Mixed trading…Ford revamp…Partial payment
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Global stock markets were mixed Friday as investors remained cautious about U.S. plans to raise tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. Uncertainty over White House politics also cast a shadow. Futures point to a lukewarm tart on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude OIL inched ahead but remained below $61.50 per barrel. The dollar dipped against the yeh and the euro.
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) – Ford, with a sagging U.S. market share and one of the oldest vehicle lineups in the industry, is promising to revamp three-quarters of its models in the next two years. Much of the emphasis will be on refreshing or revamping the entire lineup of SUVs while adding gas-electric hybrid powertrains, two new off-road SUVs and two new trucks. It’s all part of the larger plan to prepare the company for the future by cutting costs, increasing the number of common parts and feeding a long-starved product lineup.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Department of Education has begun notifying some former Corinthian Colleges students that it will forgive only one-half or less of their federal student loans, even though the students were defrauded by the now-defunct schools, the Associated Press has learned. The action is part of the Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ push to ease regulations governing for-profit schools. Critics say that the Trump administration has deep ties to for-profit colleges and is putting industry interests ahead of students.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Southeast Asian leaders started gathering Friday for their first summit in Australia as the regional neighbors look for closer economic and security links and the host prime minister warned against trade protectionism. The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, rarely meet outside their 10 member nations and the weekend summit in Sydney has caught the attention of protesters angered by human rights abuses in Southeast Asia. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been criticized for welcoming some of the leaders, including Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
NEW YORK (AP) – IHeartMedia, one of the world’s largest radio companies, is seeking bankruptcy protection as part of an agreement with its lenders to reduce debt it took on to become a privately held company. The company formerly known as Clear Channel Communications said Thursday that it will operate its businesses as usual while it restructures its finances under Chapter 11 protection to reduce debt by more than $10 billion. The reason for iHeartMedia’s financial problems is primarily its massive debt.