Stocks lower…Sears Chapter 11…Brexit optimism
TOKYO (AP) – Global stocks slipped Monday as investor worries continued about global trade tensions and prospects for economic growth. Futures point to a lower opening on Wall Street. U.S. benchmark crude oil rose above $71.50 a barrel. The dollar slipped against the yen and gained against the euro.
NEW YORK (AP) – Sears has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, buckling under its massive debt load and staggering losses. Sears once dominated the American retail landscape. But the big question is whether the shrunken version of itself can be viable or will it be forced to go out of business, closing the final chapter for an iconic name that originated more than a century ago.
LUXEMBOURG (AP) – European Union and British foreign ministers expressed cautious optimism Monday that a deal on Britain’s departure from the bloc will be found soon but virtually ruled out any Brexit agreement at a crunch summit this week. Talks between the two sides on Sunday failed to bridge important gaps, notably on how to keep goods flowing freely between EU member state Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is in the U.K., after Britain officially leaves on March 29.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – Japan’s foreign minister raised concerns Monday about the high levels of debt accrued by some Pacific Island nations and said his country wants to help resolve the problem. Foreign Minister Taro Kono made the comments while visiting New Zealand, where he met with his counterpart Winston Peters. Some observers have become alarmed at the growth in Chinese lending in the Pacific and worry that small countries such as Tonga and Vanuatu are becoming beholden to China because of their high debt levels.
NEW YORK (AP) – Defense contractors Harris Corp. and L3 Technologies are combining to form one of the world’s largest defense companies. The new company, L3 Harris Technologies Inc., will have annual sales of around $16 billion this year. That would make it the sixth-largest U.S. defense contractor and one of the top 10 globally. The company will employ 48,000 people and will have headquarters in Melbourne, Florida, where Harris is currently based. L3 is based in New York.