Wall Street higher…US construction spending dips 0.2% in December…Mall owners among group bidding $81 million for Forever 21
NEW YORK (AP) – Technology companies have led U.S. stocks higher in early trading today as global markets mostly calmed down following a sharp sell-off last week over worries about the spreading virus outbreak in China. At 10:38 a.m. Eastern Time, the S&P 500 was up 40 points, at 3,265. The Dow was up 348 points, to 28,604. And the Nasdaq was up 144 points, to 9,295.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Spending on U.S. construction projects edged down a slight 0.2% in December, closing out a year when total construction registered its first annual decline in eight years. The Commerce Department says the December decline was the first monthly drop since a 0.9% fall in June. For the year, construction spending fell 0.3%. The December decline reflected weakness in nonresidential construction.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. factories expanded unexpectedly last month, snapping a five-month losing streak. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, says its manufacturing index rose to 50.9 in January, from 47.8 in December. Anything above 50 signals expansion. The index had showed U.S. manufacturing contracting from August through December, partly because President Donald Trump’s trade war with China had raised costs and uncertainty. Economists had expected another bad month in January.
UNDATED (AP) – A consortium of buyers, including mall owners Simon Property Group, Brookfield Property Partners, are bidding $81 million for Forever 21, which filed for bankruptcy protection in September. Simon and Brookfield are Forever 21’s biggest landlords. The other bidder is Authentic Brands Group, which has acquired the licensing rights to other troubled retailers like Barneys New York.
LONDON (AP) – Europe’s busiest airline, Ryanair, says the grounding of the new Boeing Max jets will delay its growth targets. The budget carrier, which is based in Ireland and carries more passengers than any other airline in Europe, plans to extend by a year or two its target of flying 200 million people per year. It now expects to make that target in 2025 or the year after. The 737 Max was grounded worldwide in March, after two crashes within five months killed 346 people in Indonesia and Ethiopia.