Stocks slip…Economy slows in 1st quarter…Employment costs rise
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are slipping in early trading on Wall Street. Online retailer Amazon is surging to new highs following a strong first quarter, but weak results from Exxon Mobil are weighing on energy companies. Asian stocks climbed following the landmark summit of the leaders from North and South Korea.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy slowed to a moderate 2.3 percent annual growth rate in the first quarter as consumer spending turned in the weakest performance in nearly five years. Still, the report was better than expected. Economists had been forecasting a first-quarter slowdown. The Commerce Department says the gain in the gross domestic product followed a 2.9 percent rise in the fourth quarter and gains above 3 percent in the previous two quarters. It was the strongest nine-month stretch in a decade.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. private-sector workers received the biggest pay raise in 11 years in the first three months of the year, a sign that the tight job market is slowly lifting wages. The Labor Department says wages and salaries in the private sector rose 1 percent in the January-March quarter, compared with the previous quarter. That’s the biggest gain since the first quarter of 2007. The gain was boosted partly by healthy year-end commissions that are typically paid to sales workers at the beginning of the year.
DALLAS (AP) – Higher oil prices are credited with driving Exxon-Mobil’s first-quarter profit up by 16 percent to $4.65 billion. It was the oil giant’s best first quarter in three years, despite falling production. But the results fell slightly short of Wall Street expectations, sending shares lower in early trading on Wall Street.
NEW YORK (AP) – Facebook is adding a “sleep” mode to its Messenger Kids service to let parents limit when their kids can use it. The company says parents can now specify the times kids aren’t allowed on – either as a one-time restriction or something recurring, such as after 9 p.m. every school night. It’s the latest example of a tech company offering some concession to critics who say they should tread carefully – or not at all, when it comes to hawking their wares to kids.