Stocks edge higher…Jobless claims double to 6.6 million…Nissan issues a Takata recall
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are up modestly in early trading on Wall Street despite a report showing a record number of Americans lost their jobs last week due to the coronavirus outbreak. News from the Labor Department that more than 6.6 million people applied for unemployment benefits erased an early rally, but the major indexes are heading higher. The U.S. and other large economies are widely believed to have sunk into severe recessions as businesses shut down around the world. The price of crude oil jumped 8% to $22 a barrel, which helped push the battered energy sector higher.
WASHINGTON (AP) – More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, far exceeding a record high set just last week, a sign that layoffs are accelerating in the midst of the coronavirus. The job cuts are mounting against the backdrop of economies in the United States and abroad that have almost certainly sunk into a severe recession as businesses close across the world. Last week’s figure is much higher than the previous record of 3.3 million reported for the previous week. The surging layoffs have led many economists to envision as many as 20 million lost jobs by the end of April.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump wants to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure projects to create jobs and help the collapsing economy rebuild from the coronavirus’ stunning blows. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that seems about right. That sounds like the prelude to a bipartisan deal – except that when it comes to trying to upgrade the country’s road, rail, water and broadband systems, Washington frequently veers off the tracks. Usually the disputes are over its contents and how to pay for it. This time could be different. Party leaders are desperately trying to address the historic loss of jobs and avert the worst economic collapse since the Depression.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. business regulators are suing to break up the multibillion-dollar deal between tobacco giant Altria (AL’-tree-uh) and e-cigarette startup Juul (jool) Labs, saying their partnership amounted to an agreement not to compete in the U.S. vaping market. The action by the Federal Trade Commission is the latest legal headwind against Altria’s investment in the embattled vaping company. Juul sales have been sliding for months amid state and federal investigations, lawsuits and flavor restrictions aimed at curbing the recent explosion in teen vaping. Altria competed against Juul in the vaping market until 2018, when it discontinued its e-cigarettes and purchased a one-third stake in Juul.
DETROIT (AP) – Nissan is recalling more than a quarter-million SUVs, trucks and vans worldwide to replace potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators. The vehicles have air bags with volatile ammonium nitrate that can explode with too much force and hurl shrapnel. But they have a moisture-absorbing chemical that was supposed to make them safe. The Nissan recall covers certain 2012 to 2017 NV Cargo and Passenger vans, the 2013 to 2015 Titan pickup and Armada large SUV, and the 2011 and 2012 Infiniti QX56 SUV. Nissan will notify owners later this month and dealers will replace the front driver air bag inflator with one made by a different company.