Stocks fall…Economy grows at moderate pace…GM announces electric Hummer
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are falling in morning trading on Wall Street amid heightened fears that the global economy could take a hit from the deadly virus that is spreading from China. Communications and health care companies are leading the losses. Industrial companies are also broadly lower. UPS skidded after the package delivery company gave investors a disappointing profit forecast. Most technology companies also fell, though solid earnings from Microsoft, Service Now and Lam Research helped the sector make modest gains.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy grew at a moderate 2.1% rate in the final three months of 2019, capping a year when growth slowed significantly due to a weaker global economy and trade war uncertainties. The Commerce Department said the fourth-quarter increase in the gross domestic product, the economy’s total output of goods and services, matched the 2.1% gain of the third quarter. For the whole year, GDP increased 2.3%, the weakest performance in three years. Economists look for even slower growth in 2020 of around 1.8%.
UNDATED (AP) – The company that makes Marlboro cigarettes will take a $4.1 billion hit from its investment in Juul. Altria acquired a 35% stake in the e-cigarette company at the end of 2018 at a cost of almost $13 billion. The Richmond, Virginia, company is citing a burgeoning number of legal cases that it expects to grow. Since October, the company said the number of legal cases against Juul have spiked 80%. Juul has been hit by new federal and state investigations into its marketing amid an explosion of underage vaping among teenagers.
DETROIT (AP) – The Hummer, once a gas-guzzling target for environmentalists, is making a comeback – as an electric vehicle. General Motors announced today that it will start selling a battery-powered Hummer pickup truck in September of 2021. At least part of the new Hummer will be shown in a 30-second television ad featuring basketball star LeBron James during the second quarter of Sunday’s Super Bowl . GM gave only a few details about the truck, which will be unveiled officially on May 20. GM says it will have a huge battery to generate the equivalent of 1,000 horsepower and go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds.
BALTIMORE (AP) – A new product from a famous Baltimore-based seasoning company made a sizzling debut when it sold out within an hour of being released. The Old Bay website temporarily crashed after eager buyers flooded the site yesterday to buy its new hot sauce. The Virginian-Pilot reported that customers who snagged some of the sauce began reselling it online almost immediately, charging anywhere from $50 to $200. A 10 oz bottle has a suggested retail price of $3.49. The company says the hot sauce will be restocked soon online, and it will be on sale over the next month at area grocery stores for a limited time.