NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street today as technology stocks fall for a second straight day. Microsoft fell 1.6% while PayPal dropped 3.5%. Consumer-focused stocks also fell. Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.65%. That gave a boost to banks, as higher yields allow them to earn more from lending. JPMorgan rose 1.3%. At 10:43 a.m. Eastern time, the S&P 500 was down 16 points, at 2,962. The Dow was down 83 points, at 26,752. And the Nasdaq was down 49 points to 8,039.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Income for the median U.S. household last year finally matched its previous peak set in 1999 after growing at the slowest annual pace since 2014. Government figures show that after more than a decade of economic growth — the longest expansion on record — Americans are earning no more than they did two decades ago once inflation is taken into account. The Census Bureau says that median household income rose 0.9% in 2018 to an inflation-adjusted $63,179 from $62,626 in 2017.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Trump administration officials are going before Congress today to defend their plan for ending government control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The giant mortgage finance companies nearly collapsed in the financial crisis 11 years ago and were bailed out at a cost to taxpayers of $187 billion. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO’-shin) and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson are testifying before the Senate Banking Committee on the plan for returning Fannie and Freddie to private ownership.
PARIS (AP) — France’s main business federation says Britain’s Oct. 31 departure from the European Union shouldn’t be delayed again unless there’s a major shift in negotiations, warning that “a Brexit without end” would be economically damaging. The MEDEF federation is advising that all French businesses should continue to prepare for a so-called “hard” Brexit, without a deal to cushion expected jolts to European economies and firms. MEDEF says it’s “seriously concerned by this situation and its harmful consequences for all European citizens and companies.”
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target is hiring more than 130,000 people ahead of the critical holiday season, up 8% from last year. The retailer is doubling to 8,000 the number hires dedicated to handling online orders. While the jobs are described as seasonal, Target says that 40% of the 120,000 people hired last year stayed with the Minneapolis company after the holidays.