Business Briefs – January 7, 2019

Jittery Wall Street Has a Lot Ahead to Be Nervous About

NEW YORK (AP) – One recent characteristic of the stock market is that every day can feel like bedlam. Investors have been careening from fear to relief and back again depending on the latest news. More tests of the market’s mettle lie ahead, with U.S.-China trade talks, the fourth-quarter earnings period and another Federal Reserve meeting on the horizon.

Amazon Emerges as Most Valuable U.S Firm Amid Market Turmoil

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Amazon has eclipsed Microsoft as the most valuable publicly traded company in the U.S. as a see-sawing stock market continues to reshuffle corporate America’s pecking order. The shift occurred Monday after Amazon’s shares rose 3 percent to close at $1,629.51 and lifted the e-commerce leader’s market value to $797 billion.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim Announces His Departure

WASHINGTON (AP) – Jim Young Kim, the president of the World Bank, says he is stepping down at the end of January. Kim’s unexpected departure, nearly three years before his term was set to expire, is likely to set off a fierce battle between the Trump administration and other countries who have complained about the influence the United States exerts over the World Bank. The 189-nation World Bank is the largest government source for development funding, providing low-cost loans for projects around the world.

U.S.-China Trade Talks Start Amid Cooling Economic Growth

BEIJING (AP) – Talks are underway in Beijing between U.S. and Chinese officials in a bid to end a trade battle between the world’s two biggest economies. Both sides expressed optimism about the potential for progress, but the meetings began amid Chinese complaints over the sighting of a U.S. warship in waters that Beijing says belong to China. It’s unclear whether the issue might disrupt the talks. The talks went ahead despite tensions over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada on U.S. charges.

Chinese Tech Firms Lay Lower at CES 2019 Amid Trade Tensions

LAS VEGAS (AP) – The annual CES gadget show has become a demonstration of China’s rapidly growing technology might. But some Chinese firms are stepping back from the spotlight as the 2019 show kicks off Sunday in Las Vegas. Chinese firms account for more than a quarter of the conference’s 4,500 exhibitors, but the number of small entrepreneurs buying up booth space has declined. Some big names are still attending but taking a more subdued approach.