US stocks lower …Chinese exports to US sank last month … Volkswagen expanding Tennessee factory
NEW YORK (AP) – Stock markets around the world are down today after China reported a drop in exports in December. At 10:56 a.m. Eastern Time, the S&P 500 index fell 13 points, to 2,5834. The Dow was down 106 points, at 23,889. The Nasdaq composite retreated 48 points, to 6,923. At 10:10 a.m. Eastern Time, the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks shed 6 points, to 1,441.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s 2018 trade surplus with the United States surged to a record $323.3 billion but exports contracted in December as the delayed impact of President Donald Trump’s tariff hikes started to depress demand. Global exports shrank 4.5 percent in December, reflecting weak consumer demand. The slowdown adds to pressure on Beijing to resolve its dispute with Trump over Chinese technology ambitions.
UNDATED (AP) – German automaker Volkswagen says its factory in Tennessee will be the focus of an $800 million investment in its manufacturing of electric vehicles in North America. Volkswagen says it will expand its plant in Chattanooga and create 1,000 jobs there as the factory gears up for electric vehicle production beginning in 2022. Volkswagen said last week it posted an annual sales record in 2018.
DETROIT (AP) – Hyundai has scored two out of three wins in the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards, as the Detroit auto show’s press previews officially get under way. The Hyundai Genesis G70 and Hyundai Kona have taken the car and utility awards, respectively. The Genesis competed against the Honda Insight and Volvo S60/V60, and the Kona bested the Acura RDX and Jaguar I-Pace. Truck honors went to the Ram 1500, which beat out the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra.
LONDON (AP) – British Prime Minister Theresa May is offering both a promise on workers’ rights and a reassuring letter from European Union leaders as she implores British lawmakers to support her floundering Brexit deal. A vote in Parliament Tuesday is likely to see the British leader’s Brexit deal rejected. A defeat would throw her Brexit plans into disarray just weeks before the U.K. is due to leave the bloc on March 29.