European stocks higher…selling the infrastructure plan
BEIJING (AP) – European stock markets opened higher today while Asia declined as investors look ahead to U.S. jobs data for signs of inflation pressure. In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.3%, Frankfurt’s DAX added 0.6% and the CAC 40 in Paris advanced 0.3%. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.9% lower and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shed 0.8%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1% and the Kospi in Seoul retreated 0.5%. On Wall Street, S&P 500 futures are off less than 0.1% while Dow futures are up 0.2%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden will try to sell voters on the economic benefits of the $973 billion infrastructure package when he travels to Wisconsin today. Biden hopes the trip will boost the bipartisan agreement that is held together in large part by the promise of millions of new jobs. White House officials issued an internal memo that highlights how the largest investment in transportation, water systems and services in nearly a century would boost growth. The memo also emphasizes an analysis suggesting that 90% of the jobs generated by the spending could go to workers without college degrees, which is a key shift.
UNDATED (AP) – United Airlines is placing a huge order for new planes so it can replace aging ones and prepare for growth as the pandemic subsides. United says it will order 200 Boeing Max jets and 70 Airbus planes. The list price for all those planes is more than $30 billion, but airlines routinely get deep discounts – sometimes more than half. United isn’t saying how much it’s spending. The number of people flying in the United States has hit 2 million on several days recently. That’s still below 2019 figures, and international travel is much weaker.
MATERA, Italy (AP) – Group of 20 ministers are meeting in southern Italy to explore how to better cooperate with the pandemic providing painful lessons on how interconnected the world is. Italy’s foreign minister cited COVID-19 vaccines and climate change as two examples where it’s imperative that countries pull together. He opened the meeting on Monday in Matera that includes G-20 foreign ministers and development ministers. Most are participating in person at the one-day meeting of closed-door roundtables and bilateral talks like the U.S. secretary of state. Others ministers are joining remotely because of COVID-19 concerns including officials from China, Russia and Brazil.
TOKYO (AP) – Two Americans charged in Japan with helping Nissan’s former chairman, Carlos Ghosn (gohn), jump bail and escape Japan for Lebanon have apologized in a Tokyo court today. Michael Taylor told the Tokyo District Court that he was misinformed by Carole and Carlos Ghosn about “torture” under Japan’s criminal system. Taylor and his son Peter are charged with aiding a criminal. They were arrested in Massachusetts last year and extradited to Japan in March. Ghosn, who led Nissan for two decades, was arrested in November 2018. He says he is innocent. He fled to Lebanon in December 2019.