Morning Money Memo…
These are tough times, yet also really good times for General Motors. As the company’s image takes a nasty hit from the uproar over the delayed recall of cars with faulty ignition switches, sales are soaring. GM sold more than 250,000 vehicles last month, up 9 percent from a year ago. General Motors SUV sales were the strongest since 2007. A fund set up to compensate victims and their families for crashes involving recalled GM cars is now taking claims. The five-month filing period is part of the fallout from General Motors’ recall of 2.6 million small cars beginning in February.
Is a bigger correction coming? That’s what many savers and investors are wondering following last week’s drop on Wall Street. The S&P 500 index fell 2.7 percent, the sharpest weekly decline in more than two and a half years. Market watchers have been jittery for some time that stocks may be over-valued following a five-year bull market. Stock futures rose this morning.
The New York Times has run its first-ever full page ad for marijuana. “We’re in full support of New York’s Compassionate Care Act,” says Brendan Kennedy, the CEO of Leafly, the company that paid for the ad. “As the walls of prohibition crumble, patients need the type of reliable, mainstream information about cannabis that only Leafly provides. Eight out of ten Americans agree that medical cannabis should be legal.” Twenty-three states including New York have legalized medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington allow recreational use. “Patients need a reliable, mainstream information portal about cannabis that is free of classic stoner stereotypes,” says Leafly at its website.
WalMart is rebuilding its website to make shoppers experience faster and more personalized service. The first set of changes starts this month, and the fully re-built site will launch next year. According to WalMart its search engine will be improved so shoppers will be able to find products more easily. New technology will also be used to infer what customers may be looking for based on what they’ve browsed and purchased
Portuguese authorities are providing $6.6 billion in an emergency rescue to prevent the collapse of ailing bank Banco Espirito Santo, one of the eurozone country’s oldest and biggest financial institutions. Bank of Portugal governor Carlos Costa says the bank’s healthy businesses will be spun off and its toxic assets will be placed in a “bad bank.” The move came after Banco Espirito Santo’s share price lost around 75 percent of its value last week.
Richard Davies ABC News Radio Business Correspondent Twitter: daviesnow