UK's May faces no-confidence vote after Brexit plan crushed
LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers have plunged Brexit into chaos and the U.K. politics into crisis by rejecting Prime Minister Theresa May's divorce deal with the European Union and leading to a no-confidence vote on her government. The 432 to 202 vote in the House of Commons was widely expected but still devastating for May, whose fragile leadership is now under siege. The no-confidence vote is set for Wednesday.
The IRS is recalling 46,000 workers to handle tax returns
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service is recalling about 46,000 of its employees furloughed by the government shutdown — nearly 60 percent of its workforce — to handle tax returns and pay out refunds. The employees won't be paid. The Trump administration has promised that taxpayers owed refunds will be paid on time despite the disruption in government services caused by the partial shutdown now in its fourth week.
JPMorgan misses estimates, caused by trading troubles
NEW YORK (AP) — JPMorgan Chase is reporting that its fourth-quarter profits jumped sharply from a year earlier but still missed analysts' estimates because of weakness on its trading desks during the market's recent bout of volatility.
Hampered by scandals, Wells Fargo's profits stagnate
NEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo's profits fell slightly in the fourth quarter as the consumer banking giant remains restrained by federal regulators, who put a tight leash on it after years of scandals and missteps. The bank saw its total loans fall slightly from a year ago, and deposits were also down slightly. That's notable because in a growing economy, a bank the size of Wells Fargo would typically be increasing both deposits and assets, just like its competition.
Federal workers take on odd jobs to make ends meet
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Government workers living without a paycheck are driving for Uber, relying on word of mouth and social networks to find handyman work and odd jobs to help pay the bills during the longest shutdown in U.S. history. The tens of thousands of out-of-work government employees have more options than in past shutdowns given the rise of the so-called "gig economy." But giving Lyft rides is no substitute for stable work and a steady paycheck.
Going public? For Uber, Lyft and others, shutdown slows IPOs
WASHINGTON (AP) — Brian Lane, a securities lawyer at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher who led the SEC's corporation finance division in the late 1990s, said some IPOs planned for spring could be delayed until fall if the shutdown persists. For larger companies with ample cash reserves, the problem is manageable, Lane said. But smaller companies that lack deep sources of funding from the private credit markets or from venture capitalists could be hurt.
Facebook to invest $300 million in news, focusing on local
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook says it is investing $300 million over the next three years in local news programs, partnerships and other initiatives. The cash investment includes reporting grants for local newsrooms and investing in nonprofits aimed at helping support local news. The move comes at a difficult time for the news industry, facing falling profits and print readership. Online ad giants including Google and Facebook itself are partly to blame as they shifted advertising dollars way from print media.
Mnuchin urges senators to support easing Russia sanctions
WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has met with Republican senators to persuade them to support the Trump administration's decision to ease sanctions on companies linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Mnuchin spoke to senators on Tuesday ahead of a scheduled vote on a resolution that seeks to block the lifting of penalties against the aluminum manufacturing giant Rusal and two other companies connected to Deripaska.
China to cut taxes, keep policy flexible to counter slowdown
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese officials say Beijing plans to slash taxes, step up spending and help resolve financing problems of private and small enterprise to help counter the country's worst slowdown since the global financial crisis. The officials said Tuesday that Beijing will keep its monetary policy stable but flexible. A deputy central bank governor, Zhu Hexin, said the People's Bank of China was confident it can keep the value of the Chinese yuan steady. The officials outlined plans for 2019.
The S&P 500 index rose 27.69 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,610.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 155.75 points, or 0.7 percent, to 24,065.59. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite jumped 117.92 points, or 1.7 percent, to 7,023.83. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 12.40 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,445.22.
Benchmark U.S. crude added 3.2 percent to $52.11 a barrel in New York. The international standard, Brent crude, gained 2.8 percent to $60.64 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline jumped 3.5 percent to $1.41 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1.1 percent to $1.87 a gallon and natural gas fell 2.5 percent to $3.50 per 1,000 cubic feet.