World markets fall ahead … Study: Cold weather cuts electric car range … Gucci? Blackface?
SINGAPORE (AP) – World stocks were mostly lower today ahead of the European Commission’s economic forecasts. In early trading, Germany’s DAX was down 0.5 percent, Frances CAC 40 shed 0.2 percent and Britain’s FTSE edged 0.1 percent higher. In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.6 percent on concerns over U.S.-China relations. Wall Street is set to open lower, with Dow futures down 0.1 percent and S&P futures down 0.2 percent.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York are calling for a Green New Deal intended to transform the U.S. economy to combat climate change and create jobs in renewable energy. The freshman lawmaker and veteran Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts are teaming up on the plan, which Republicans are likely to oppose. A joint resolution expected to be introduced today sets a goal to meet all power demand in the U.S. through clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources by 2030.
DETROIT (AP) – A new study suggests that cold temperatures can sap electric car batteries, temporarily reducing their range by more than 40 percent when interior heaters are used. The study of five electric vehicles by AAA also finds that high temperatures can cut into battery range, but not nearly as much as the cold. Many owners discovered the range limitations last week when much of the country was in the grips of a polar vortex.
ATLANTA (AP) – Southern regional banks BB&T and SunTrust are combining in an all-stock deal valued at about $66 billion. The banks say the combined company will be the sixth-largest U.S. bank based on assets and deposits. It will have approximately $442 billion in assets, $301 billion in loans and $324 billion in deposits serving more than 10 million households. The combined company will be based in Charlotte, North Carolina, its board and management evenly split between BB&T Corp. and SunTrust Banks Inc.
ROME (AP) – Gucci is apologizing for a wool sweater that resembles a “blackface” and says the item had been pulled from its online and physical stores. In a statement posted on Twitter on Wednesday, Gucci said it is committed to diversity and considers it a “fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected and at the forefront of every decision we make.” The turtleneck black wool balaclava sweater covers the nose and includes a red cut-out for the mouth. It was ridiculed on social media as insensitive and racist.