Business Highlights: Powell in Economy, Google Delays Return

Inside the $ 7 billion merger of Sequoia Financial and Wealthstone Advisors

___ After rocket ride of growth, Robinhood heads to the market

Fed’s Powell downplays delta variant’s threat to the economy WASHINGTON (AP) — The spread of the COVID-19 delta variant is raising infection rates, leading some businesses and governments to require vaccinations and raising concerns about the U.S. economic recovery. But Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell injected a note of reassurance, suggesting that the delta variant poses little threat to the economy, at least so far. Powell spoke after the Fed ended its latest policy meeting in which it it signaled that the economy is moving closer to the “substantial further progress” it wants to see before reducing the $120 billion in Treasury and mortgage bonds it is buying each month to try to spur more borrowing and spending. NEW YORK (AP) — After a rocket rise where it introduced millions of people to investing and shook up the brokerage industry, all while racking up a long list of controversies in less than eight years, Robinhood is about to take the leap itself into the stock market. The company and three of its executives are selling up to 60.5 million shares of its stock in an initial public offering, with trading expected to begin on the Nasdaq Thursday. It’s a huge moment for the fast-growing company, which is trying to convince many of the new generation of investors it created to embrace its own stock too.

___ Delivery apps expand reach to meet customer demands

NEW YORK (AP) — Restaurant delivery companies like DoorDash and Uber Eats are rapidly expanding their services to grocers, convenience stores, pharmacies, pet stores and even department stores. The move has been spurred by skyrocketing consumer demand during the pandemic. On Wednesday, Uber Eats unveiled its newest delivery option that will let users order flowers as part of a partnership with ProFlowers, an FTD subsidiary. Delivery companies say the partnerships will help them keep the customers they gained in the pandemic. Adding new stores could also help the companies make a profit after years of losses. ___ Facebook profits top $10B as revenue soars

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Facebook doubled its profit in the second quarter thanks to a massive increase in advertising revenue, especially the price of ads it delivers to its nearly 3 billion users. The Menlo Park, California-based company earned $10.39 billion, or $3.61 per share, in the April-June period. That’s up from $5.18 billion, or $1.80 per share, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 56% to $28.58 billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $3.04 per share and revenue of $24.85 billion, according to a poll by FactSet. Facebook had 2.9 billion monthly users as of June, up 7% from a year earlier. ___ Google delays return to office, mandates vaccines

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