Business Highlights

February 5, 2018


Dow plunges 1,175 points in worst day for stocks since 2011

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market ended a wild day with its biggest drop in six and a half years as the Dow Jones industrial average briefly plunged nearly 1,600 points. The index ended down 1,175, its biggest point drop of all time and its worst percentage decline since August 2011. A market rout that began Friday because of worries over inflation and higher interest rates deepened, erasing the gains the market accumulated in the first few weeks of the year.


US economy still fundamentally strong despite falling stocks

WASHINGTON (AP) — A wave of fear about inflation and higher interest rates has sent stock prices tumbling and raised concerns about corporate profits. Yet the rush of anxiety has obscured a fundamental fact about the U.S. economy: It’s healthy. Nearly nine year into the expansion that followed the Great Recession, the job market is strong. So is the housing market. Consumer confidence is solid, and manufacturing has made a comeback. And households and businesses are spending freely.


Powell sworn in as new Fed chair amid stock market sell-off

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jerome Powell was sworn in Monday as the 16th chairman of the Federal Reserve on what turned out to be a turbulent day for Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged by more than 1,100 points. Powell pledged in a video message that he and his colleagues would remain “vigilant” to any emerging economic risks.


Google spinoff and Uber trade jabs in court

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google’s self-driving car spin-off and ride-hailing service Uber opened a trial over an alleged high-tech heist with dueling arguments depicting each other as conniving companies willing to go to expensive extremes to gain a competitive advantage. Lawyers for Google-bred Waymo likened Uber to Rosie Ruiz, one of the most notorious cheaters in sports history, as they set out to prove accusations that the ride-hailing service tried to catch up in the race to build self-driving cars by using technology stolen by Anthony Levandowski, a former star engineer.


Ram truck ad using MLK speech draws backlash

NEW YORK (AP) — Some critics say a Ram truck ad that uses a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. crosses the line. The ad shows people doing community service projects and urges people to be “great” by serving the greater good. Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University, says the ad’s use of King to promote Ram trucks “strikes many people as crass and inappropriate.” Professor Kelly O’Keefe of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Brandcenter says, “They pushed it over the edge.”


Lululemon’s CEO resigns over issue of conduct

NEW YORK (AP) — Lululemon Athletica Inc. says Laurent Potdevin has resigned as CEO and from the board, effective immediately, saying he fell short of standards of conduct. The Vancouver-based company didn’t give specific details but said it expects all employees to exemplify the “highest level of integrity and respect for one another.” It said it was starting a search for a new CEO.


SpaceX bucks launch tradition in 1st flight of new rocket

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX is bucking decades of launch tradition for the first test flight of its new megarocket. The Falcon Heavy is set to blast off Tuesday afternoon from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. But forget about your usual launch-debut ballast. The Heavy rocket will be hauling up a red sports convertible with a space-suited dummy at the wheel and David Bowie’s Space Oddity on the soundtrack. It’s the inspiration of Elon Musk, the high-tech maverick who heads SpaceX and electric car maker Tesla.


Broadcom raises Qualcomm bid to more than $121 billion

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Broadcom is boosting its takeover offer for chipmaker Qualcomm to more than $121 billion in cash and stock in what would be the largest tech deal ever. Broadcom said Monday that it has made its ‘best and final offer.’


The Dow Jones industrial average finished down 1,175.21 points, or 4.6 percent, at 24,345.75. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index skidded 113.19 points, or 4.1 percent, to 2,648.94. The Nasdaq composite fell 273.42 points, or 3.8 percent, to 6,967.53. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks sank 56.18 points, or 3.6 percent, for 1,491.09.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell $1.30, or 2 percent, to $64.15 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, lost 96 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $67.62 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 3 cents to $1.85 a gallon. Heating oil shed 3 cents to $2.02 a gallon. Natural gas sank 10 cents to $2.75 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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