Price of oil slumps ... US deficit expands to $116.8 billion ... Ford to import Focus small car from China
NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil slumped to its lowest level of the year today and helped to restrain U.S. stock indexes, which set records a day earlier. At 10:26 a.m. Eastern Time, the S&P 500 dipped 7 points to 2,447. The Dow lost 15 points, at 21,514. And the Nasdaq was down 11 points at 6,228. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks fell 4, to 1,414. The price of benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.09, to $43.33 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, fell $1.21 to $45.70 per barrel.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. deficit in the broadest measure of trade rose to the highest level in a year during the first quarter. The Commerce Department says the deficit in the U.S. current account rose to $116.8 billion in the January-March period, up 2.4 percent from $114 billion in the last three months of 2016. The deficit was the largest since a $119.2 billion gap a year earlier.
NEW YORK (AP) — Apple is seeking to void some of Qualcomm’s patent claims and licensing agreements, intensifying its legal battle with the chip maker over the technology in iPhones and iPads. In a federal court filing today, Apple cites a Supreme Court ruling last month that a printer-cartridge maker’s patent rights end with the initial sale of the cartridges. Apple says that ruling strengthens its argument that Qualcomm cannot continue to demand royalties for the patents after selling its cellular chips.
DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. will export vehicles from China to the U.S. for the first time starting in 2019. Ford will move production of its Ford Focus small car from the U.S. to China, where it already makes the Focus for Chinese buyers. Ford’s president of global operations Joe Hinrichs says the move will save Ford $1 billion, including $500 million from canceling a new plant in Mexico that was intended to build the Focus.
NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is testing a new service for Prime members that allows them to try on the latest styles before they buy at no upfront charge. Customers have seven days to decide what they like and only pay for what they keep. Shipments arrive in a re-sealable box with a pre-paid label for returns. Amazon says that more than a million pieces of clothing and accessories are eligible and include brands like Calvin Klein and Levi’s. Shoppers receive discounts depending on how much they keep.