Markets rally … Crude rises … Nestle profit falls
HONG KONG (AP) – World shares rallied today, mirroring Wall Street’s advance as investors’ worries over inflation receded, although trading was thin in Asia, where some markets closed for Lunar New Year holidays. Wall Street was poised to open higher as Dow futures added 0.8 percent to 25,051.00 and broader S&P 500 futures advanced 0.6 percent to 2,713.60.
NEW YORK (AP) – Oil futures extended gains. U.S. benchmark crude rose 40 cents to $61.00 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.41, or 2.4 percent, to settle at $60.60 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude gained 22 cents to $64.58 a barrel in London. The dollar weakened to a 15-month low of 106.38 yen from 106.94 yen in late trading Wednesday.
GENEVA (AP) – Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle says it does not plan to increase its stake in the L’Oreal cosmetics empire, despite now having the legal option to do so, and is exploring options for its Gerber Life Insurance business. The announcement came as Nestle reported that net profit fell nearly 16 percent to 7.18 billion Swiss francs ($7.7 billion) last year, compared with 8.53 billion in 2016.
PARIS (AP) – Shares in European plane maker Airbus flew higher today after the company reported improved earnings and was more upbeat about the future following problems to several of its key aircraft programs. The company said that it surged to a net profit of 1 billion euros ($1.25 billion) in the fourth quarter, from a loss of 816 million euros a year earlier.
NEW YORK (AP) – McDonald’s will soon banish cheeseburgers and chocolate milk from its Happy Meal menu in an effort to cut down on the calories, sodium, saturated fat and sugar that kids consume at its restaurants. Diners can still ask specifically for cheeseburgers or chocolate milk with the kid’s meal, but the fast-food company said that not listing them will reduce how often they’re ordered.