Dow down slightly … Denver teachers walk out … PG&E to reshape board in aftermath of wildfires
NEW YORK (AP) – The Dow is down slightly as Wall Street looks ahead to key trade talks between the U.S. and China this week. At 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time, the Dow was down 33 points, to 25,073. The S&P 500 was up 1 point, to 2,709 and the Nasdaq was up 12 points, to 7,311. Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.66 percent.
DENVER (AP) – Denver teachers went on strike today after failing to reach a deal with administrators on pay. The school district says schools will remain open during the strike and will be staffed by administrators and substitute teachers. However, the district has canceled classes for 5,000 preschool children. The main sticking points in the talks over a contract are lowering bonuses to put more money in teachers’ base pay and how to allow teachers to advance in pay based on education and training, the norm in most school districts.
UNDATED (AP) – Half of the board at PG&E is unlikely to stand for re-election at the besieged utility company that is reeling in the aftermath of last year’s deadly California wildfires. The company says it understands the need to “re-earn trust and credibility” with customers and regulators. PG&E says that it foresees 11 independent directors on its board by the time of its 2019 annual shareholders meeting on May 21. It doesn’t expect more than five of the current directors to seek another term.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuela’s currency controls have made exchanging money a stressful ordeal for years. But as President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government runs out of hard currency amid mounting international pressure and economic punishments, it has begun encouraging Venezuelans to sell their greenbacks to the official financial system by offering a better exchange rate than the black market.
LONDON (AP) – Official figures show that Britain’s economy slowed last year to its weakest growth rate since the global financial crisis as mounting uncertainty over Brexit weighed on businesses and kept a lid on their investments. The Office for National Statistics says the British economy grew by a quarterly rate of only 0.2 percent during the fourth quarter, down from the 0.6 percent tick recorded in the previous three-month period. Output actually fell in the month of December, by 0.4 percent from November, though monthly data are known to be volatile.