AP NEWS
Click to copy
Click to copy
Related topics

Update on the latest in business:

May 21, 2019

^FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stocks mixed after Wall Street fall on Huawei anxiety

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks were mixed today after anxiety over U.S. restrictions on sales to Chinese tech giant Huawei pulled Wall Street lower.

Benchmarks in Shanghai, Seoul and Sydney advanced, while Tokyo and Hong Kong declined.

Yesterday on Wall Street, chipmakers led the way lower as traders weighed the implications of the sales controls on Huawei, a major customer.

The S&P 500 index lost 0.7% to 2,840.23 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3% to 25,679.90. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite slid 1.5% to 7,702.38.

Apple Inc. skidded after an analyst warned the iPhone maker’s growth prospects could dim as Washington and Beijing spar over trade.

^FEDERAL RESERVE-POWELL

Powell says he sees ‘moderate’ risk from corporate debt

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says a sharp rise in corporate debt is being closely monitored but currently the Fed does not see the types of threats that triggered the 2008 financial crisis.

In remarks prepared for a banking conference in Fernandina Beach, Florida, Powell says views about risker corporate debt — known as leveraged lending — range from “this is a rerun of the subprime mortgage crisis” to “nothing to worry about here.” Powell said his view lies somewhere in the middle. He said the risks currently are “moderate.”

His comments followed a Fed report earlier this month which showed that riskier corporate debt had grown by 20% in 2018 to $1.1 trillion, prompting the attention of regulators.

^TRUMP-FINANCIAL RECORDS

Judge rules against Trump in records dispute with Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A federal judge in Washington has ruled against President Donald Trump in a financial records dispute with Congress.

Judge Amit Mehta’s ruling says Trump cannot block the House subpoena of financial records.

The decision comes amid a widespread effort by the White House and the president’s lawyers to refuse to cooperate with congressional requests for information and records.

Trump and his business organization had sued to block the subpoena issued in April to Mazars USA, an accountant for the president and Trump Organization.

Mehta, a U.S. District judge, was nominated to his position by President Barack Obama.

^CHINA-TRADE WASHINGTON STATE FALLOUT

Tariffs have complicated fallout in trade-heavy Washington

SEATTLE (AP) — President Donald Trump’s trade war with China is having some complicated effects in Washington, one of the nation’s most trade-dependent states.

Washington’s overseas shipments of apples, dairy, seafood, wheat and soy have plummeted. China has hinted it might order fewer Boeing planes, which make up a huge part of the state’s exports. Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s trade adviser says some companies appreciate Trump’s efforts but that most have had to absorb higher costs.

Washington state exported more than $70 billion in goods last year, which accounted for 5% of American goods exported overall and 14% of U.S. goods exported to China.

An analysis by earlier this year estimated that the Trump administration’s tariffs, and retaliatory tariffs imposed by countries including China, Mexico and Canada, had already displaced 1,500 jobs in Washington.

^AIRLINES-SUMMER TRAVEL

Airline group predicts another record for summer travel

UNDATED (AP) _ The airline industry’s U.S. trade group is predicting another record for summer travel.

Airlines for America forecast that 257.4 million people will fly on U.S. carriers between June 1 and Aug. 31.

That’s a 3.4% increase over last summer, and it works out to about 2.8 million travelers a day.

The trade group says airlines are adding 111,000 seats per day, more than the predicted 93,000 increase in daily passengers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average inflation-adjusted price for a domestic ticket has dropped for four straight years to the lowest level since the agency began tracking the fare prices in 1995. But those numbers don’t include all the extra fees that airlines now charge.

^FORD-JOB CUTS

Massive job cuts include 2,300 in the US

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Company says about 2,300 of the 7,000 planned job cuts will be in the United States. Ford says those U.S. jobs will be cut through buyouts and layoffs. About 1,500 have left voluntarily or with buyouts, while another 300 have already been laid off. About 500 workers will be let go starting this week, largely in and around the company’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, just outside Detroit. All will get severance packages.

The layoffs are coming across a broad swath of the company including engineering, product development, marketing, information technology, logistics, finance and other areas. But Ford also says it’s hiring in some critical areas including those developing software and dealing with self-driving and electric vehicles.

In a memo to employees, Monday, CEO Jim Hackett said the fourth and final wave of the restructuring will start on Tuesday, with the majority of U.S. cuts being finished by May 24.

^PIPELINE PROTESTS-TAXES

Texas advances bill to stiffen penalties for pipeline damage

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A bill that would stiffen penalties for those who damage or trespass around oil and gas operations is advancing through the Texas Legislature.

Republicans say the measure that passed the Texas Senate on Monday would not limit legal protests but would deter people from damaging any property deemed critical infrastructure.

Republican Rep. Chris Paddie’s bill would classify pipelines as critical infrastructure, putting them in the same category as power plants and water treatment facilities. It would protect any property deemed critical infrastructure.

The amended bill would still subject those who trespass and damage the facility to a third degree felony with up to 10 years in prison. But people impairing or interrupting operations would face a misdemeanor with a fine up to $10,000 and potentially up to one year in jail.

^DRESSBARN-SHUTTING DOWN

Women’s clothing chain Dressbarn to close all its 650 stores

NEW YORK (AP) — Dressbarn, the women’s clothing chain that’s been around for nearly 60 years, is closing all 650 of its stores.

The company’s chief financial officer, Steven Taylor, said Dressbarn has not been operating at an “acceptable level of profitability in today’s retail environment.”

Its owner, Ascena Retail Group Inc., says it wants to focus on its more profitable brands. Ascena also owns Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant and other clothing stores.

The company did not say when Dressbarn will shut all its stores. Dressbarn employs about 6,800 people.

After the news was announced Monday, shares of Ascena Retail Group Inc. rose 2.6% to $1.17 in extended trading. Shares of the Mahwah, New Jersey-based company are down more than 50% so far this year.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.