A plane flying from Spain to Germany crashes in France; the NFL ends its blackout policy, and consumer prices make a small jump. The news of the day is here for March 24, 2015.
Germanwings Plane Crashes
French officials say they expect no survivors among the more than 140 passengers and additional crew aboard a Germanwings plane that crashed in Southern France Tuesday morning. The plane, an Airbus A320, was flying between Dusseldorf and Barcelona, and is believed to have gone down near Barcelonette in the Alpes de Haute-Provence. The airline is owned by Germany’s Lufthansa. The passengers were listed to be from Spain, France and Turkey.
Consumer Prices Rebound
The Labor Department Tuesday said consumer prices in the United States came back up in February as gasoline prices rose for the first time since June. The Consumer Price Index rose 0.2 percent last month after declining 0.7 percent in January. The rise ended three consecutive months of declines. In the 12 months through February, the CPI was unchanged. Economists had expected the rise by 0.2 percent from January. The low inflation rate is considered the main reason the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates as low as they have been since late in 2008. The so-called core CPI, which eliminates food and energy costs form the index, increased 0.2 percent in February as well.
Zero Is Not Appropriate
Speaking at a panel session in London Tuesday, Federal Reserve member James Bullard said the current zero percent interest rate is no longer appropriate for the United States and said a rate hike in the summer would still leave the economy moving. Bullard said monetary policy would remain “extremely accommodative’’ when the Fed installs a small increase in rates in the summer. Analysts are trying to determine when that rate will occur after Fed Chair Janet Yellen spoke recently about the dollar’s strength.
From Morgan Stanley to Google
Morgan Stanley Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Ruth Porat is leaving the Wall Street firm to become the CFO at Google. Porat made the announcement Tuesday. She joined Morgan Stanley in 1987 and helped created the company’s tech banking division during the Internet boom.
NFL Ends Blackout
The long-standing policy of “blacking out’’ National Football League games that are not sold out will end, the NFL announced Monday. From its owners meetings in Phoenix, the NFL said it is suspending blackouts for one year and will reevaluate the program at the end of the season. The NFL broadcasts its games in local markets on free, over-the-air television but previously said a game had to be sold out 72 hours in advance of kickoff to be broadcast. When the blackout policy started in the 1970s, as many as 50 percent of games would get blacked out. But the number declined to the point that last year there were no blackouts.
Wilson Purchases Louisville Slugger
Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods agreed Monday to purchase Louisville Slugger for $70 million in cash. Wilson gets the brand, sales and innovation rights to the 131-year-old bat maker previously owned by Hillerich & Bradsby, which will continue to manufacture the bats at its facility in Louisville. H&B will remain the owner of Louisville Slugger’s museum and gift shop, and will retain ownership of its Bionic Gloves and Powerbilt brands as well. Louisville Slugger had $75 million in revenue last year but has struggled against competitors in recent years. According to H&B, 60 percent of major league baseball players use Louisville Slugger bats.