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Update on the latest in business:

April 2, 2019


Stocks are mixed

NEW YORK (AP) — Consumer products and energy companies were pulling broad market indexes mostly lower on Wall Street in midday trading. The slide threatened to end a three-day rally.

Walgreens Boots Alliance plunged after slashing its forecast for full-year results and turning in quarterly profits that fell far short of what analysts were expecting. Competitor CVS Health gave up 2.7%.

Dow Inc. rose in its first day of trading after being spun off from chemical maker DowDuPont.

Bond prices rose, sending yields lower.

Airlines were broadly higher after Delta raised its profit forecast for the current quarter. While, several big technology companies also rose. Facebook climbed 2.7 percent.


Lyft is blowing a gasket in its 1st week as a public company

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares in the ride-hailing company Lyft, the hottest new public stock offering in years, are falling sharply for a second consecutive day.

The stock surged in its initial day of trading Friday, but they’ve been hammered this week.

Before the opening bell, shares were down another 5% after falling 12% Monday.

That plunge put the stock below the public offering price of $72.

The ride-hailing company has consistently lost money, raising doubts about its overall valuation. Even so, investors have been wowed by the company’s growth in the past two years and some have bet big on its potential.


US durable goods orders fall 1.6% in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods fell 1.6% in February, the biggest drop in four months, reflecting a plunge in the volatile commercial aircraft category. Demand in a key sector used to track business investment decisions also declined in February.

The Commerce Department said that the February decline came after a small 0.1% rise January and was the weakest showing since a 4.3% fall in October. Orders in a category that serves as a proxy for business investment plans edged down 0.1% in February after a 0.9% advance in January.

The manufacturing sector has been strained for the past few months, reflecting a global economic slowdown and rising trade tensions which have hurt U.S. exports. But there have been more hopeful signs recently.


IMF managing director says economy at ‘delicate moment’

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the International Monetary Fund says the global economy is at a “delicate moment” with a hoped-for rebound in growth later this year being threatened by a variety of factors from such as rising trade tensions.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde says the IMF does not expect a recession in its updated forecast to be released next week as long as policy missteps are avoided. She said one encouraging development was the move by the Federal Reserve to put interest rates on hold this year.

Lagarde says that “nobody wins a trade war.” She said new IMF research shows that an increase in tariffs of 25 percentage points on all goods traded between the United States and China would reduce U.S. growth by 0.6 percentage points.


Scam ads promoting fake tax breaks prosper on Facebook

UNDATED (AP) — Hundreds of ads running on Facebook for over a year promised U.S. homeowners that governors in their state had just signed off on big tax breaks for installing solar energy panels on their roofs.

But the tax incentives were simply made up.

The scam ads used photos of some U.S. governors and sometimes President Donald Trump to claim that with new, lucrative tax incentives, people might actually make money when they add solar technology to their home. Facebook users only needed to enter contact information to find out more.

Governors’ offices confirmed the offers aren’t real.

Experts say these kinds of ads show how easily misinformation festers online and raises questions about if big tech companies such as Facebook are really capable of policing their own ads.


Report: Wynn executives hid misconduct allegations for years

BOSTON (AP) — A report by Massachusetts casino regulators has found that Wynn Resorts executives concealed for years allegations of sexual misconduct against company founder Steve Wynn.

The report by the state Gaming Commission’s investigative team doesn’t make a recommendation to regulators but, concludes saying the five-member panel should evaluate the company’s recent reforms in the context of the report’s findings.

The report was released Tuesday as the commission opened a series of hearings on whether Wynn officials knowingly hid information about the allegations, which Steve Wynn has denied, when it sought a casino license in 2013. The hearings have implications for Encore Boston Harbor, the $2.6 billion Boston-area resort the company plans to open in June.

Wynn Resorts didn’t dispute the facts of the nearly 200-page report and said it represents a “complete review.”


Pittsburgh approves gun control bills; lawsuits expected

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh City Council has given final approval to gun restrictions proposed after last year’s synagogue massacre.

The legislation places restrictions on military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle that authorities say was used in the Oct. 27 rampage at the Tree of Life Synagogue that killed 11 and wounded seven.

It also bans most uses of armor-piercing ammunition and high-capacity magazines, and allows the temporary seizure of guns from people who are determined to be a danger to themselves or others.

The council approved the measures 6-3. They now head to the Democratic Mayor for his expected signature.

Pennsylvania state law forbids municipalities from regulating guns, and pro-gun advocates say they’ll sue to block the laws from taking effect.


Ford would reconsider UK investments if no deal on Brexit

HALFWEG, Netherlands (AP) — Ford warned that it will reconsider its investments in Britain if the country cannot work out a deal to leave the European Union that guarantees smooth trading with the bloc.

Ford of Europe Chairman Steven Armstrong warned of the potentially disastrous effects of a no-deal Brexit, in which the country leaves without a deal on future trade relations.

Armstrong said the company already is spending tens of millions of dollars preparing for the possible effects of a no-deal Brexit, which could clog ports and slow deliveries of components and cars between continental Europe and the U.K.

The warning came the day after British lawmakers voted down a series of alternatives to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the EU. The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said the possibility of Britain leaving the bloc without a deal is becoming “more likely” by the day. Britain is due to leave in 10 days.


Ford hopes revamped Escape can recapture lost SUV buyers

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is hoping to regain a dominant position in the compact SUV segment when it rolls out a revamped version of the Escape this fall.

Just six years ago, the Escape was the second-biggest player in the fastest-growing part of the U.S. market, with more than 16% of all compact SUV sales. But by last year the outdated SUV had dropped to No. 5 after losing 10 percentage points of market share. It hasn’t been revamped since 2012, for the 2013 model year.

The new Ford looks sleeker and weighs 200 pounds less than the current version. Ford is offering four engine-transmission combinations, including two turbocharged four-cylinder engines, as well as plug-in and gas-electric hybrids. It also has sliding second-row seats for more legroom.


Germany says emissions dropped in 2018 amid warm weather

BERLIN (AP) — The German government says greenhouse gas emissions in Europe’s biggest economy fell 4.2% in 2018, the first major decrease in four years, thanks in large part to warm weather.

Estimates published Tuesday by the Environment Ministry show Germany released the equivalent of 868.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide last year. That’s 38 million tons less than 2017.

Germany’s Environment Minister acknowledged that Germany benefited from last year’s warm and sunny weather , which increased production of renewable energy and reduced the need for heating fuel.

Environmentalists claimed the figures highlight the German government’s failure to make a real dent in emissions in recent years saying Germans simply heated their homes less.

One measure that will help reduce Germany’s emissions is a plan to phase out the burning of coal for electricity by 2038.

Germany’s transport minister and the country’s powerful auto industry have resisted proposals to introduce speed limits on all highways or raise taxes for drivers to help cut vehicle emissions, which currently account for almost a fifth of overall emissions.