NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are sinking as investors worry that more protectionist trade policies are on the way. Gary Cohn, the top economic adviser to President Donald Trump, resigned after he opposed the administration’s planned tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. Trump also suggested the U.S. could impose penalties on China as part of intellectual property disputes.
BRUSSELS (AP) — In response to steel and aluminum tariffs, the European Union has proposed tariffs on items including motorcycles and bourbon. Shares in Jack Daniel’s maker Brown-Forman sank after CEO Paul Varga said his company “could be an unfortunate and unintended victim” of more hostile trade. He also said the company has been selling more lower-priced liquors in Europe, and that strategy leaves it more vulnerable to the effects of tariffs.
NEW YORK (AP) — Billionaire investor Carl Icahn denies that he had any prior knowledge of President Donald Trump’s plans to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum when he sold about $31 million of stock in a steel-dependent company last month. He says the sale was for “legitimate investment reasons having nothing to do with that announcement.” Trump announced the tariffs last week. Icahn sold almost 1 million shares in The Manitowoc Co. from Feb. 12 through Feb. 22. Icahn had served as an unofficial adviser to Trump, but stepped down in August due to criticism regarding the appearance of possible ethical conflicts.
NEW YORK (AP) — Small business hiring is looking a little stronger. That report is from payroll provider ADP, which said its small business customers added 68,000 jobs in February, up from January’s 63,000. Small business hiring has fluctuated for over a year and hasn’t always kept pace with strong gains at larger businesses. ADP’s report on hiring at companies of all sizes showed a healthy gain of 235,000 jobs last month, with significant increases in construction, hotels and restaurants, and education and health care.
NEW YORK (AP) — Coca-Cola may be getting into the booze business again by developing a bubbly alcoholic drink in Japan. The soda maker, best known for Coke, Sprite and Fanta, says it’s experimenting with a canned beverage that would be a mix of sparkling water and an alcoholic Japanese drink. Coca-Cola Co. sold wine about 40 years ago, but got out of that business in 1983.