8-day streak ends for S&P 500
NEW YORK — Industrial companies led a broad slide in stocks on Wall Street on Tuesday, ending the benchmark S&P 500's eight-day winning streak.
The sell-off came as traders weighed growing trade tensions between the U.S. and the European Union, and a report forecasting dimmer global economic growth this year.
Banks and technology companies also lost ground. Only utilities and communications service providers, a broad category that includes entertainment, telecommunications and internet companies, notched gains.
Smaller company stocks fell more than the rest of the market. Bond prices rose, sending yields lower, as investors moved money into safer holdings. The price of gold rose.
Tuesday's wave of selling marks a reversal for the market, which has been moving decidedly upward in recent weeks. The market is primed for more market-moving news this week, as the latest round of corporate earnings reports kicks off on Wednesday with Delta Air Lines. Several banks, including JPMorgan Chase, will release their first-quarter results on Friday. Analysts expect earnings for the S&P 500 to decline for the first time in almost three years.
"We're in the later stages of the economic cycle, so earnings are definitely needed to keep the momentum going," said Jennifer Green, global investment specialist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. "We've seen a very nice run, so far year-to-date, so the next stage is listening to how the earnings come in and the outlook and the guidance that these companies give us."
Bank of America to raise its wages
CHARLOTTE — Bank of America is raising its starting pay to $20 an hour over a two-year period, starting with a hike next month.
The company said it is raising its minimum hourly wage to $17 on May 1 and will continue to increase pay until it hits $20 an hour in 2021. Bank of America raised its hourly minimum wage to $15 in 2017. It says wages have increased since then, though it didn't release details of those increases.
In a Tuesday interview on MSNBC, CEO Brian Moynihan said, "'If you get a job at Bank of America, you'll make $41,000 per year."
Bank of America has more than 205,000 workers. It is the one of the largest banks operating in South Carolina based on deposits.
Levi's swings to profit; sales up
NEW YORK — Levi Strauss & Co. swung to a profit and reported a nearly 7% increase in net revenue during the company's fiscal first quarter, an indication the jeans maker's investments online and in its denim products are paying off.
Tuesday's earnings report marked Levi's first since its return to the public markets last month.
The San Francisco-based company said it had $1.43 billion in sales for the quarter ended Feb. 24.
It reported net income of $146.6 million, or 37 cents per share, in the quarter. That was compared with a loss of $19 million, or 5 cents, a year earlier.
Levi's stock got an enthusiastic reception from investors betting the iconic brand is ready for a comeback but it has retreated since then.
Big bank CEOs coming to Congress
NEW YORK — The heads of some of the largest U.S. banks will appear in front of Congress on Wednesday, for a hearing expected to produce political fireworks, but few policy changes.
Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase will testify, as well as the CEOs of Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. The CEOs of State Street and Bank of New York Mellon are also slated to appear.
It's the most significant hearing on banks since Democrats took control of the House earlier this year.
Banks have been trying to polish up their images ahead of the hearing, aware their record profits in 2018 could be a target for Democrats. Meanwhile, the banking industry's lobbyists have been pushing Congress to further unwind the rules put into place after the 2008 financial crisis.
IMF: Global growth will weaken this year
WASHINGTON — The International Monetary Fund is downgrading its outlook for growth in the United States, Europe, Japan and the overall global economy and points to heightened trade tensions as a key reason.
The IMF expects the world economy to grow 3.3% this year, down from 3.6% in 2018. That would match 2016 for the weakest year since 2009. In its previous forecast in January, the IMF had predicted that international growth would reach 3.5% this year.
For the United States, IMF economists downgraded their growth forecast for this year to 2.3% from 2.9% in 2018.
The IMF's World Economic Outlook comes on the eve of meetings in Washington this week of the fund and its sister lending organization, the World Bank.
Ex-SeaWorld exec pleads guilty
ORLANDO — A former SeaWorld executive who purchased $385,000 in company shares after learning that the theme park business was expecting improved revenue and attendance has pleaded guilty to a single count of insider trading.
Federal prosecutors say Paul Powers entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in Orlando.
As the company's associate general counsel, Powers was able to view information on revenue and attendance before it became public. Because of this access, he was only permitted to make stock purchases or sales of SeaWorld stock during a limited time period.
Prosecutors say Powers purchased 18,000 shares of SeaWorld stock last August, just days before the company planned to report a strong financial quarter, and six weeks after he was permitted to make any trades.
Wynn Resorts walks away Aussie deal
SYDNEY — Wynn Resorts abruptly ended buyout talks with Australia's largest casino operator Tuesday after word of a potential buyout were leaked.
In a tersely worded statement, the Las Vegas casino giant said it was ending all discussions with Crown Resorts.
Earlier in the day, Crown had confirmed that it was in acquisition talks with Wynn.
"Following the premature disclosure of preliminary discussions, Wynn Resorts has terminated all discussions with Crown Resorts concerning any transaction," Wynn said in a written statement.