Some Georgia corporate leaders slam voting bill
ATLANTA — Some of Georgia’s most prominent corporate leaders are beginning to more forcefully criticize the state’s sweeping new election law. They’re acknowledging the concerns of civil rights activists who say the law threatens the democratic process. The chief executives of Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola have now called the law “unacceptable.” Their criticism is opening an unusual rift with Republican leaders who championed the restrictions and typically enjoy a cozy relationship with Georgia’s business community. The Major League Baseball Players Association also has raised the idea of moving the summer All-Star game from the Atlanta Braves home stadium.
Microsoft wins $22 billion deal with US Army
REDMOND, Wash. — Microsoft won a nearly $22 billion contract to supply US Army combat troops with its virtual reality headsets. Microsoft and the Army separately announced the deal Wednesday. The technology is based on Microsoft’s HoloLens headsets, which can superimpose virtual imagery over real scenery. Tech companies originally designed such goggles for the video game and entertainment industries but have increasingly pitched other uses for them. Military officials have described the futuristic technology — which the Army calls its Integrated Visual Augmentation System — as a way of boosting soldiers’ awareness of their surroundings and their ability to spot targets and dangers.
S&P 500 climbs, closing out its fourth straight quarterly gain
NEW YORK — Stocks closed mostly higher on Wall Street, clinching the 4th straight quarterly gain for the S&P 500. The benchmark index rose 0.4% Wednesday, bringing its gain for the first three months of the year to 5.8%. The gain for the index, which tracks large US companies, was eclipsed by the 12.4% jump in a popular index tracking small-company stocks. Investors have favored smaller companies for months in anticipation that the US economy will pick up this year as more people get vaccinated and as more pandemic restrictions are lifted. Investors are waiting to hear details about President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan.