Morning Market Roundup: Toyota Takes Global Sales Lead Over GM, Job Losses, U.S. Futures Up
Here’s what’s important in the business world this morning:
Toyota: Toyota has widened its global sales lead over General Motors because its factories have recovered from last year’s earthquake.
The Japanese automaker says it sold 7.4 million vehicles around the world through September, up 28 percent from a year earlier. That’s 450,000 more than General Motors, which says it sold 6.95 million cars and trucks. GM’s global sales are up 2.5 percent for the first nine months.
GM spokesman Jim Cain says the company will stay focused on profitable growth.
Toyota could face a slowdown in the fourth quarter as sales fall in China. Anti-Japanese sentiment flared in China after Japan nationalized tiny islands in the East China Sea.
The move set off violent protests in China and a widespread call to boycott Japanese goods.
Job Losses: Newell Rubbermaid plans to cut more than 1,900 jobs, or about 10 percent of its worldwide workforce, over the next two and a half years as the consumer products company reorganizes its operations in a bid to boost profitability.
The company, known for Sharpie pens and its namesake containers, said Friday that its business will be restructured under two groups, a development organization and a delivery organization.
The announcement came as the Atlanta-based company reported third-quarter adjusted results that topped Wall Street’s expectations. Newell Rubbermaid also raised its quarterly dividend by 50 percent to 15 cents per share.
Feds vs. Ford: Federal safety regulators are investigating some older-model Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans because the throttles can stick.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 50 complaints about sticky throttles in the cars from the 2000 through 2003 model years. The probe affects an estimated 310,000 cars that have four-valve, three-liter V-6 Duratec engines. No crashes or injuries have been reported.
NHTSA says a speed control cable collar can fracture at a mounting bracket and cause the throttles to stick open. No recall has been issued yet. Investigators will determine whether the problem is bad enough to cause a recall.
The Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable and are nearly identical cars. Ford ended the Mercury brand two years ago.
U.S. Futures: Stock futures were mixed but recovered from sharp declines Friday after the government reported that economic growth during the third quarter grew at a 2 percent annual rate.
Dow Jones industrial futures fell 27 points to 12,029, but had been down about 100 points in early trading. The S&P futures gave up a point to hit 1,407.20. Nasdaq futures came out of negative territory and rose 2.75 points to 2,650.75.
Also weighing on the market was a study by Global Financial Integrity, a monitoring group based in Washington, which found that Chinese investors evaded government regulators to spirit more than $600 billion out of the country.
That trend, according to the group, appears to be accelerating, and many point to frustration with the state-run banking system that provides breaks to state-owned companies.
The group said it was unclear how much of the money came from corruption or other crimes but it said the outflow could worsen economic and political strains.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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