Stocks gain…Facebook probe…Huawei due in court
SINGAPORE (AP) – World stocks were mostly higher on Thursday as traders awaited a vote that could delay Britain’s exit from the European Union, which is currently set for March 29. Futures point to opening gains on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $58.50 per barrel. The dollar strengthened against the yen and the euro.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The New York Times reports that federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into Facebook’s data deals with major electronics manufacturers. The newspaper says a grand jury in New York has subpoenaed information from at least two companies known for making smartphones and other devices, citing two unnamed people familiar with the request. It reports that both companies had data partnerships with Facebook that gave them access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of users.
NEW YORK (AP) – Lawyers for the Chinese electronics giant Huawei (HWAH’-way) are due in court in a U.S. case charging the company with violating Iran trade sanctions. The company is to be arraigned Thursday morning on an indictment filed in federal court in Brooklyn. Prosecutors have accused Huawei of using a Hong Kong front company to trade with Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. They allege the daughter of the company’s founder lied to banks about those dealings while serving as the company’s chief financial officer.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Boeing’s newest version of its best-selling airliner ever was supposed to boost its fortunes for years to come. Instead it has turned into the company’s biggest headache, with more than 40 countries – including the U.S., which had been one of the last holdouts – grounding the 737 Max 8 after a second fatal crash proved one too many. On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order keeping the planes on the tarmac following the crash of a Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines that left 157 people dead.
BEIJING (AP) – The downturn in China’s auto market worsened in January and February as an economic slowdown and a tariff fight with Washington chilled demand in the industry’s biggest global market. Sales of SUVs, minivans and sedans plunged 17.5 percent from a year earlier to 3.2 million SUVs, minivans and sedans in the first two months of 2019, according to an industry group, the China Association of Auto Manufacturers. Total vehicle sales, including trucks and buses, fell 15 percent to 3.8 million units.