Global shares mostly higher … National debt passes milestone … US, China envoys hold last talks before March 1 deadline
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares were mostly higher today as investors pinned their hopes on a possible resolution of the bruising trade war between the U.S. and China. Shares rose in early European trading, tracking gains on Wall Street and in Asia. France’s CAC 40 edged up nearly 0.3 percent, while Germany’s DAX was 0.4 percent higher. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up nearly 0.5 percent. U.S. shares are set to drift higher with Dow futures adding 0.3 percent and S&P 500 futures also gaining 0.3 percent.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The national debt has passed a new milestone, topping $22 trillion for the first time. The Treasury Department’s statement on Tuesday showed that total outstanding public debt stands at $22.01 trillion. It stood at $19.95 trillion when President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017. The debt figure has been rising at a faster pace following passage of Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut in December 2017 and action by Congress last year.
BEIJING (AP) – U.S. and Chinese trade envoys meet this week for their last negotiations before President Donald Trump decides whether to go ahead with a March 2 tariff hike on $200 billion of imports from China. Businesspeople and economists say two days of talks starting Thursday are too little time to resolve a tariff war over Beijing’s technology ambitions. Instead, they say China’s goal this week is to persuade Trump to push back his deadline.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Top executives of T-Mobile and Sprint are taking the case for their 26.5 billion merger to Congress. They argue that joining their companies won’t hurt competition or jack up prices for wireless service. But the companies could face skepticism at today’s hearing.
DETROIT (AP) – The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says borrowers are behind in their auto loan payments in numbers not seen since delinquencies peaked at the end of 2010, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. But economists and auto industry analysts say they aren’t sounding an alarm yet. The number is higher largely because there are far more auto loans out there as sales grew since the financial crisis, peaking at 17.5 million in 2016.