Stocks sink, bonds soar on fears virus will stunt economy
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks slumped again on Wall Street Tuesday, piling on losses a day after the market's biggest drop in two years as fears spread that the growing virus outbreak will put the brakes on the global economy. Nervous investors snapped up low-risk U.S. government bonds, sending the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to a record low. The benchmark S&P 500 has lost 7.6% over the last four days, it’s worst such stretch since the end of 2018. Tuesday also marked the first back-to-back 3% losses for the index since the summer of 2015.
Disney CEO Bob Iger steps down in surprise announcement
NEW YORK (AP) — Disney has named Bob Chapek CEO, replacing Bob Iger, effective immediately. The surprise announcement Tuesday makes Iger executive chairman. Chapek was most recently chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. Iger will remain chairman through the end of his contract Dec. 31, 2021. Iger says it was an "optimal time" for him to step down following Disney's acquisition of Fox's entertainment assets and the launch of Disney Plus streaming service in November. Iger became CEO of Disney in 2005, succeeding longtime chief Michael Eisner. He steered Disney through successful acquisitions of Lucasfilms, Marvel, Pixar and other brands that became big moneymakers for Disney.
China struggles to revive manufacturing amid virus outbreak
BEIJING (AP) — Factories that make the world’s smartphones, toys and other goods are struggling to reopen after a virus outbreak idled China’s economy. But even with the ruling Communist Party promising help, companies and economists say it may be months before production is back to normal. The problem is supply chains — the thousands of companies that provide components, from auto parts to zippers to microchips. China’s are famously nimble, but the most sweeping anti-disease controls ever imposed left them short of raw materials and workers. Automakers and other factories are reopening but production at some suppliers of smartphone components is as low as 10% of normal levels.
More companies get into business of Black History Month
NEW YORK (AP) — More companies and brands are getting into the business of Black History Month. But they are also trying to avoid the impression that African American consumers are important just once a year. Some are using February to show off the diversity of their year-round product lines or to draw attention to the creativity of their African American employees. For instance, Target rolled out a Black History Month assortment that spotlights black-owned brands. H&M has a new street wear collection designed in collaboration with Ruth Carter. She's the Academy-Award winning designer behind the costumes for films such as “Black Panther" and “Malcolm X.”
NTSB: Driver in fatal Tesla crash was playing video game
WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board says the driver of a Tesla SUV who died in a Silicon Valley crash two years ago was playing a video game on his smartphone while his vehicle was being controlled by a partially automated driving system. Chairman Robert Sumwalt said at the start of a hearing Tuesday that systems like Tesla's Autopilot cannot drive themselves. Yet he says drivers continue to use them without paying attention. The board will determine a cause of the crash at the hearing and make recommendations to prevent it from happening again.
'A world of hurt': 39 states to investigate Juul's marketing
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A lecturer at Harvard Law School says an investigation by 39 states leaves Juul Labs with little choice but to change its marketing practices. James Tierney said Tuesday that “when you see these kinds of numbers, it means they’re in a world of hurt." Attorneys general from Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, Oregon and Texas say they will lead the multi-state investigation into San Francisco-based Juul. The company also is facing lawsuits from teenagers and others who say they became addicted to the company's vaping products. Juul says it has halted television, print and digital advertising and eliminated most flavors.
No checkout needed: Amazon opens cashier-less grocery store
NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon wants to kill the supermarket checkout line. The online retailing giant is opening its first cashier-less supermarket, where shoppers can grab milk or eggs and walk out without waiting in line or ever opening their wallets. It's the latest sign that Amazon is serious about shaking up the $800 billion grocery industry. At the new store, opened Tuesday in Amazon's Seattle hometown, shoppers scan a smartphone app to enter the store. Cameras and sensors track what's taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after leaving.
Drugmaker Mallinckrodt reaches $1.6B opioid settlement
The generic drugmaker Mallinckrodt has announced a $1.6 billion deal to settle lawsuits it faces over its role in a national opioid crisis. The company announced the deal Tuesday, saying it has agreement with most states and lawyers representing local governments suing it. The English company was one of the highest-volume opioid producers in the U.S. and is seeking bankruptcy protection as part of the deal. The deal comes as more disputes have become public in some other companies' efforts to settle opioid suits.
The S&P 500 index fell 97.68 points, or 3%, to 3,128.21. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 879.44 points, or 3.2%, to 27,081.36. The Nasdaq lost 255.67 points, or 2.8%, to 8,965.61. The Russell 200 index of smaller company stocks dropped 56.21 points, or 3.5%, to 1,571.90.