Stocks stabilize…Survey: US companies add 202,000 jobs…Macy’s closing 30 stores…More Takata recalls
NEW YORK (AP) – Financial markets have stabilized in early trading on Wall Street after overnight declines following Iran’s missile attack on U.S. bases in Iraq. Stock indexes moved modestly higher as traders grew more optimistic with both sides appearing to tone down their rhetoric. Banks and technology companies are leading the gains. Oil prices fell as traders became less worried about supply disruptions from the Middle East. That sent energy companies broadly lower. Bond prices rose, sending the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note down slightly.
BALTIMORE (AP) – U.S. companies added 202,000 jobs in December, led by robust hiring in construction, trade, transportation and utilities, according to a private survey. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that the bulk of the hiring was among smaller and mid-sized businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Hiring in November was also revised upward to 124,000, a sign that the job market was stronger than past surveys initially suggested.
NEW YORK (AP) – Macy’s is closing nearly 30 stores in coming weeks, though the company reported some improvement in comparable-stores sales during the crucial holiday shopping season. Macy’s sales at stores opened at least a year fell 0.6% during the November and December period, which was not as bad as most industry analysts had anticipated. Shares rose more than 2% in early trading Wednesday. áStrong online sales boosted results. Like other department stores, Macy’s is struggling to adapt to a shift online by customers, and also intense competition from off-price discounters like TJ Maxx.
DETROIT (AP) – Takata is recalling 10 million more front air bag inflators sold to 14 different automakers because they can explode with too much force and hurl shrapnel. The recall is the last one the bankrupt company agreed to in a 2015 settlement with U.S. safety regulators. It could bring to a close the largest series of recalls in U.S. history. The 10 million inflators are part of the approximately 70 million in the US that Takata was to recall as part of the agreement with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Vehicles made by Audi, BMW, Honda, Daimler Vans, Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen are affected. Automakers will determine what models are involved and launch their own recalls.
BEIRUT (AP) – Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn (gohn) has described his arrest in Japan, from which he fled last month in a daring escape, as a plot against him. He told a news conference on Wednesday that his detention conditions were a “travesty” against human rights. It was the first time Ghosn was speaking in person with journalists since his arrest in Japan in November 2018. Ghosn’s daring escape has perplexed and embarrassed Japanese authorities after he skipped bail and managed to flee the country despite surveillance. He said that the decision to flee was the most difficult of his life.