Stocks Jump Then Settle Down; Norfolk Southern’s HQ Is Leaving Its Hometown

By Post & Courier

Tech, health push stocks higher

U.S. stocks couldn’t hang on to a big gain Wednesday, but they still finished broadly higher as technology and health care companies rose. That helped reverse some of the market’s big losses from the week before.

Stocks initially rallied after the Wall Street Journal reported that China’s government could make changes to its “Made in China 2025” economic development plan. That could be one step toward easing dispute between the world’s two largest economies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged as much as 458 in morning trading, but gave later back much of that gain.

After taking steep losses at the end of last week, stocks have gyrated this week: on Monday they rallied to erase a big early loss, while on Tuesday a big morning gain turned into a small decline.

On Wednesday, most of the day’s gains evaporated in the afternoon. The hour-to-hour changes reflect investors’ nervousness about the health of the global economy: economic growth is expected to slow in 2019 and the U.S.-China trade dispute and rising interest rates could both make that slowdown more painful. Sonders said investors overlooked those threats for a time, but can’t ignore them anymore.

Va. rail carrier to move HQ

Railroad company Norfolk Southern Corp. is moving its headquarters from Norfolk, Va., to Atlanta, bringing with it 850 jobs and more than $500 million in economic investment, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced Wednesday.

Records from Atlanta’s economic development authority indicate the company proposes construction of a new headquarters campus with 750,000 square feet of office space in the city’s Midtown area.

The move reflects a broader trend among larger companies that are moving to major cities for their deeper pools of talent, busier airports and other amenities that attract skilled workers.

Robert McNab, an economics professor with Old Dominion University in Norfolk, said Norfolk Southern’s decision reflects the same qualities online retailer Amazon was looking for while scouting locations for its second headquarters. Similar moves have been made by Caterpillar from Peoria, Ill., to suburban Chicago.

Norfolk Southern’s railroad subsidiary operates in 22 states, including South Carolina, and the District of Columbia, transporting freight that includes automotive and industrial products and coal. It says it serves every major container port in the eastern U.S.

US consumer prices flat in Nov.

U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in November, the best performance since prices actually fell eight months ago. The docile inflation reading reflected a big drop in the cost of gasoline and other energy products.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that the unchanged inflation reading last month followed a 0.3 percent jump in prices in October. It was the lowest reading since consumer prices actually fell 0.1 percent in March. Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, rose 0.2 percent in November.

Over the past 12 months, consumer prices have risen 2.2 percent and core prices are also up 2.2 percent. That performance is close to the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target for annual price gains and indicates that inflation remains well-behaved.

Old Bay mixes it up in spice spat

BALTIMORE – A clash of seasonings is looming in federal court, as Maryland’sOld Bay seeks to protect its trademark in a lawsuit against another spice blend, New Bae.

The Daily Record reports Old Bay maker McCormick & Co. sued this week to stop Pittsburgh-based Primal Palate from using the “New Bae” name.

The paleo diet-centered Primal Palate launched New Bae as an organic blend in October 2017, touting its suitability for crab legs, fries and Bloody Mary drinks. McCormick asserts Primal Palate has used taglines like “Out with the Old, and in with the NEW” to capitalize on Old Bay’s “fame and goodwill.”

Primal Palate co-founder Bill Staley told the newspaper in an emailed statement that New Bae’s name was a “nod” to Old Bay, but is “designed to suggest a difference.”

Tencent shares rise on 1st trading day

NEW YORK – Shares in Chinese streaming music giant Tencent Music Entertainment rose nearly 8 percent to $14 on Thursday, their first day of trading.

The company’s initial public offering of 82 million shares, which was priced at $13 a share, is expected to raise between $1.07 billion and $1.23 billion. The stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the “TME” symbol.

A little more than half of the shares are being offered by the company, with the remainder being offered by shareholders.

Tencent said earlier this year it had more than 800 million users, including 23.3 million subscribers to its music library.

Tencent, whose shareholders include the leading music streaming service Spotify, earned $199 million on revenue of $1.66 billion last year.

Spotify went public in April.

Audi’s interim boss gets top job

FRANKFURT, Germany – Volkswagen’s Audi division has named acting head Bram Schot as the luxury brand’s permanent boss after his predecessor was jailed.

Schot took over on an acting basis in June after Rupert Stadler was jailed while prosecutors investigate possible illegal manipulation of diesel engine emissions. Stadler has since left the company.

Schot, 57, was acting CEO along with his duties as marketing head at Audi, which also oversees the Volkswagen Group’s Lamborghini car and Ducati motorcycle brands.

Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess, who also heads Audi’s board of directors, said in a statement Wednesday that with his new mandate Schot would “further accelerate the transformation of the enterprise.

This article provided by NewsEdge.