Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks mixed

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are mixed, following up on losses around the world as worries deepen about a virus outbreak in China.

The S&P 500 opened Tuesday with modest losses but nearly pared them all as the morning progressed. Gains for dividend-paying stocks and technology companies helped steady the U.S. market.

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Asian stocks dropped sharply, while European markets also stumbled on concerns that the new coronavirus spreading in the world’s second-largest economy could hurt tourism and ultimately economic growth and corporate profits.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury dropped to 1.77% as bond prices rose.  

TRUMP-DAVOS

Trump takes credit for ‘spectacular’ economic turnaround

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he’s led a “spectacular” turnaround of the U.S. economy and urged the world to invest in America, but had little to say about climate change issues that are a focus of this year’s gathering of top business and political leaders in the Swiss Alps. 

Trump addressed the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, hours before his historic impeachment trial was to reconvene in the U.S. Senate in Washington.

Trump’s lone reference to climate issues in his speech was when he announced the U.S. would join a World Economic Forum initiative to plant 1 trillion trees worldwide. Afterward, in an apparent reference to those who warn about climate change, Trump said the world must “reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse.”

TRUMP-DAVOS-REACTION

Economists react to Trump speech

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — American economist Kenneth Rogoff noted that President Donald Trump largely avoided sensitive topics like climate change in his speech at the World Economic Forum.

Rogoff said “he would have been booed if he said anything much about this and I think he was being very careful not to get booed.”

Rogoff also said some of Trump’s statements regarding the strength of the U.S. economy were true. He said, “It’s been a good 10 years and his 3 years probably better than expected.”

Separately, Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz slammed Trump for misrepresenting the economy and failing to tackle climate issues in his speech. Stiglitz said right after the speech that “the characterization of the economy is totally wrong.”

Stiglitz said: “He managed to say absolutely zero on climate change. Meanwhile we’re going to roast.”

Trump’s speech was met with almost total silence from the crowd, unlike his last speech in Davos in 2018, when he was met with occasional boos and laughter.

TRUMP-AUTO IMPORTS

Trump says he’ll consider tariffs on European auto imports

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — President Donald Trump says he’ll strongly consider imposing tariffs on European auto imports if the U.S. and European Union can’t strike a trade agreement.

But Trump said Tuesday as he met with Pakistan’s leader in Davos, Switzerland, that he expects to reach a deal with Europe. He met earlier with Ursula von der Leyen, the new president of the European Commission. Trump says they had a “very good talk.” He did not say if they discussed the U.S. auto tariff threat.

He adds that Europe knows they “have to do something” and that, if they’re fair “we’re not going to have a problem.”

The president commented after telling The Wall Street Journal in an interview Tuesday during the World Economic Forum in Davos that he’s serious about imposing tariffs in the absence of a trade agreement with the EU.

CHINA-GLOBALIZATION

Chinese official defends economic globalization

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng launched a staunch defense of economic globalization and said it would not follow the “protectionist and unilateral” leads of other countries.

Without naming any country in particular, Han said China “will open its doors still wider to the world,” including allowing more sectors to have companies wholly owned by foreign businesses.

Economic globalization, he told an audience at the World Economic Forum, is a “trend of history” and “a strong driving force behind economic growth across the globe.”

His pitch of positioning China as a champion of globalization echoed the one made at the WEF three years ago by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

FRANCE-STRIKES

French strikers use new pressure tactics

PARIS (AP) — French strikers are using other pressure tactics against government plans to overhaul the pension system.

On Tuesday, power grid workers cut electricity to thousands of Parisians. Power supplier Enedis said 35,000 of its customers were affected. The outage plunged homes into darkness and shut down trains to one of the French capital’s main airports. Power was cut for around two hours, just as families were starting their day.

A union leader described the outage as symbolic and called French households “collateral damage.”

French President Emmanuel Macron is trying to simplify the pension system and halt the special privileges that power company workers and some others get.

VAPING BAN-NEW JERSEY

Governor signs ban on flavored vaping products in New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has signed legislation prohibiting the sale of flavored vaping products.

Murphy signed the measure that moved to his desk amid a nationwide scare last year over mysterious illnesses linked to vaping. The ban will take effect in April.

Murphy and the bill’s sponsors say the flavors are meant to hook young people, who are using the products in increasing numbers.

The New Jersey measure would ban menthol but permit tobacco flavors. The measure also prohibits other flavors, like candy, desserts and fruit, among others.

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