Stocks mostly higher…Boeing drags Dow lower…Retail sales post slight gain
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are broadly higher on Wall Street, although a sharp drop in Boeing is pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average lower. Boeing fell 12 percent after the second deadly crash in six months involving one of its new 737 Max planes. Otherwise, stocks were off to upbeat start following the worst week since January for the S&P 500. Stocks were helped by a U.S. government report on retail sales.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Retail sales rose slightly in January after a sharp drop in December, reflecting caution taken by consumers amid a government shutdown and volatile stock market. The Commerce Department said Monday that retail sales increased just 0.2 percent, after a sharp fall of 1.6 percent in December, the biggest drop in 9 years. The economy has stumbled after healthy growth last summer and fall. Weaker economies overseas, the U.S.-China trade fight, and the 35-day government shutdown dented consumer and business confidence. Economists believe growth could fall below a 1 percent annual rate in the first three months of this year.
DETROIT (AP) – Tesla is walking back its plan to close most of its showrooms worldwide. The company said today that it’s still shifting to online sales, but it won’t close as many stores as originally thought. Tesla announced last month that it would shutter most of its stores to cut costs so it could make money on the $35,000 Model 3 electric car.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Levi Strauss plans to raise up to $587 million in an initial public offering of company shares. The San Francisco company says it’s offering approximately 9.5 million shares, while selling stockholders are offering about 27.2 million shares. The stock is expected to be priced between $14 and $16 each.
LONDON (AP) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that the European Union’s executive Commission has made an “important offer” to Britain to unblock an impasse over the U.K.’s withdrawal agreement. British lawmakers’ opposition to the deal centers on concerns over arrangements for the Irish border. May’s government has been seeking changes, but the EU refuses to reopen the agreement after long negotiations.