Stocks tumble…Tourism companies hit hard…Fed feeling satisfied
NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stocks are tumbling following a sell-off in markets in Europe and Japan after China announced a sharp rise in cases of a new virus that threatens to crimp global economic growth. The major U.S. indexes gave up a significant amount of their gains for January and bond yields moved lower as investors headed for safer holdings. Gold prices rose.
NEW YORK (AP) – Airlines, resorts and other companies that rely on travel and tourism have seen steep losses today. Resort operators were among the biggest losers in the S&P 500. Wynn Resorts fell 6.9% and Las Vegas Sands shed 6%. Those companies get the majority of their revenue from the Chinese gambling haven of Macao. MGM Resorts fell 3%. American Airlines fell 5.2% and Delta dropped 3.8% as part of a broad slide for airlines because of concerns international travel will decline amid the virus’ spread.
UNDATED (AP) – The travel sector around the globe is taking a heavy hit as tens of millions of Chinese are ordered to stay put and others avoid travel as a new virus spreads. Tourism from China was already weakening before the virus forced much of the country into a standstill. In Asia it is one of the biggest holiday seasons, the Lunar New Year. In Thailand, a favorite tropical destination for the period, officials estimate potential lost revenue at $1.6 billion. In Asia and much farther away, hotels, airlines, cruise operators and others who depend on big spending Chinese tourists are ruing their absence.
WASHINGTON (AP) – For the first time in years, Federal Reserve officials will hold their latest policy meeting this week feeling broadly satisfied with where interest rates are and with seemingly no inclination to change them anytime soon. Chairman Jerome Powell has expressed a sense of gratification with Fed policy, thanks in large part to a steady if unspectacular economy driven by a robust job market. The unemployment rate is at a 50-year low, and growth remains solid if modest. On Wednesday, economists expect the Fed will keep its benchmark short-term rate in a range of 1.5% to 1.75%, a historically low level.
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) – A former financial planner who was ordered to pay millions of dollars in damages to customers he allegedly tricked into high-risk investments is testifying at his criminal fraud trial in Pennsylvania. Anthony Diaz took the witness stand at the federal courthouse in Scranton on Monday. He blamed some of his woes on sloppy paperwork and incompetent or underhanded brokerage companies. Diaz was kicked out of the securities industry in 2015 over persistent customer complaints and rules infractions. He’s battling an 11-count indictment alleging wire and mail fraud.