Autoworkers reach a deal with Ford, a breakthrough toward ending strikes against Detroit automakers
DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union says it has reached a tentative contract agreement with Ford that could be a breakthrough to end the nearly 6-week-old strikes against Detroit automakers. The four-year deal still has to be approved by 57,000 union members at the company. It could bring a close to the union’s series of strikes at targeted factories run by Ford, General Motors and Jeep maker Stellantis. The Ford deal could set the pattern for agreements with the other two automakers, although no other agreements were announced Wednesday.
Twitter takeover: 1 year later, X struggles with misinformation, advertising and usage decline
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — One year ago, billionaire Elon Musk walked into Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters with a white bathroom sink and a grin, fired its CEO and other top executives and began transforming the social media platform into what is now known as X. X looks and feels something like Twitter, but the more time you spend on it the clearer it becomes that it’s merely an approximation. Musk has dismantled many core features of Twitter, but what X will become, and whether Musk can achieve his ambition of turning it into an “everything app” that everyone uses, remains unclear.
General Motors and Stellantis in talks with United Auto Workers to reach deals that mirror Ford’s
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors and Jeep maker Stellantis are meeting with United Auto Workers bargainers to see if they can reach a contract agreement that mirrors a deal signed with crosstown rival Ford. Nearly 17,000 striking workers at Ford left the picket lines when the agreement was announced Wednesday night and will return to work shortly. About 57,000 Ford workers still have to vote on the tentative deal. GM and Stellantis will have to follow the pattern set by Ford or it’s likely that UAW President Shawn Fain will add factories to its partial strikes that began on Sept. 15.
Many Americans say their household expenses are outpacing earnings this year, AP-NORC poll shows
NEW YORK (AP) — About two in three Americans say their household expenses have risen over the last year, but only about one in four say their income has increased in the same period. That’s according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. As household expenses outpace earnings, many are expressing concern about their financial futures. What’s more, for most Americans, household debt is rising or not going away. About half say they currently have credit card debt, 4 in 10 are dealing with auto loans, and about one in four have medical debt. Just 15% say their household savings have increased over the last year.
Grandpa Google? Tech giant begins antitrust defense by poking fun at its status among youth
WASHINGTON (AP) — Google is beginning its defense against a federal lawsuit accusing it of illegally thwarting competition for its ubiquitous search engine. Thursday’s testimony came from a top executive who talked about the precarious nature of the company’s success. Prabhakar Raghavan, a senior vice president at Google, testified at federal court in Washington as the tech giant defends itself in the biggest antitrust trial in the last 25 years. He described Google as a company beset by competitors and sometimes derided by younger people as “Grandpa Google.” The Justice Department accuses Google of using anticompetitive tactics to maintain dominance in internet search.
US economic growth accelerated to strong 4.9% rate last quarter as consumers shrugged off Fed hikes
WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s economy expanded at a robust 4.9% annual rate from July through September as Americans defied higher prices, rising interest rates and widespread forecasts of a recession to spend at a brisk pace. The economy expanded last quarter at the fastest pace in more than two years — and more than twice the 2.1% annual rate of the previous quarter. Thursday’s report on the nation’s gross domestic product — the economy’s total output of goods and services — showed that consumers drove the acceleration, ramping up their spending on everything from cars to restaurant meals.
Stock market today: World shares rebound following latest tumble on Wall Street. Oil prices gain $2
HONG KONG (AP) — World shares have advanced and oil prices jumped about $2 after the Israeli military said its troops and tanks had briefly entered northern Gaza. Shares rose in most major markets apart from Paris. U.S. futures also advanced. Worries that the latest Israel-Hamas war might lead to a wider conflict, disrupting oil supplies from elsewhere have been pushing oil prices higher. On Thursday, the S&P 500 fell 1.2% for its ninth drop in 11 days. The Nasdaq composite fell 1.8% and the Dow sank 0.8%. Worries that the latest Israel-Hamas war might lead to a wider conflict, disrupting oil supplies from elsewhere in the region, have been pushing oil prices higher.
Norfolk Southern investing in more automated inspection systems on its railroad to improve safety
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Norfolk Southern has installed the first of what will be more than a dozen of a new generation of automated inspection portals on its tracks in Ohio — not far from where one of its trains derailed in February and spilled hazardous chemicals that caught fire. The new portals are equipped with high-speed cameras that will take hundreds of pictures of every passing rail car to help quickly identify defects on moving trains. The pictures are analyzed by artificial intelligence software. Other major railroads have invested in similar inspection technology to supplement — and where regulators approve it, replace — human inspections. University of Delaware railroad safety expert Allan Zarembski said it’s significant that Norfolk Southern is investing in so many of these portals.
Europe’s central bank halts rate hikes as war in the Middle East casts a shadow over the economy
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank has taken a break from interest rate increases. The pause announced Thursday follows 10 straight hikes, dating back to July 2022. That record pace of hiking was aimed getting painful inflation under control. But now inflation is down, and the Israel-Hamas war is casting a shadow of uncertainty over the global economy. There are fears about rising oil prices. With that backdrop and concerns growing that high credit costs used to fight inflation might slow economic growth and tip Europe into a recession, the ECB held rates at a record-high 4%.
Will Ivanka Trump have to testify at her father’s civil fraud trial? Judge to hear arguments Friday
NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s civil business fraud trial is turning to the question of whether his daughter Ivanka will have to testify. Friday’s court session is set to start with a hearing on the issue. Ivanka Trump has been dismissed from the case, and lawyers for her father, her brothers and their business contend that she shouldn’t have to testify. New York state lawyers say she should. They argue that the former Trump Organization executive vice president has relevant information. It’s unclear how soon she would testify if ordered to do so. Donald Trump is expected to testify at some point.
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