Stocks extend rally…Trade deficit falls…GM churns out profit in 2019 despite strike, slumping sales
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are extending their Wall Street rally into a third day as investors assess the latest batch of solid corporate earnings reports and set aside fears about economic fallout from the virus outbreak that originated in China. Chipmakers, including Intel, are making broad gains. Health care companies are also climbing. Versace parent Capri Holdings and CoverGirl owner Coty rose after reporting solid earnings. Crude oil prices jumped 3.9% and lifted energy stocks.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. trade deficit fell for the first time in six years in 2019 as President Donald Trump hammered China with import taxes. The Commerce Department says the gap between what the United States sells and what it buys abroad fell 1.7% last year to $616.8 billion. U.S. exports fell 0.1% to $2.5 trillion. But imports fell more, slipping 0.4% to $3.1 trillion. Imports of crude oil plunged 19.3% to $126.6 billion. The deficit in the trade of goods with China narrowed last year by 17.6% to $345.6 billion.
WASHINGTON (AP) – A private survey finds that U.S. companies added 291,000 jobs in January. That’s a big increase from December, but much of that strength likely reflected unusually warm weather during the month. Payroll processor ADP says the January job gain compares to a revised December figure of 193,000. The Labor Department releases its January jobs report on Friday.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. services companies grew at a slightly faster pace in January than the previous month. The Institute for Supply Management says its service-sector index edged up to 55.5 from 55 in December. Any reading above 50 signals an expansion. The index covers retail, health care, hotels and restaurants, and professional services, among other sectors. Services companies added jobs at a slower pace last month than in December, while sales increased.
DETROIT (AP) – General Motors made money last year despite a 40-day strike by factory workers and slumping sales in the U.S. and China. The company posted a $6.58 billion profit for the year, which is down almost 17% from 2018. It lost $232 million, or 16 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, largely because of the strike by the United Auto Workers union. The company still made $8.2 billion in North America for the full year, so about 44,000 U.S. factory workers will get $8,000 profit-sharing checks this month.