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Stocks plunge again...Trade deficit rises...Wholesale prices up slightly...Mortgage rates decline

May 9, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks are tumbling in morning trading on Wall Street as the hours tick toward a midnight deadline in the U.S.-China trade war. President Donald Trump threw global financial markets into turmoil with Sunday’s threat to raise import duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%. The worries about trade have halted what has been the hottest start to a year for U.S. stocks in decades, and the S&P 500 index is on pace for its worst week of 2019.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit increased slightly in March even though the deficit with China fell to the lowest point in five years. The Commerce Department says the total deficit in goods and services edged up 1.5% to $50 billion in March, after falling 3.6%in February. The deficit is the difference between what America sells to the rest of the world and what it imports. Exports rose 1% to $212 billion in March while imports rose a slightly faster 1.1% to $262 billion. The deficit in goods with China dropped 16.2% to $20.7 billion, the lowest level since March 2014.

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Labor Department says wholesale prices edged up 0.2% in April, driven higher by a big jump in energy costs. Energy prices jumped 1.8% following an even bigger 5.6% percent March gain. Gasoline prices were up 5.9%.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term mortgage rates are down for the second straight week, reversing the upward trend in April. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.10% from 4.14% last week. By contrast, a year ago the benchmark rate stood at 4.55%. The average rate for 15-year, fixed-rate home loans eased this week to 3.57% from 3.60% last week.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A confidential whistleblower’s complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission claims that Facebook is exaggerating its success in staying ahead of extremists by taking down their posts. The complaint says that the social media company is inadvertently making use of propaganda by militant groups to auto-generate videos and pages that could be used for networking by extremists.