Stocks slip…Construction spending drops…Zuckerberg to speak
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are slipping as first-quarter results from companies including drugmaker Pfizer and athletic apparel maker Under Armour disappointed Wall Street. Energy companies are declining as oil prices head lower. Health care companies are mostly higher as drugmaker AbbVie climbs after it announced a big stock buyback. Several overseas markets are closed for public holidays.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. construction spending dropped 1.7 percent in March, the biggest setback in 11 months, with weakness in a number of sectors including the biggest plunge in home building in nine years. The Commerce Department says that the March decline was the first monthly drop since last July and the biggest contraction since a 1.8 percent fall in April 2017. Spending on residential construction was down 3.5 percent, the worst showing since a 4.2 percent decline in April 2009.
NEW YORK (AP) – Mark Zuckerberg has a fresh opportunity to apologize for Facebook’s privacy scandal – and to sketch out Facebook’s future. The Facebook CEO today will kick off F8, the company’s annual conference for software developers. Zuckerberg will speak in San Jose, California, to assembled software developers and other tech folks. It’s normally a sympathetic audience. But they are likely to have some tough questions this year.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The maker of the Gibson guitar, omnipresent for decades on the American rock ‘n’ roll stage, is filing for bankruptcy protection after wrestling for years with debt. Gibson guitars have been esteemed by generations of guitar legends. After Chuck Berry died, his beloved cherry-red Gibson guitar was bolted to the inside of his coffin lid.
PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) – Hasbro is buying the Power Rangers and some other toy brands from Saban Properties in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $522 million. The announcement comes after Saban Brands picked Hasbro as the master toy licensee for the Power Ranger line in February. The approximately $22.3 million Hasbro paid toward the licensing agreement will be credited to the acquisition.