Consumer Shares Edge Higher as Sentiment Brightens -- Consumer Roundup

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03/15/2019 | 10:39 pm


Shares of retailers and other consumer companies climbed as data showed U.S. consumer sentiment rose at the beginning of March, a sign that consumers may be feeling more optimistic than they did to start the year. The University of Michigan on Friday said its consumer sentiment index increased to 97.8 after registering 93.8 at the end of February and 91.2 in January, the lowest level since October 2016. The chief executive of Newell Brands is leaving the consumer-products conglomerate, which has struggled with weak sales and missed targets since a merger put Sharpie pens, Mr. Coffee machines and Yankee Candle under the same roof. Ford Motor Co. is to cut more than 5,000 jobs in Germany and an undetermined number of jobs in the U.K., a company spokeswoman said Friday, after the company launched plans to redefine its struggling European business earlier this year. The SEC charged Volkswagen and its former Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn with defrauding U.S. investors in connection with the emissions-cheating scandal that the auto maker is trying to leave in the past. Elon Musk unveiled the Model Y compact sport-utility vehicle with an eventual starting price of $39,000, his next big bet for Tesla to appeal to a wider swath of electric car buyers. Amazon.com Inc. tested a pop-up feature on its app that in some instances pitched its private-label goods on rivals' product pages, an experiment that shows the e-commerce giant's aggressiveness in hawking lower-priced products including its own house brands. StarKist Co. reached a settlement to resolve antitrust complaints from a group of retailers including Kroger Co., the latest such resolution following its admission that it conspired with other companies to raise prices on canned tuna.





-Amy Pessetto, amy.pessetto@dowjones.com



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