Why the US economy may have already peaked for the year
WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.1% annual rate in the January-March quarter — a pace that will likely prove to be the high-water mark for the year before growth weakens in the coming months. That’s the assessment widely shared by most economists in light of the rising threats facing the U.S. economy, from a raging trade war to cautious spending by consumers and businesses to a global slowdown.
Soggy fields leave Midwestern farmers with few good answers
DES MOINES, Iowa — Midwestern farmers are enduring a spring like no other. Most of the nation’s corn and soybeans are grown in the Midwest, and farmers in the region have for years struggled with low prices that got even worse due to a trade dispute between the U.S. and China. Amid those problems, farmers haven’t been able to plant because of seemingly endless storms. President Donald Trump promised $16 billion in aid but that led to confusion because details about the payments won’t be released until later.
FedEx to deliver 7 days a week to satisfy online shoppers
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FedEx plans to make deliveries seven days a week year-round starting in January because online shoppers want their stuff now, even on Sundays. The company is also taking back nearly 2 million daily deliveries that the post office makes to homes for FedEx. The company says that will increase efficiency of residential deliveries.
The bond market is getting another whiff of a recession
NEW YORK — Bonds are supposed to be the boring corner of the finance world, but even high-flying stock investors stop and pay attention when they fall into a particular, concerning pattern. It’s called an “inverted yield curve,” and it happens when investors are willing to accept lower yields for long-term U.S. government bonds than for short-term debt.
It’s been a relatively reliable predictor for recessions, and it’s happening again.
Uber’s Q1 losses reach $1B despite revenue growth
NEW YORK — Uber is continuing to bleed money even as it posts dramatic revenue growth. In its first financial release since its lackluster IPO, Uber reported Thursday that revenue rose to $3.1 billion in the first quarter of 2019, up 20% from the same time last year. But the ride-hailing giant posted $1 billion in losses as it fights to maintain market share.
Waymo bringing self-driving trucks to Phoenix area freeways
PHOENIX — Google’s self-driving vehicle division says it’s bringing autonomous trucks to the Phoenix area. Waymo announced Wednesday that its fully self-driving tractor-trailers will start driving on freeways this week and will expand to more routes over time. Waymo’s self-driving passenger vehicles are commonly seen in eastern Phoenix and its suburbs, where the company conducts extensive testing and operates a taxi service.
Energy secretary says US can make oil, gas, coal cleaner
SALT LAKE CITY — Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the Trump administration is committed to making fossil fuels cleaner rather than imposing “draconian” regulations on oil, gas and coal. Perry made his remarks Thursday during a speech at an energy conference in Salt Lake City. The former Texas governor previously said the Trump administration wants to spend a half-billion dollars next year on fossil fuel research and development as demand plummets for coal and surges for natural gas.
US stocks muster slight gains after listless day of trading
NEW YORK — Major U.S. stock indexes capped a day of listless trading with modest gains Thursday, snapping the market’s two-day losing streak. A late flurry of buying helped lift the indexes, which had spent much of the day moving sideways after an early rally lost momentum. Even so, the market remains on track for its fourth straight weekly loss and its first monthly decline of the year. Gains in technology, health care and consumer discretionary stocks outweighed losses in energy and other sectors.