Wall Street jumping … Consumer spending up 0.3 percent in September … IBM acquires Red Hat
NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stocks are jumping this morning as the market rapidly changes course once again. At 10:46 a.m. Eastern Time, the S&P 500 climbed 35 points, to 2,694. The Dow was up 246 points to 24,935. And the Nasdaq was up 82 points, to 7,250. Stocks have plunged since early October and trading has been especially volatile the last few days. The S&P 500 stage a big rally Thursday, and then gave up virtually all of those gains Friday before climbing today. The S&P 500 is down 7.6 percent this month.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumer spending rose in September by a solid, inflation-adjusted 0.3 percent, led by increased spending on health care services and motor vehicles. The Commerce Department also says that the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation returned to the central bank’s 2 annual percent target after having been slightly elevated in prior months. In addition, personal incomes rose 0.2 percent in September – the smallest gain since June 2017. Roughly half of that increase was wiped out by inflation.
NEW YORK (AP) – Shares of Red Hat skyrocketed at the opening bell today after IBM, in the biggest acquisition of its 100-year history, acquired the software company for $34 billion in stock. Chairman and CEO Virginia Rometty says the hybrid cloud – when companies use a mix of on-site, private and third-party public cloud services – is an emerging $1 trillion opportunity that the companies want to be prepared for. IBM’s stock slipped more than 1 percent today.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s yuan has sunk to a 10-year low against the dollar, coming close to breaking the politically sensitive level of seven to the U.S. currency. The yuan declined to 6.9644 per dollar at midday today – its lowest level since May 2008 – before recovering slightly. The currency’s weakness is one of a series of elements fueling Washington’s trade complaints against Beijing. Chinese authorities have promised to avoid “competitive devaluation” to help exporters.
MEXICO CITY (AP) – Voters in Mexico have rejected completion of partly built new airport for Mexico City, opposing it by a 70 to 29 percent margin. It’s unclear if the unofficial referendum backed by Mexico’s president-elect will effectively end the $13 billion project, which is already about one-third built. The organizers of the referendum reported late Sunday that just over 1 million people participated in the referendum. That’s about one out of every 90 registered Mexican voters.