Business Briefs – April 2, 2019

Delta, AmEx Renew Deal; Delta Boosts Outlook

NEW YORK (AP) — American Express and Delta Air Lines are extending their credit card partnership through 2029, a significant extension of a large financial partnerships between a major U.S. airline and a credit card company. Delta also raised its outlook for first-quarter profit, helping lift its shares and those of other airlines.

Lyft’s Stock Slump Signals Beginning of Bumpy Ride

NEW YORK (AP) — When Lyft made its debut on the public market, its stock jumped 21% to $87.24 a share, up from its offering price of $72. Two days later and its stock has fallen below the IPO price and languished at around $68 in the beginning of a bumpy ride for the ride-hailing company.

High Prices, Interest Rates Push 1Q U.S. Auto Sales Down 2%

DETROIT (AP) — First-quarter auto sales in the U.S. fell 2 percent, a sign the nation’s economy is starting to slow. Automakers sold just over 4 million vehicles from January through March. Analysts blame the decline on rising vehicle prices, an abundant supply of late-model used vehicles and relatively high interest rates. Weak car sales, harsh winter weather and the partial government shutdown also had an impact.

Walgreens Lowers 2019 Expectations After 2Q Forecast Miss

NEW YORK (AP) — Walgreens slashed its 2019 forecast and missed second-quarter expectations with a performance that sent shares plunging Tuesday and helped knock down the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Company leaders told analysts that challenges they had been expecting like reimbursement cuts and lower price increases for branded drugs hit much sooner than they anticipated.

World Trade Forecasts Slashed Again Amid U.S.-China Standoff

GENEVA (AP) — The World Trade Organization has cut its forecast for trade growth this year by more than a percentage point, to 2.6 percent, due to an economic slowdown and amid a trade conflict between the United States and China. The Geneva-based trade body expects a rise in trade growth by volume to 3 percent next year.

Senate Committee to Investigate FAA Safety Inspectors

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate committee is investigating whether some FAA safety inspectors were poorly trained or lacked proper credentials for their work. The committee chairman says the investigation is based on complaints from multiple whistleblowers. Some inspectors might have helped develop pilot-training requirements for the Boeing 737 MAX, the plane that was involved in two deadly crashes within five months.

Bitcoin Jumps 20%; Mystery Order Seen as Catalyst

LONDON (Reuters) — Bitcoin soared to its highest in almost five months on Tuesday, pulling smaller cryptocurrencies up with it, after a major order by an anonymous buyer set off a frenzy of computer-driven trading, analysts said.

The cryptocurrency soared as much as 20 percent in Asian trading, breaking $5,000 for the first time since mid-November. By midafternoon it had settled around $4,800, still up 16 percent in its biggest one-day gain since April 2018.

Bitcoin& surged to near $20,000 in late 2017 during a bubble driven by retail investors. But last year prices fell by three-quarters, with trading dominated by smaller hedge funds and crypto-related firms.