Stocks gain…Apartment construction gains, but single-family starts are down…Higher minimum wage in Mexico
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are climbing in early trading, putting at least a temporary halt to the steep market losses that circled the globe in prior days. Asian markets sank sharply earlier in the day, but European markets were mixed. The price of crude oil continued its sharp slide, and investors are waiting to hear from the Federal Reserve, which begins a two-day meeting on interest rates. Most economists expect it to raise short-term rates by another quarter of a percentage point, but investors hope that it will signal a slower pace of increases ahead.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. developers broke ground on more homes last month, but the increase occurred entirely in apartments. The construction of new single-family houses fell. The Commerce Department says housing starts rose 3.2 percent in November from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate 1.26 million. That is 3.6 percent below a year ago. Single-family starts dropped 4.6 percent in November and are down 13.1 percent from a year earlier.
MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico’s new government is increasing minimum wages across the country by 16 percent and doubling the minimum wage in a narrow stretch of territory along the border with the United States. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says the minimum wage had lost 70 percent of its purchasing power over the last three decades following devaluations and economic crises. The minimum is currently equivalent to $4.40 per day, and will rise to $5.10 in January.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk is set to unveil an underground transportation tunnel that could move people faster than subways. Musk plans to unveil the test tunnel today, as well as the autonomous cars that will carry people through it. He’s also set to show off elevators he says will bring users’ own cars from the surface to the tunnel. Tuesday’s reveal comes almost two years to the day since Musk announced on Twitter that “traffic is driving me nuts” and he was “going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging.”
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Nuro and grocery chain Kroger are teaming up to bring unmanned delivery service to customers. The companies say Nuro’s unmanned vehicle, the R1, will be added to a fleet of autonomous Prius vehicles that have run self-driving grocery delivery service in Scottsdale, Arizona with vehicle operators since August. The R1 can travel on public roads and has no driver or passengers. It only transports goods.