US stocks down … US homes sales plummet in December … Arconic no longer exploring a sale
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks across the world slipped today as investors again grow concerned about signs the global economy is weakening. The International Monetary Fund trimmed its economic forecasts for 2019 and 2020 and pointed to risks including trade tensions and rising interest rates. At 10:40 a.m. Eastern Time, the S&P 500 lost 23 points, to 2,648. The Dow was down 155 points, to 24,556. And the Nasdaq dropped 72 points, to 7,085.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home sales cratered in December, causing price growth to slip to the lowest level in more than six years as the housing sector ended 2018 on a decidedly weak note. The National Association of Realtors says that sales of existing homes plunged 6.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.99 million last month, the worst pace in almost three years. For all of 2018, sales of existing homes fell 3.1 percent from a year ago to 5.34 million units, the weakest total since 2015.
NEW YORK (AP) – Shares of Arconic are sliding at the opening bell after the aluminum maker said it’s no longer exploring a sale. The company formerly known as Alcoa had considered a sale over the past year, but said today that it didn’t receive any offers it thought was in its best interests. The maker of aluminum parts for the aviation and automotive industries was created after Alcoa split into two companies in 2016.
NEW YORK (AP) – An activist shareholder says eBay would be better off without StubHub or its classified ads businesses. Elliott Management, which owns more than 4 percent of its stock, says in a letter to eBay that if it focused on its online marketplace, it could push its share price, which had been trading for around $30, to $55 or even more than $63 by the end of next year. In early trading today, shares of eBay Inc. jumped 9 percent.
DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) – Research shows that the U.S. government would stand to benefit from retraining the vast majority of the 1.4 million Americans expected to lose their jobs to technology over the next decade. A study by the World Economic Forum finds that businesses could only profitably retrain 25 percent of workers replaced by robots and other forms of automation. Success means putting the workers in jobs that require skills similar to those they already have and that can pay more than the jobs they lost.