WASHINGTON >> Fears escalated Monday that the global economy could struggle more than expected this year — a prospect that contributed to a plunge in financial markets.
The anxiety was heightened by reports that manufacturers extended their slumps last month in the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies. Factory activity contracted for a second straight month in the U.S. and for a 10th straight month in China.
Chinese stocks fell 7 percent before trading was halted. The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 1.6 percent, its biggest loss in two weeks. Markets in Asia and Europe were down more.
Sell-off does not slow rise in gun shares
With all major markets in a severe sell-off Monday, shares of companies that make guns surged as new data pointed to strong sales at the close of 2015, a year marked by mass shootings in Paris and California, and new political pressure to tighten regulations.
President Barack Obama is slated to finalize new executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence and unregulated sales. The president has taken nearly two dozen executive actions to tighten gun laws but has been unable to push measures like expanded background checks through Congress. Recently released numbers from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System show that background checks jumped about 38 percent last month compared with December 2014.
First-of-a-kind drug approvals rose in 2015
WASHINGTON >> Approvals for first-of-a-kind drugs climbed last year, pushing the annual tally of new U.S. drugs to its highest level in 19 years. The rising figures reflect an industrywide focus on drugs for rare and hard-to-treat diseases, which often come with streamlined reviews, extra patent protections and higher price tags.
The Food and Drug Administration approved 45 drugs with never-before-sold ingredients in 2015, edging past the previous year’s tally of 41, which had been the highest number since 1996. FDA drug approvals are considered a barometer of industry innovation and the government’s efficiency in reviewing new therapies.
Ferrari completes spinoff with stock listing
MILAN >> Sports car manufacturer Ferrari is following up its successful Wall Street listing with a stock market launch in Milan, as it begins a new era as a stand-alone company. The company famed for its Formula 1 racing machines and coveted red roadsters began trading Monday morning, the first business day of the year, at 43 euros ($47) under the RACE ticker. After a volatile day the shares closed at 43.24 euros. The listing, which comes after Ferrari made its public debut on the New York Stock Exchange in October, completes the company’s separation from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles SpA.
Natural-disaster losses lowest in 6 years
BERLIN >> Last year saw the lowest financial costs from natural disasters worldwide since 2009, a leading insurer said Monday. Insurer Munich Re said in an annual survey that both insured losses and overall costs resulting from disasters were the lowest since 2009. It said that there were some $27 billion in insured losses, while overall costs — including losses not covered by insurance — totaled $90 billion. Those figures were down from $31 billion and $110 billion respectively in 2014. The year’s most devastating disaster was the earthquake in Nepal, but only a fraction of the resulting losses was insured.
GM CEO adds chairman to her title
DETROIT >> General Motors CEO Mary Barra is taking on the added role of chairman at the nation’s largest automaker. The company’s directors Monday unanimously elected her to lead the board, effective immediately. She replaces former Cummins Inc. Chairman and CEO Theodore Solso as GM’s chairman. He will stay on as the board’s lead independent director, the company said Monday in a statement. Barra’s appointment came shortly before GM became embroiled in a scandal over faulty small-car ignition switches.
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“… a year marked by mass shootings in Paris and California, and new political pressure to tighten (gun) regulations.” The “mass shootings” in Paris and California were Islamic terrorist attacks and have nothing to do with gun regulations in the U.S. This is Obama-pandering media spin.
This is just white noise for Wall Street. Everything is back to normal over there.
When Wall Street gets another titled added, they get a pay raise. When Main Street job’s are double duty after a lay off, it’s for the same pay.
Better technology will means faster drug developments and approvals.