News highlights

News highlights

___ NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The United Auto Workers union is calling on General Motors to pay full union wages at electric vehicle battery factories, thrusting what was a festering conflict into the spotlight because automakers want to pay less. The union says in a statement about GM’s announcement Friday that it would build a second U.S. battery plant that the company has a “moral obligation” to pay the higher wages. A joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solutions will build the $2.3 billion plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. S&P 500 hits another record, marks 4th weekly gain in a row

___ BEIJING (AP) — China’s economic growth surged to 18.3% over a year earlier in the first quarter of 2021 but an explosive rebound in factory and consumer activity following the coronavirus pandemic was leveling off. The figures were magnified by comparison with early 2020, when the world’s second-largest economy suffered its deepest contraction in decades. Growth compared with the final quarter of 2020, when a recovery was under way, was only 0.6%, among the lowest in a decade. Manufacturing and consumer activity has returned to normal since the ruling Communist Party declared victory over the coronavirus last March and allowed factories and stores to reopen. Restaurants and shopping malls are filling up, though visitors still are checked for the virus’s telltale fever.

Union, automakers headed for fight over battery plant wages China’s growth surges to 18.3% but rebound leveling off

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s worst-in-the-nation Covid-19 outbreak is starting to affect automotive production, with a major Ram pickup truck plant slowing its output due to a large number of absent workers. A person briefed on the matter says about 10% of the production work force at the Stellantis assembly plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, either tested positive or is in quarantine. That’s about 600 workers, says the person who asked not to be identified because neither the company nor the United Auto Workers union is releasing details. Stellantis has brought in workers from other factories but the assembly line has slowed. Michigan continues to have the nation’s highest seven-day virus case rate, 538 per every 100,000 residents. ___ AP source: Virus surge in Michigan slows Ram truck plant

___ NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks marched higher on Wall Street Friday, giving the S&P 500 its latest record high and its fourth straight weekly gain. The benchmark index rose 0.4%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also closed at an all-time high. Higher bond yields helped lift bank stocks, and health care companies and those that rely on consumer spending also did well. Technology stocks lagged behind, leaving the Nasdaq up just 0.1%. Homebuilders rose after the Commerce Department said home construction rebounded strongly in March to the fastest pace since 2006 as builders recovered from an unusually frigid February. Treasury yields rose.

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