Stocks rise, recoup some losses
NEW YORK — Stocks climbed on Tuesday and clawed back a chunk of their losses from Monday's rout, the latest whipsaw move as investors weigh just how badly the escalating U.S.-China trade war will hurt the economy.
The day's rally was nearly a mirror image of Monday's plunge, when the S&P 500 had its worst day since early January, just not as severe: Technology companies led the way higher after bearing the brunt of the selling on Monday, Treasury yields rose modestly and gold gave back a bit of its gains.
Tuesday's rally came after another round of morning Trump tweets on trade. He said, "When the time is right we will make a deal with China," and he cited his "unlimited" respect for and friendship with China's leader.
Investors are looking for a "place of equilibrium," said Mark Hackett, chief of investment research for Nationwide Investment Management.
"My skepticism is that there's really not a lot of news driving the rally," he said. "It feels like an attempted recovery that may not have legs."
In the meantime, any further hints of resolution on the trade dispute — or Twitter storms — could drive markets into their next swing.
"We're not counting on a full resolution," said John Lynch, chief investment strategist at LPL Financial. "But, we're looking for a path to progress."
Disney takes full control of Hulu
BURBANK, Calif. — The Walt Disney Co. is taking full control of Hulu, extending the reach of its streaming abilities.
Disney said Tuesday that it's taking operational control of the streaming service immediately.
NBCUniversal owns 33% of Hulu right now. According to the agreement, Disney can demand NBCUniversal sell the remaining stake to Disney for its fair market value in the future. Disney has guaranteed a sale price that represents a minimum total equity value of $27.5 billion.
Disney and Comcast Corp. also agreed to fund Hulu's recent purchase of AT&T Inc.'s 9.5% interest in Hulu.
Chip giant reports new security flaw
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Intel has revealed another hardware security flaw that could affects millions of machines around the world.
The chipmaker said Tuesday there's no evidence of anyone exploiting the bug.
The bug is embedded in the architecture of computer hardware. Intel says it could let attackers see leaked data but it's difficult to exploit outside of a laboratory.
The company says it's already addressed the problem in its newest chips after working for months with business partners and independent researchers.
It's the latest revelation of a hard-to-fix vulnerability affecting processors that undergird smartphones and personal computers.
China auto sales slump in April
BEIJING — China's auto sales sank 17.7% in April from a year earlier, the 10th straight month of decline amid trade tension with Washington and an economic slowdown.
Drivers in the industry's biggest global market bought 1.6 million sedans, SUVs and minivans, according to an industry group, the China Association of Auto Manufacturers. Total vehicle sales, including trucks and buses, fell 14.6% to 2 million.
Jittery consumers are less willing to make big purchases amid a tariff war with Washington and unease about China's economic outlook. Growth in the second-largest global economy held steady in the latest quarter but that was supported by government stimulus spending and higher bank lending.
The downturn is squeezing Chinese and global automakers that are pouring money into meeting government targets to develop electric vehicles.
Auto sales for the first four months of the year are off 14.7% from a year earlier at 6.8 million, according to CAAM.
Profit at reeling carmaker Nissan skids
TOKYO — Japanese automaker Nissan, reeling from the arrest of its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, has seen annual profit nose-dive to less than half of what it earned in the previous year. It's forecasting even dimmer results going forward.
Nissan Motor Co. reported Tuesday that its profit for the fiscal year ended March tumbled 58 percent to the equivalent of $2.9 billion.
Nissan said profit for the fiscal year through March 2020 will drop to $1.5 billion, as restructuring and product development expenses combined with currency-related losses and rising material costs slam earnings.
Ghosn, who led Nissan and its alliance with Renault SA of France for two decades, was arrested in November on financial misconduct charges. He says he is innocent.
WhatsApp says spyware infected via call
SAN FRANCISCO — Spyware crafted by a sophisticated group of hackers-for-hire took advantage of a flaw in the popular WhatsApp communications program to remotely hijack dozens of phones, the company said late Monday.
The Financial Times identified the actor as Israel's NSO Group, and WhatsApp all but confirmed the identification, describing hackers as "a private company that has been known to work with governments to deliver spyware." A spokesman for the Facebook subsidiary later said: "We're certainly not refuting any of the coverage you've seen."
The malware was able to penetrate phones through missed calls alone via the app's voice calling function, the spokesman said. An unknown number of people — an amount in the dozens at least would not be inaccurate — were infected with the malware, which the company discovered in early May, said the spokesman, who was not authorized to be quoted by name.
John Scott-Railton, a researcher with the internet watchdog Citizen Lab, called the hack "a very scary vulnerability."
"There's nothing a user could have done here, short of not having the app," he said.
UK jobless rate at 45-year low
LONDON — Official figures show that Britain's unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in 45 years, though wage growth softened slightly.
The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that the jobless rate in the three months to March declined to 3.8%, its lowest level since the end of 1974, from 3.9% the month before.
Separately, it said wage growth excluding bonuses rose by 3.3% down from 3.4% the month before. Despite the modest decline, wages are rising close to their highest rates since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.
Economists said the figures do little to alter their expectations that the Bank of England won't be raising interest rates anytime soon especially as Britain's exit from the European Union remains clouded with uncertainty.