Stocks slip…Producer prices rise…Powell urges Congress to tackle budget deficits
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are slipping in morning trading on Wall Street. Investors have turned more cautious as talks between the U.S. and China on a trade deal appear to hit some snags. China is pressing Washington to roll back tariffs as part of potential deal that the nations are currently negotiating. Investors hope that both nations can come to some sort of an agreement to avert new and potentially more damaging tariffs that are scheduled to take effect next month.
WASHINGTON (AP) – A surge in energy costs helped push producer prices up 0.4% in October, the biggest jump in six months. The Labor Department says the October increase in its producer price index, which measures price pressures before they reach consumers, followed a 0.3% decrease in September. Core prices, which exclude volatile food and energy costs, rose 0.3% in October. Over the past year, wholesale prices are up a modest 1.1% while core prices have risen 1.6%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is asking Congress to tackle the growing budget deficit, which is nearing $1 trillion. Powell told the House Budget Committee today that a large deficit will make it harder for Congress to cut taxes or boost spending when the next recession hits. That is a concern because with the Fed’s benchmark interest rate already low, the Fed also has a limited ability to respond to downturns.
UNDATED (AP) – Walmart is raising its profit expectations with online sales surging 41% the third quarter. The world’s biggest retailer reported particularly strong sales in the grocery aisle, where competition is growing increasingly fierce. The company on Thursday posted net income of $3.29 billion, or $1.15 per share, easily topping Wall Street projections. Sales at stores opened at least a year rose 3.2%, marking the 21st straight quarter of increases.
DALLAS (AP) – The president of the union representing Southwest Airlines pilots is expressing concern that Boeing may be rushing the 737 Max back into service. Jon Weaks says Southwest should consider buying planes from another company. He made the comments in a memo to members of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, which is suing Boeing over money that pilots have lost because of the grounding of the Max. Southwest has taken Max jets out of its schedule until early March.