Stocks rise…Consumers increase spending…Boeing’s Starliner goes off course…Ford recalls 600,000 cars
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are pushing higher again in morning trading on Wall Street, and the S&P 500 is on track to close out its 10th winning week in the last 11. The S&P 500 is on pace for its best week in more than three months. Trading could be bumpy, though, with contracts set to expire for futures and options on indexes and stocks in what’s known as a “quadruple witching day.”
WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans increased their spending in November at the fastest pace in four months, while income growth rebounded to the strongest gain since August. The Commerce Department said Friday that consumer spending rose 0.4% last month, led by a big jump in spending on durable goods such as autos. Incomes rose 0.5% in November after a weak 0.1% reading in October, reflecting a surge in hiring last month that saw 266,000 jobs added. Economists are counting on consumer spending to remain solid in the final three months of the year to support continued moderate economic growth. They are forecasting growth of around 2% in the current quarter.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – Boeing’s new Starliner space capsule went off course after today’s launch and won’t dock with the International Space Station during its first test flight. It was supposed to be a crucial dress rehearsal for next year’s inaugural launch with astronauts. The blastoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, went flawlessly as the Atlas V rocket lifted off with the capsule. But a half-hour into the flight, Boeing reported that the capsule didn’t get into the right orbit to reach the space station. The capsule is still in space and will be brought back to Earth, landing in New Mexico as early as Sunday.
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) – Ford is recalling more than 600,000 midsize sedans in the U.S. to fix a problem with the brakes that can increase stopping distance and possibly cause a crash. The recall covers certain 2006 through 2010 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ cars. Ford says a valve inside the hydraulic brake control unit can stick open, resulting in extended brake pedal travel. The company says there have been 15 reports of crashes related to the problem. Two people were hurt. Dealers will inspect the control unit for signs of a stuck valve and replace it if necessary. They’ll also flush the system and replace the brake fluid and reservoir cap. Owners will be notified starting the week of Jan 13.
PARIS (AP) – France’s competition authority has fined Google $166 million for “abusing its dominant position” in the online ad market. The agency announced the fine today, saying the methods used by Google Ads are “opaque and difficult to understand.” It also ordered Google to clarify how it uses Google Ads and its procedures for suspending accounts. It’s the latest of several European fines against Google, which faces very little competition for search engine business in Europe. Google said in a statement that it would appeal, and that its advertising policies are designed to protect consumers “from exploitative and abusive ads.”