Stocks flirt with record…Deficit surges…UAW’s largest local approves GM deal…Lion Air probe
NEW YORK (AP) – The S&P 500 has touched a record today, with solid corporate profits and gains by technology companies driving the market higher. Chipmaker Intel jumped after reporting a standout quarter, lifting the tech sector. Communications stocks also made solid gains. Banks rose as bond yields moved higher. Consumer product makers, utilities and real estate companies have been lagging.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal deficit for the 2019 budget year has surged to $984.4 billion, its highest point in seven years. The government is reporting a 26% increase over the 2018 deficit of $779 billion. The surge reflects such factors as revenue lost from the 2017 tax cut and a budget deal that added billions in spending for military and domestic programs.
DETROIT (AP) – Striking workers at the General Motors factory with the most employees have approved a new contract with the company, all but assuring the deal will be ratified and a 40-day strike will end. Production workers at GM’s SUV plant in Arlington, Texas, voted 78% in favor, while skilled trades voted 60% for the contract. National vote totals are expected later today.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – An Indonesian investigation has found a Lion Air flight that crashed and killed 189 people a year ago was doomed by a combination of aircraft design flaws, inadequate training and maintenance problems. A report released Friday said Lion Air flight 610, from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta to the island of Sumatra, crashed partly because the pilots weren’t told how to quickly respond to malfunctions of the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet’s automated flight-control system. Boeing vows “to prevent the flight control conditions that occurred in the accident from ever happening again.”
WASHINGTON (AP) – A federal judge has held Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in contempt of court for violating an order to stop collecting loans from thousands of former for-profit college students. U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim previously ordered DeVos to stop collecting federal loans from former Corinthian Colleges students who applied for loan forgiveness after the chain shut down in 2015 amid allegations of fraud.