Trump jabbed first; world hits back in trade fight
The European Union is set Friday to slap tariffs on $3.4 billion in American products, from whiskey and motorcycles to peanuts and cranberries. India and Turkey have already targeted U.S. products, from rice to autos to sunscreen. And in two weeks, the United States is to start taxing $34 billion in Chinese goods.
Beijing has vowed to retaliate with its own tariffs on U.S. soybeans and other farm products in a direct shot at President Donald Trump’s supporters in America’s heartland.
Intel CEO resigns after relationship with employee
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is resigning after the company learned of a consensual relationship that he had with an employee. Intel said Thursday that the relationship was in violation of the company’s non-fraternization policy.
Chief Financial Officer Robert Swan will take over as interim CEO immediately. In this #MeToo era, corporate America is under intense pressure to enforce workplace policies on gender equality and sexual harassment.
Fed: Biggest US banks can survive shock
All of the 35 largest U.S. banks are fortified enough to survive an economic shock and keep on lending, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday. Banks’ losses from credit cards increased in the latest “stress tests,” however.
The first round of the central bank’s annual “stress tests” showed Thursday that as a group, the 35 big banks have benefited from a steadily recovering economy to gain strength and build up capital buffers against unexpected losses. It was the eighth annual checkup for banks.
OPEC meeting could set direction of oil prices
OPEC and Russia are expected to approve raising oil production, but just how much is up in the air.
The meeting comes as President Donald Trump calls prices too high, and blames the cartel. Crude prices have risen about 50 percent since OPEC and its allies agreed to cap output at the start of 2017.
Eurozone gets deal to end Greece’s bailout
Eurozone nations agreed on the final elements of a plan to get Greece out of its eight-year bailout program and make its massive debt more manageable.
The finance ministers of the 19 nations took daylong talks into this morning and reached a surprisingly hard-fought compromise which had seemed within easy reach for the past few days.
US long-term mortgage rates fall to 4.57 percent
Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week, marking their third decline in the past four weeks after increasing last week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages was 4.57 percent, down from 4.62 percent last week.
By contrast, the 30-year rate averaged 3.90 percent a year ago. Long-term loan rates have been running at their highest levels in seven years. The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans eased to 4.04 percent from 4.07 percent last week.
Stocks skid as industrials, automakers, tech dip
Car makers and technology and industrial companies fell Thursday as investors focused on the U.S.-China trade dispute, which could reduce company spending and earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped for the eighth day in a row.