U.S. Markets close in 1 hr 48 mins

US trade gap narrows as imports fall amid China conflict

PAUL WISEMAN
FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2019, file photo a shipping container is lifted off the back of a truck as others wait in line to have their cargo unloaded at a terminal on Harbor Island in Seattle. On Thursday, Dec. 5, the Commerce Department reports on the U.S. trade gap for October. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in October as imports fell faster than exports. The politically sensitive trade gap with China dropped.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that the gap between what America sells and what it buys abroad dropped 7.6% to $47.2 billion in October. Imports tumbled 1.7% to $254.3 billion on reduced purchases of foreign oil, cars and auto parts and pharmaceuticals. Exports dipped 0.2% to $207.1 billion on a drop in sales of soybeans and aircraft engines.

The deficit in the trade of goods with China narrowed by 1.1% to $$31.3 billion in October and is down 14.6% so far this year. The goods deficit with Mexico dropped 1.4% to $8.8 billion but is up 28% so far in 2019.

President Donald Trump, declaring persistent trade deficits a sign of U.S. economic weakness, has slapped taxes on imported steel and aluminum and on numerous Chinese goods. He has also sought to replace a North American free trade pact that he says puts U.S. factories at a disadvantage to low-wage plants in Mexico. Congress has yet to ratify the revamped version he negotiated last year with Mexico and Canada.

The trade gap is still 1.3% wider so far this year than it was in January-October 2018, despite dropping in September and October. 

Mainstream economists say the trade deficit reflects an economic reality that doesn’t yield much to changes in government policy: Americans consume more than they produce, and imports fill the gap.

A strong dollar is another consistent obstacle to more balanced trade. The American currency is widely used in international business transactions and is therefore in high demand, propping up its value and putting American exports at a price disadvantage in world markets.

In October, the United States ran a $68 billion deficit in the trade of goods such as autos and appliances. But it ran a $20.8 billion surplus in services, including education and banking.

  • What to know for year two of the Trump tax plan
    Business
    Associated Press

    What to know for year two of the Trump tax plan

    Last year's filing season was an adjustment for taxpayers and industry professionals alike as it was the first under a massive overhaul of federal tax law. While this year's season is expected to be more sedate, there are a few tweaks to be aware of. STANDARD DEDUCTION The standard deduction doubled under the new tax law that took effect in 2018.

  • Typical Retirement Savings By Age Groups: Are Yours Bigger?
    Business
    Investor's Business Daily

    Typical Retirement Savings By Age Groups: Are Yours Bigger?

    Active savers — in this case, Americans who own an IRA and-or a 401(k) account in the custody of Fidelity Investments — had savings for retirement of $215,400 as of Sept. according to new data IBD has obtained from Fidelity. In contrast, the average for all working-age families is shockingly low.

  • Americans to Inherit $764 Billion This Year, Mostly Tax-Free
    Business
    Bloomberg

    Americans to Inherit $764 Billion This Year, Mostly Tax-Free

    Americans are projected to inherit $764 billion this year and will pay an average tax of just 2.1% on that income, New York University law professor Lily Batchelder estimates in a paper published Tuesday by the Brookings Institution. “If anything, we should be taxing income from inheritances at higher rates than income from work,” Batchelder, a former adviser to President Barack Obama who has advised several Democratic presidential campaigns on tax policy, said in a phone interview.

  • The main reason for the stock market’s decline is NOT the coronavirus
    Business
    MarketWatch

    The main reason for the stock market’s decline is NOT the coronavirus

    The coronavirus is getting a bum rap as the cause of the stock market's recent weakness. That decline gathered steam on Monday, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was at one point down more than 500 points. It's not that any of us should have sympathy for the virus, of course.

  • Lucky's Market files for bankruptcy, plans to shut down Colorado headquarters
    Business
    American City Business Journals

    Lucky's Market files for bankruptcy, plans to shut down Colorado headquarters

    Lucky's Market has filed for bankruptcy and is closing its corporate headquarters in Niwot. The Lucky's Market Parent Company — a registered LLC — owes about $36 million to its 30 largest creditors, based on Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization petitions the company and its affiliated stores filed Monday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The company checked the box on the paperwork saying it had between 10,001 and 25,000 creditors.

  • Business
    TheStreet.com

    Jim Cramer: 6 Stocks to Buy on Coronavirus Fears

    The selling was so intense in that period that it didn't matter if you were buying Verizon or Caterpillar or American Electric Power . There were so many people who left Wuhan, the epicenter, when they were still healthy and they are now coming down with the illness. It's pretty clear that the virus spreads from rapidly person to person, so rapidly that we are hearing lots of conspiracies about a bio lab in Wuhan that might have mistakenly discharged the coronavirus and it was not transmitted initially by animals to humans.

  • What the new FICO credit score reveals about the precarious state of Americans’ finances
    Business
    MarketWatch

    What the new FICO credit score reveals about the precarious state of Americans’ finances

    Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO) is changing how it calculates credit scores, and the new criteria reveal some of the trouble spots in Americans' financial health. Two of the most substantial changes in the new scoring models, FICO Score 10 and 10T, are how they account for personal loans and how they measure creditworthiness over time. Previous FICO score models were not anchored as much to personal loan data, yet since 2015 the number of personal loans has risen 42%, making personal loans the fastest-growing category of debt in the country.

  • BorgWarner auto parts maker to buy Delphi Technologies for $3.3 billion
    Business
    Autoblog

    BorgWarner auto parts maker to buy Delphi Technologies for $3.3 billion

    BorgWarner Inc on Tuesday agreed to buy UK-based Delphi Technologies Plc in a $3.3 billion deal, as the U.S. auto parts maker looks to expand in a growing market for hybrid and electric vehicles. Delphi shareholders will receive 0.4534 shares of BorgWarner for each share held. That translates to $17.39 per share, a premium of about 77% to Delphi's closing price on Monday.

  • Video shows minutes after Kobe Bryant crash
    News
    Associated Press Videos

    Video shows minutes after Kobe Bryant crash

    NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others are dead after their helicopter went down in Southern California. Jan.

  • Tupperware Brands Corporation (NYSE:TUP) Earns Among The Best Returns In Its Industry
    Business
    Simply Wall St.

    Tupperware Brands Corporation (NYSE:TUP) Earns Among The Best Returns In Its Industry

    Today we'll look at Tupperware Brands Corporation (NYSE:TUP) and reflect on its potential as an investment. Specifically, we're going to calculate its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), in the hopes of getting some insight into the business. Firstly, we'll go over how we calculate ROCE.

  • China's Wuhan coronavirus spreads to the stock market and triggers the ominous Hindenburg Omen
    Business
    Yahoo Finance

    China's Wuhan coronavirus spreads to the stock market and triggers the ominous Hindenburg Omen

    The spreading of China's coronavirus has impacted the U.S. stock market, in effect triggering one often bearish technical chart formation. With the market's steep selloff on Monday — marking its fifth straight day of declines amid fears of the economic impact from the coronavirus —the closely watched Hindenburg Omen was activated on the S&P 500, points out strategists at Sundial Capital Research. The Hindenburg Omen's guidelines say the market has to be in an uptrend, it must show a large number of stocks hitting 52-week highs and 52-week lows and display negatively diverging breadth momentum.

  • Business
    American City Business Journals

    Massive 777X takes flight, and Boeing expects big sales will soon follow

    Boeing thinks the market for its 777X widebody jet, which flew its first test flight Saturday, will ripen over the next four years, despite the current order drought. Though 777X sales have been few and far between, the Chicago-based jet maker expects order demand will grow to between 60 and 100 jets a year starting in 2022, Boeing 777X marketing director Wendy Sowers said. The jet has 309 orders so far, and customers include: British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.

  • The first stock-market ‘correction since October has begun,’ says Morgan Stanley analyst who called 2018 tech rout
    Business
    MarketWatch

    The first stock-market ‘correction since October has begun,’ says Morgan Stanley analyst who called 2018 tech rout

    However, his prediction that the market is more likely to decline by half that much indicates that he's forecasting a retreat from stocks that have hovered near records rather than a traditional correction. Wall Street investors, perhaps, shouldn't need the strategist to determine the current state of the equities, however. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Stock markets have traded south in the past several sessions, with the Dow momentarily losing its grip on gains for 2020, as a rapidly spreading virus in China has sparked fears of a global outbreak that could curtail economic expansion in the world's second-largest economy.

  • Business
    Barrons.com

    Canopy Growth Stock Is Making a Comeback. Analyst Says It’s Time to Buy.

    An analyst at BMO Capital Markets now thinks it is time to buy. After a larger-than-expected loss diluted stakeholder (STZ)' (STZ) own earnings, Bruce Linton was fired in July as co-CEO. Mark Zekulin stayed on as the sole CEO while the company looked for his eventual successor.

  • Exxon at a 10-Year Low is Challenge for Oil’s Biggest Major
    Business
    Bloomberg

    Exxon at a 10-Year Low is Challenge for Oil’s Biggest Major

    Once the gold-standard of Big Oil, the stock closed Monday at its lowest since October 2010, amid a slump in oil prices due to concerns about weak demand coupled with a glut. Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods is running a counter-cyclical strategy by plowing money in new oil and gas assets, at a time when many investors are urging energy companies to improve returns for shareholders. Exxon is betting on a “windfall of cash” to arrive from its investments sometime in the mid to late 2020s, said Noah Barrett, a Denver-based energy analyst at Janus Henderson, which manages $356 billion.

  • 3 “Strong Buy” Stocks Under $5 That Are Ready to Run Higher
    Business
    TipRanks

    3 “Strong Buy” Stocks Under $5 That Are Ready to Run Higher

    With Orbcomm's shares trading roughly 4X our 2021 adjusted EBITDA estimate, we view the risk reward on the shares as very positive… We believe if management can execute, the shares should return to higher multiples. What does it mean, then? It means that Walkley keeps his Buy rating on Orbcomm.

  • 3M Tumbles Most Since April After Revealing Subpoena, Job Cuts
    Business
    Bloomberg

    3M Tumbles Most Since April After Revealing Subpoena, Job Cuts

    Bloomberg) -- 3M Co. dropped the most in nine months after revealing it had received a grand jury subpoena in an environmental probe and saying it would cut 1,500 jobs amid slumping markets from car parts to electronics. The pared workforce is part of a restructuring -- affecting “all business groups, functions and geographies” -- starting this month that will recast reporting lines and consolidate manufacturing oversight, 3M said Tuesday as it reported earnings. The company anticipates pretax savings of as much as $120 million a year from the changes.

  • A-list celebrities attend lavish party at Jeff Bezos' D.C. home
    Politics
    Yahoo Finance Video

    A-list celebrities attend lavish party at Jeff Bezos' D.C. home

    Jeff Bezos threw a lavish party at his new Washington, D.C. home, and some high-profile names were in attendance. These include Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, Ben Stiller, Kellyanne Conway, Bill Gates, and Jared and Ivanka Trump.

  • 7 Steps to Create a 10-Years-From-Retirement Plan
    Business
    Investopedia

    7 Steps to Create a 10-Years-From-Retirement Plan

    The government's Social Security website provides a retirement benefit estimator to help determine what kind of monthly income you can expect in retirement. If you're fortunate enough to be covered by a pension plan, monthly income from that asset should be added. You can also tally up income from a part-time job while in retirement.

  • GE Calls Hot Ahead of Earnings
    Business
    Schaeffer's Investment Research

    GE Calls Hot Ahead of Earnings

    One notable name on deck is former blue chip General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), which is set to report fourth-quarter earnings before the open tomorrow, Jan. 29. More specifically, 2.69 calls have been bought to open for every put on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) during the last 50 days. Digging into General Electric's earnings history, the stock has closed higher the day after earnings in four of the past eight quarters, including an 11.5% pop back in October.

  • What Is MasTec, Inc.'s (NYSE:MTZ) Share Price Doing?
    Business
    Simply Wall St.

    What Is MasTec, Inc.'s (NYSE:MTZ) Share Price Doing?

    MasTec, Inc. (NYSE:MTZ), which is in the construction business, and is based in United States, saw significant share price movement during recent months on the NYSE, rising to highs of US$72.82 and falling to the lows of US$59.83. Some share price movements can give investors a better opportunity to enter into the stock, and potentially buy at a lower price. A question to answer is whether MasTec's current trading price of US$59.83 reflective of the actual value of the mid-cap?

  • Business
    Barrons.com

    Beyond Meat Stock Is Falling. There Isn’t Much Upside Left, Analyst Says.

    Alternative protein startup (BYND) has been hit with a double whammy. J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman downgraded shares on Tuesday from the equivalent of Buy to Hold, following on the heels of a court ruling on Monday that went against Beyond Meat in a dispute with a former contract manufacturer. The confluence of bad news pushed shares down 1.4% in premarket trading Tuesday.

  • Business
    Benzinga

    Mackenzie Bezos Gets Rid Of About $370M Of Her Amazon Shares

    An end of the year filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission by Jeff Bezos showed that he now exercises sole voting authority on about 19.49 million additional shares. This is about 202,000 less than the 19.7 million shares awarded to Mackenzie Bezos as part of the couple's divorce settlement in April last year, over which the e-commerce giant's founder had retained exclusive voting rights. The shares are valued at around $370 million at Amazon's after-hours price of $1831.50 on Monday.

  • CNBC’s Jim Cramer: Here comes the panic, but don’t rush to buy the dip
    Business
    MarketWatch

    CNBC’s Jim Cramer: Here comes the panic, but don’t rush to buy the dip

    That's how CNBC host Jim Cramer described Monday's sharp selloff in the stock market, which is shaping up to be the worst we've seen in several months amid mounting fears of the spread of the coronavirus. So is it time for a little bottom-fishing ahead of a very crowded docket of earnings report in the coming days? We've been saying over and over if we get an exogenous event that's when you get the sell off, that's when you have to buy,” Cramer explained.

  • Here's Why I Think StoneCo (NASDAQ:STNE) Might Deserve Your Attention Today
    Business
    Simply Wall St.

    Here's Why I Think StoneCo (NASDAQ:STNE) Might Deserve Your Attention Today

    In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like StoneCo (NASDAQ:STNE). Even with very modest growth rates, a company will usually do well if it improves earnings per share (EPS) year after year. You can imagine, then, that it almost knocked my socks off when I realized that StoneCo grew its EPS from R$0.72 to R$2.44, in one short year.