US stocks edging higher … Weekly jobless claims drop … General Mills recalls some Gold Medal Flour
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are edging higher in early trading today as investors react to the latest fourth-quarter earnings reports from corporate America. American Airlines is rallying after it beat analysts’ expectations, while spice maker McCormick is sinking. Technology companies are climbing. At 10:37 a.m. Eastern Time, the S&P 500 was up 4 points, to 2,642. The Dow was up 9 points, to 24,582. And the Nasdaq was up 36 points to 7,061.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of people seeking jobless benefits dropped last week to the lowest level since November 1969, a sign the job market remains strong despite the partial government shutdown, now in its fifth week. The Labor Department says that weekly applications for unemployment aid declined 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 199,000. The four-week average, a less volatile figure, dropped 5,500 to 215,000.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – The European Central Bank has kept its key interest rates and future policy views unchanged despite the worries about Brexit and trade wars stalking the eurozone and global economy. The bank’s 25-member governing council didn’t touch the wording of its brief policy statement promising rates will stay at record lows at least through the summer.
PARIS (AP) – The board of French carmaker Renault has chosen new leadership to replace industry veteran Carlos Ghosn (gohn). It has named Jean-Dominique Senard as chairman and Renault executive Thierry Bollore as CEO. Ghosn, who previously held both posts, resigned after weeks of detention in Japan, where he is fighting charges including breach of trust.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – General Mills is voluntarily recalling some bags of its Gold Medal Unbleached Flour because of salmonella concerns. The 5-pound (2.26 kilograms) bags have a “better if used by” date of April 20, 2020 and the UPC code 000-16000-19610-0. The company says it discovered salmonella during sampling of the product, but it has not received “any direct consumer reports of confirmed illnesses.”