Business Briefs – December 20, 2018

Stock Market Woes Raise a Nagging Fear: Is a Recession Near?

BALTIMORE (AP) – Fears of a recession have been mounting with the U.S. stock market appearing to be headed for its worst December since 1931 — during the Great Depression. Wall Street’s sustained slump has been fueled by investor concerns about lower corporate profits, higher corporate debt, a festering trade war between the United States and China and a broader global slowdown. So is a U.S. recession imminent? Not necessarily.

Mnuchin Says Market’s Negative Reaction to Fed ‘Overblown’

WASHINGTON (AP) – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that the negative market reaction following the Federal Reserve’s rate hike this week was “completely overblown.” Mnuchin says the market overreacted and that computerized program trading took over and drove stock prices down further.

U.S. Miscalculated Benefit Of Better Train Brakes

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – Critics say the Trump administration should reconsider ending a stricter safety rule for trains that haul explosive fuels after The Associated Press found the government miscalculated the potential benefits. A government analysis omitted up to $117 million in estimated future damages from train derailments that could be avoided by installing more advanced brakes. The administration pointed to the analysis when it scrapped an Obama-era rule requiring railroads to use better brakes.