sciences headquarters on April 29, 2020 in Foster City, California. Justin Sullivan/Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Ge


Gilead’s long-acting HIV medicine wins FDA approval

Gilead Sciences Inc. won approval from US regulators for a new HIV medication for people whose disease has become resistant to other drugs. The Food and Drug Administration approved Sunlenca, whose active ingredient is lenacapavir, to be used along with other antiretroviral medicines, the agency said Thursday. Such drugs lower the amount of HIV in a person’s body, protecting them from illness and preventing transmission to others. Antiretroviral drugs stop a virus from replicating, with different products targeting different stages of the process. But viruses can mutate and become resistant. Sunlenca interferes with stages of viral replication not targeted by other HIV drugs, making it an effective treatment for people who developed resistance to existing therapies, said Jared Baeten, Gilead’s vice president of clinical development. In the US, about 13,000 people aren’t able to keep their HIV in check with current medicines, according to the company. Sunlenca is given as an injection twice a year, plus a pill at the very beginning of the treatment. Gilead expects that the list price of Sunlenca will be $42,250 for the first year, and $39,000 each subsequent year. ― BLOOMBERG NEWS



Tech stocks are headed for their worst December since 2002

Technology stocks are headed for their worst December since the bursting of the dotcom bubble two decades ago as optimism about potential relief from Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes faded on signs of labor-market strength. Add to that weak results from chipmaker Micron Technologies Inc., and the session turned into a brutal one for equity bulls, who are again fretting over the risk of a potential recession. The tech benchmark, laden with companies like Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp., has dropped almost 10 percent this month, more than erasing a November rally fueled by hopes that cooling inflation would set the stage for even slower Fed hikes and potentially a pause next year. It’s down about one-third this year. The economic figures “were hotter than the market was hoping for, so now we have to contend with the notion the Fed will stay aggressive raising rates,” said Joe Gilbert, a portfolio manager for Integrity Asset Management. “This along with earnings reports from cyclical companies that suggest the forward outlook is weakening substantially, and a policy error by the Fed is becoming more likely everyday. This points to a risk-off market.” Among the worst performers on the Nasdaq 100 this month are Tesla Inc., whose shares have dropped more than 30 percent amid concerns about flagging demand for its electric vehicles and the preoccupation of its chief executive, Elon Musk, with Twitter Inc. ― BLOOMBERG NEWS


Shoppers walk through The Grove shopping mall during the holiday shopping season, three days before Christmas, on December 22, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Mario Tama/Getty


Third quarter GDP revised higher on improved spending numbers

US economic growth in the third quarter was firmer than previously estimated, reflecting upward revisions to consumer spending and business investment. Inflation-adjusted gross domestic product, or the total value of all goods and services produced in the economy, increased at a 3.2 percent annualized rate during the period, Commerce Department data showed Thursday. That compares with a previously reported 2.9 percent advance. Personal consumption was revised significantly higher, advancing 2.3 percent in the latest report compared with 1.7 percent in an earlier estimate and reflecting stronger services spending. The figures highlight how despite rising interest rates and rapid inflation, consumer and business demand remains solid. A strong labor market and wage growth has underpinned household spending, but it’s unclear whether Americans will be able to maintain that spending momentum into 2023. Meanwhile, a key inflation gauge — the personal consumption expenditures price index excluding food and energy — rose an annualized 4.7 percent in the third quarter, up slightly from the previous estimate. November monthly data will be released Friday. ― BLOOMBERG NEWS


ByteDance employees wrongly got access to TikTok user data

TikTok parent company ByteDance Ltd. found that some employees inappropriately gained access to data for some US users, according to an internal memo. “The individuals involved misused their authority to obtain access to TikTok user data,” Shou Chew, CEO of TikTok, said in a note to employees. The New York Times on Thursday reported that an internal ByteDance investigation, launched to discover the source of employee leaks to the press, allowed some staff members to see personal data from journalists’ accounts, including IP addresses. A second investigation from the company came about after a Forbes story claimed ByteDance planned to use the TikTok app to track the physical location of some US users. That second investigation, carried out by an outside law firm, found the inappropriate access to personal user data, the Times said. One person on the team resigned and three more were fired as a result, according to the newspaper. “I want to add that this misconduct is not at all representative of what I know our company’s principles to be,” Chew said in his note. ― BLOOMBERG NEWS