Stocks head for steep September losses
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are broadly lower on Wall Street as the major indexes head for steep monthly losses. The S&P 500 was off 0.8% in afternoon trading and on track for a 4.4% loss in September. It would mark the first monthly loss since January and the worst for the benchmark index since March 2020. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.3% and the Nasdaq fell 0.2%. Banks and a mix of companies that provide consumer goods and services posted some of the biggest losses. Bond yields edged lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.51%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Congress has taken a big step toward avoiding a partial federal shutdown. The Senate today passed a bill to keep the government funded through Dec. 3, and the House is expected to soon follow suit. The votes will help avert one crisis, but efforts to stave off a second crisis seem likely to continue for the next couple of weeks as the two parties dig in on a dispute over how to raise the government’s borrowing cap. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says that if the debt limit isn’t raised by Oct. 18, the United State probably will face a financial crisis and economic recession.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says current high levels of inflation are likely to fade next year and won’t prevent the Fed from pushing toward its goal of full employment. In comments today before the House Financial Services Committee, Powell said he believes inflation will decline without the Fed having to raise rates. In periods of high unemployment, inflation is typically low and vice versa. But inflation has jumped above the Fed’s 2% target while the unemployment rate remains elevated, at 5.2%. Powell said current inflation is a function of supply side bottlenecks and he expects some relief in the first half of next year.
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (AP) – Production has begun at a new auto plant in northern Alabama. Work on the first 2022 Corolla Cross vehicles began with the press of a button at the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, a joint venture between Mazda Motor Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. In 2018, the Japanese automakers selected Huntsville, Alabama, for the mammoth facility that will eventually have the capability to produce up to 300,000 vehicles per year, split evenly between Mazda and Toyota. The joint venture says it’s in the middle of hiring another 1,700 workers and anticipates reaching up to 4,000 employees once production is in full operation next year.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Ford’s blockbuster announcement this week that it will build four vast new factories in Kentucky and Tennessee by 2025 and hire nearly 11,000 workers raised a big unanswered question: Just how good will those jobs be? No one – not Ford, not the United Auto Workers union, not the future job holders themselves – yet knows how much the workers will be paid or whether they will vote for union membership. The new factories, to be built by 2025, are collectively intended to build batteries for electric vehicles as well as to assemble many such vehicles.