Global stocks down…the store samples are back
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets are down today after the Federal Reserve talked about possibly reducing U.S. economic stimulus. In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London lost 1.4% while the DAX in Frankfurt shed 1.4%. The CAC 40 in Paris lost 1.9%. In Asia, the Nikkei in Tokyo closed 0.9% lower. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 2.9%. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 index was off 1%.
BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union has fined four major German car manufacturers $1 billion because they colluded to limit the development and rollout of car emission control systems. The European Commission says that Daimler, BMW, VW, Audi and Porsche avoided competing on technology to restrict pollution from gasoline and diesel passenger cars. Daimler wasn’t fined after it revealed the cartel to the EU Commission.
NEW YORK (AP) – A California lawyer who publicly sparred with then-President Donald Trump before criminal fraud charges disrupted his rapid ascent to fame faces sentencing today after a jury concluded he tried to extort millions of dollars from Nike. Michael Avenatti is scheduled to be sentenced in Manhattan federal court. Avenatti appeared regularly on cable news programs in 2018 at the height of his representation of porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against Trump.
NEW YORK (AP) – Free store samples are starting to come back in the U.S. With vaccinations rolling out and the threat of COVID-19 easing in he U.S., stores are feeling confident enough to revive the longstanding tradition of offering free samples. The NPD Group says food sampling converts browsers into buyers at a 20% higher rate than if customers weren’t allowed to test. The conversion rate is 30% higher when beauty products are sampled.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – California Gov. Gavin Newsom says the state’s $1.1 billion plan to clean trash and graffiti from highways, roads and other public spaces will create as many as 11,000 jobs. Newsom says at-risk youth and people who were formerly homeless or formerly incarcerated will be given priority for the jobs created by the three-year program. The cleanup comes amid growing frustration with homeless encampments that have sprouted under highway overpasses and near freeway exit and entry ramps in recent years. Many are crammed with discarded sofas, mattresses and other trash.