Stocks edge higher…Retail sales slip…Ford recall expands
NEW YORK (AP) – Stock indexes are moving between small gains and losses in morning trading on Wall Street. Banks were coming under pressure as bond yields fell sharply. Lower yields mean lower interest rates on loans, which makes lending less profitable. Macy’s climbed 1.4% after turning in results that beat forecasts.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. retail sales slipped last month, as Americans cut back their spending on clothes, appliances, and building materials. The Commerce Department said that sales dropped 0.2% in April, after a big 1.7% jump in March. Sales also fell in February after rising in January. The figures suggest that despite steady hiring and decent wage gains, Americans remain cautious in their spending.
DETROIT (AP) – Ford is adding 270,000 vehicles to a recall in North America to fix a gearshift problem that could cause them to roll away unexpectedly. The addition covers certain 2013 through 2016 Fusion midsize cars with 2.5-liter engines. The company is urging drivers to always use the parking brake until repairs are made. Ford says a bushing that attaches the shifter cable to the transmission can degrade, causing the cable to detach.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. regulators are proposing new tools to counter the unrelenting waves of robocalls received each year in America. The rising volume of calls in the last few years has created pressure on Congress, regulators and phone companies to act. The FCC said it will vote in June on whether to allow carriers to block spam calls by default. Right now, customers can only request tools or download apps to help them weed out unwanted calls.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s ruling Communist Party is taking a newly aggressive approach in how it portrays the worsening trade dispute with the United States – projecting stability and stirring up nationalistic sentiment in the process. The harder line comes after days of muted official responses and shows a new willingness to allow a shift in domestic public opinion where the trade war is concerned.