Marketplace Morning Report
Start your day with an up-to-the-minute report on the world of business and finance with host David Brancaccio.
One class of stocks that has had a bad month: oil companies. Today, London-based BP reported profits down by $3 billion. This in part because of western sanctions against Russia, but also because oil prices have been falling sharply. Though, it may not be time to take up a collection for oil companies like BP. More on that. Plus, the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee begins two days of meetings today, and if everything goes as expected, tomorrow it will announce an end to the stimulus known as "quantitative easing." We take a look at what's next. And some U.S. colleges have faced declining enrollment since the recession began. But changes to a federal loan program in 2011 have hit especially hard some historically black colleges and universities.
Stock prices in Europe are generally down this morning, especially in Italy where the key index is down 2.1 percent. This after the European Central Bank Sunday released results of its so-called "stress tests": simulations of what would happen to banks in another crisis. 25 banks failed, but some have bulked up on their reserves since the tests, leaving 13 banks that appear weak, including an Italian Bank called Monte dei Paschi. More on that. Plus, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will be in Africa this week. On the agenda will be policies like President Obama's Power Africa initiative, which seeks to bring an additional 30,000 megawatts of electricity to Africa. What do we hope will come of the trip? And ahead of the midterm elections next week, state and local candidates are using tools the presidential campaigns pioneered two years ago, and they're testing out technology designed to get out the vote in 2016.
A Columbia University physician who traveled to Guinea to care for Ebola patients is now in isolation at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. He fell ill and later tested positive for Ebola. More on New York's preparedness for such a situation. Plus, UPS will hire 95,000 temporary workers this holiday season, and is experimenting with new ways for customers to pick up packages. The hiring spree aims to avoid last year's catastrophe when Christmas presents were delivered late due to a lack of staff. And on Friday, presidential elections take place in Botswana in southern Africa. The country is the world’s largest diamond producer, but has managed to avoid the “resources curse” that troubles many such nations. But whomever is elected will have to address the economic disparity that still exists within the country. And lastly, the midterm election is just eleven days away, and we learned this week that when all's said and done, Democrats, Republicans and outside groups will have spent close to $4 billion campaigning. That'll make this "the most expensive midterm ever," according to the Center for Responsive Politics. We speak with Rob Collins, who heads up the Republican Party's efforts to win a senate majority.
Just how much does Facebook's founder "like" China? Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg delivered a 30 minute speech, in Mandarin, at Tsinghua University. It's part of a larger effort to court the Chinese market. More on that. Plus: Southwest used to be a small regional airline, and has kept customers on board throughout its growth with a rare lack of fees. Fuel prices should be down, but the company is looking to charge for baggage for the first time, even as it tries to expand overseas. And Microsoft has had three CEOs since it was founded in 1975: Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Satya Nadella, who's been on the job eight months now. As Bethany McLean writes in this month's Vanity Fair magazine, this is a pivotal moment for Microsoft and its leadership as the company shifts focus to cloud computing and mobile devices.
Investors in Europe seem happier today after several big American companies reported stronger than expected earnings. We've talked about last week's market turmoil. When there's that kind of stock market volatility, there's this impulse to attribute it to something. More on that. And a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office says that lifting restrictions on exporting crude oil restrictions that have been in place for 40 years could drive down gasoline prices. Well, that report was written more than a month ago, and oh, how things have changed since then. That was before world oil prices and U.S. gasoline prices slid significantly. We look at whether or not that changes the equation.
Investors have been concerned about slow growth in Europe, but now they're looking at China—The country is going to have a hard time hitting its goal for growth it set for this year. More on that. Plus, we head to Staten Island to talk about how Ebola has had an economic impact one of the largest Liberian communities in America.