Stocks rise…Consumer prices up modestly…Ford cuts back F-150 production after fire
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are higher in early trading on Wall Street, extending yesterday’s solid gains. Technology and health care companies are rising more than the rest of the market. Telecom company CenturyLink soared 9 percent after reporting earnings that were much higher than analysts were expecting. Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.96 percent.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Consumer prices were up a modest 0.2 percent in April, lifted by higher gas costs. The Labor Department says the consumer price index increased 2.5 percent from a year earlier, the biggest annual gain in 14 months. Yet excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices ticked up just 0.1 percent in April and 2.1 percent from a year earlier. Slower growth in core prices could make it less likely that the Federal Reserve will accelerate its interest rates increases.
DETROIT (AP) – A plant fire is forcing Ford to cut back on production of its F-150 pickup, the top-selling vehicle in America. The company has suspended F-150 and Super Duty production in Kansas City, Missouri; Dearborn, Michigan; and Louisville, Kentucky. A May 2 fire severely damaged a plant in Michigan that makes part of the trucks’ front structure that holds up the radiator. About 7,600 workers are on temporary layoff. Ford says it has an 84-day supply of trucks at U.S. dealerships.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Top U.S. tech executives and researchers are planning to press the Trump administration to invest in artificial intelligence and craft policies they hope will strengthen the economy without displacing jobs. Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft are among dozens of tech firms attending a White House event today on “Artificial Intelligence for American Industry.” Top universities are also pitching for investment in basic research.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Environmental Protection Agency is promising quick action on new restrictions for a widely sold solvent used for paint stripping. The announcement comes two days after EPA administrator Scott Pruitt met with families of men who died after using products with the compound methylene chloride. The Obama administration in its last days proposed banning most consumer sales of methylene chloride. Lawmakers last month accused Pruitt of putting the rule on hold.