Business Briefs – July 22, 2018

Stocks Slip, Dollar Drops as Traders Shrug Off Trade Talk

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stocks inched lower Friday as bond yields jumped, a shift that helped banks but hurt companies that pay big dividends. The dollar fell after President Donald Trump said China is manipulating its currency. Companies including Microsoft and Honeywell rose as investors were pleased with their quarterly reports, but General Electric stumbled. Stocks wobbled all week as investors reacted to solid company results as well as heightened trade tensions. The S&P 500 index was virtually flat for the week while the Russell 2000 index, which is made up of smaller companies do more business inside the U.S., rose 0.6 percent.

The S&P 500 index dipped 2.66 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,801.83. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 6.38 points to 25,058.12. The Nasdaq composite gave up 5.10 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,820.20. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 4.50 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,696.81.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 1.4 percent to $70.46 a barrel in New York and Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 0.7 percent to $73.07 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 1.2 percent to $2.07 a gallon. Heating oil edged up 0.7 percent to $2.10 a gallon. Natural gas lost 0.4 percent to $2.76 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Trump Heightens China Tariff Threat With No Deal in Sight

WASHINGTON (AP) – With President Donald Trump intensifying his rift with U.S. trading partners, economists are growing more doubtful that any deal that might benefit American workers and companies may be in sight. Instead, many analysts say they expect the Trump administration to impose increasingly more tariffs on China, Europe and others key U.S. trading partners.

Japan’s Abe: US Auto Tariffs Will Cost U.S. Jobs, Harm Economy

TOKYO (AP) – Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has warned the U.S. that higher tariff on auto imports would backfire and harm not only America’s jobs and economy but also devastate the global economy. Abe says Japan’s auto and auto parts industry has never threatened America’s national security and never will. Abe said he will keep explaining that to Trump. The U.S. government is investigating if higher tariffs are justified.

U.S. Probes Complaints That Some Ford Escapes Overheat, Stall

DETROIT (AP) – Federal safety investigators are looking into complaints that engines on some Ford Escape vehicles can overheat and suddenly stall while being driven. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in documents posted on its website Friday that it has 40 complaints from consumers about stalling, including two alleging that the engines caught fire.

Jeep Exec Takes Over Fiat, Marking End of Marchionne Era

ROME (AP) – Jeep executive Mike Manley will be the new CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

The announcement after an emergency board meeting Saturday marked the end of the Marchionne era, which included the turnaround of failing Fiat, the takeover of bankrupt U.S. automaker Chrysler and the spinoffs of the heavy machinery and truck maker CNH and supercar maker Ferrari. Fiat Chrysler said Marchionne, 66, is “unable to return to work” due to health concerns.

Manley, 54, has been one of Marchionne’s closest collaborators at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and in a previous role had been responsible for product planning and all sales activities outside of North America.

Facebook Suspends Boston Analytics Firm Over Data Usage

NEW YORK (AP) – Facebook says it has suspended Boston-based analytics firm Crimson Hexagon while it investigates how it collects and shares Facebook and Instagram’s user data. Facebook has been facing increased scrutiny over how third-party firms use its data since news broke in March that data firm Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed user data.