NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks are higher in midday trading on Wall Street as General Motors and other big-name companies report solid earnings. GM rose after its profits came in far better than analysts were expecting. The gains came a day after markets were spooked by comments from Fed Chairman Powell indicating the Fed was not embarking on a long cycle of lower interest rates.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell below 2% for the first time since July 3.
GM earnings rise 1% as buyers pay more for popular pickups
DETROIT (AP) _ General Motors says higher prices for popular pickup trucks and SUVs helped overcome slowing global sales and its profit rose by 1% in the second quarter. The Detroit automaker says it made $2.42 billion, or $1.66 per share. Adjusting for restructuring costs, GM made $1.64 per share, blowing by analyst estimates of $1.44.
While quarterly revenue fell 2% to $36.06 billion, GM still beat analysts’ forecasts.
The U.S. is GM’s most profitable market and according to the Edmunds.com auto pricing site, customers paid an average of $41,461 for a GM vehicle during the quarter, an increase of 2.2%, as buyers went for loaded-out pickups and SUVs.
Meanwhile, GM’s global sales fell by 6% led by declines in North America, the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The company says sales in China were weak, and it expects that to continue throughout the year.
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Spending on U.S. construction projects fell 1.3% in June, the largest drop in seven months.
The weakness was widespread. Housing construction decreased 0.5 percent, reflecting continued troubles in homebuilding. Nonresidential construction fell for a third straight month, down 0.3 percent, with declines in such sectors as hospitals, schools and transportation.
Government spending was down 3.7%, the biggest decline since a 6% drop in March 2002. Spending in the largest category of state and local governments, fell 4.1% while federal outlays rose 2.6%.
The overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, slowed to growth at an annual rate of 2.1% in the second quarter, down from a 3.1% rate in the first three months of the year.
US manufacturing growth slows again in July
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory activity expanded at a slower rate in July, as measures of production and employment fell. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, says its manufacturing index slipped to 51.2 last month from 51.7 in June. Any reading above 50 signals an expansion.
Although it was the 35th straight month of growth in manufacturing, it was the fourth month in a row that the pace of growth slowed. Trade fights with China, Europe and Mexico and a stronger dollar have hurt U.S. exports and put American manufacturers on edge.
Respondents to the ISM survey are still expressing concern about tariffs despite an otherwise strong economic environment.
Long-term mortgage rates flat to higher; 30-year at 3.75%
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Long-term mortgage rates were flat to slightly higher this week, hovering around three-year lows after the Federal Reserve’s cut in its benchmark interest rate for the first time in a decade. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the key 30-year mortgage was unchanged from last week at 3.75%. The average rate for 15-year, fixed-rate home loans ticked up to 3.20% from 3.18% last week.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.01% from 2.06% late Tuesday, a sharp drop that likely will be reflected in long-term mortgage rates in the immediate future.
Beyond Meat tumbles after secondary offer is priced
NEW YORK (AP) _ Shares of Beyond Meat tumbled before the opening bell after it opened a secondary stock offering at more than six times the price of its initial public offering just three months ago. In that time, shares rose 619%.
Shares slid nearly 9% before the opening bell Thursday. Still, shares which cost $25 in May now go for about $175 each.
On Monday, Beyond Meat Inc. reported quarterly losses of $9.4 million, but its revenue of more than $67 million blew past expectations and it raised its outlook for the year.
Bank of England says Brexit uncertainties ‘more entrenched’
LONDON (AP) _ The Bank of England has warned that the probability that the British economy slips into recession early next year is rising even if the country manages to negotiate a smooth and orderly exit from the European Union in the weeks ahead.
With Brexit uncertainties becoming “more entrenched” and the global backdrop deteriorating because of heightened trade tensions, the bank said there is now a one-in-three chance that Britain could end up in recession in 2020 even if a no-deal Brexit is avoided.
The Bank of England’s nine monetary policymakers unanimously decided to keep the bank’s main interest rate on hold at 0.75% today.
Nissan to fix suspensions on about 200K Altima midsize car
DETROIT (AP) _ Nissan will do a “service campaign” to fix nearly 200,000 Altima midsize cars because a suspension part can come loose from the frame due to corrosion. The campaign falls short of a recall, but the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is continuing an investigation into the problem that covers more than 2 million cars.
The campaign includes 2013 Altimas in 22 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., as well as 2013 and 2014 Altimas in Canada.
Owners will be notified in the fall to bring their vehicles in to have a rear lower control arm replaced.
NINJA LEAVES TWITCH
Gaming megastar Ninja leaves Twitch for Microsoft’s Mixer
UNDATED (AP) _ Fortnite superstar Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is leaving Twitch and taking his video game live streams to Microsoft’s Mixer platform, a stunning transition that could have wide-ranging consequences for the rapidly growing industry. Blevins announced his move Thursday, ending a hugely profitable partnership with Twitch, a live streaming giant owned by Amazon.
Blevins has earned millions broadcasting himself playing Fortnite and other video games on Twitch and YouTube. He has over 14 million followers on Twitch, and the platform has hosted many of his pioneering esports moments, including a Fortnite event in March 2018 featuring rappers Drake and Travis Scott and football player JuJu Smith-Schuster that propelled the game into a full-blown cultural phenomenon.
Blevins will host his first Mixer live stream Friday from Lollapalooza, a four-day music festival in Chicago.
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos divvy up Amazon stake after divorce
NEW YORK (AP) _ Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos have completed their divorce and are divvying up their stake in Amazon, leaving both with a piece of the online shopping giant worth billions.
In government filings late Wednesday, Amazon disclosed that Jeff Bezos’ stake in the company was cut to about 12%, from 16% after completing his divorce and selling nearly $2 billion worth of stock. His current stake is worth nearly $110 billion. He remains the company’s largest shareholder.
MacKenzie Bezos now has a 4% stake in Amazon worth more than $37 billion. She announced in May that she planned to give away at least half her fortune to charity.