Business Briefs – November 8, 2018

With Split Congress, Prospect For Economic Deals Looks Dim

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has floated the idea of partnering with the newly Democratic-led House on two ideas that could prove popular with voters: increasing spending on America’s infrastructure and limiting drug prices. Yet the poisonous atmosphere in Washington, mandated federal spending limits and a potential duel over the government’s borrowing authority make it difficult to achieve any deals that would boost economic growth.

Pressures Rise for Homebuilders As Rates Hit 7-Year High

WASHINGTON (AP) – The beating for homebuilders is continuing as rising interest rates and home prices keep potential buyers on the sidelines. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rates on 30-year, fixed rate mortgages hit a 7-year high. Also Thursday, D.R. Horton said home deliveries in the first quarter will come in below what Wall Street was expecting. It’s citing home prices and rising mortgage rates.

Ford Buys Electric Scooter Sharing Company Spin

NEW YORK (AP) – Ford Motor buys an electric scooter sharing company, expanding its presence in alternative modes of transportation. The century-old automobile company announced its acquisition of Spin, a San Francisco-based dockless scooter sharing company. Ford says the number of mobility options available to people has risen dramatically in recent years, and in some situations people use multiple forms of transportation during a single trip.

New Tesla Chairwoman’s Biggest Challenge Is Controlling Musk

DETROIT (AP) – Australian telecommunications executive Robyn Denholm brings much-needed financial and auto industry expertise to her new role as Tesla’s board chairwoman, but her biggest challenge is whether she can rein in a CEO with a proclivity for misbehavior.

Denholm, who has been a Tesla board member for nearly five years, was named to the post late Wednesday, replacing Elon Musk as part of a securities fraud settlement with U.S. government regulators.

Corporate governance experts say they would have preferred an outsider with manufacturing expertise be appointed to lead the board, now dominated by people with personal and financial ties to Musk, including his brother.