Afternoon Coffee: Economy & impeachment; FedEx woes; Ford to invest $1.45B in electric, more; Fiat Chrysler-Peugeot merger

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The CNBC All-America Economic Survey shows 49% of Americans approve of President Donald Trump’s handling of the economy, up from 42% in September and the highest level in a year. As Trump faces an impeachment vote today, the poll shows Americans are split on that too. “Forty-five percent of Americans disapprove of Congress impeaching President Trump and 44% approve,” according to the poll, which was conducted Dec. 10-13.

FedEx turbulence

FedEx reported weaker earnings than expected, saw a drop in its stock this week and lowered expectations for 2020. CNBC has the full story but put it succinctly with this:

“Here’s how the company did compared with Wall Street’s expectations, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates:

“Adjusted earnings per share: $2.51 vs. $2.76 expected

“Revenue: $17.32 billion vs. $17.58 billion expected”

The Wall Street Journal’s big-picture view: FedEx Corp. “cut its earnings targets for the fourth time in 2019, as the delivery giant struggles to adapt to a world where fewer packages are being flown around the globe and more are being delivered to people’s homes from warehouses.”

In another CNBC article, FedEx says it will make huge strides against Amazon in 2021.

Ford bets on electric cars, more for Detroit

Reuters reports that Ford Motor Co. has talked of its plans to invest over $1.45 billion at two of its Michigan plants to manufacture electric, autonomous and other vehicles. The move is expected to add 3,000 jobs. About $750 million will be put in to the Wayne facility to make its Bronco and Ranger SUVs and pickups, while the rest will be put in to the Dearborn plant to make electric and hybrid versions of the F-150 truck and will hire 300 people next year.

Fiat Chrysler, Peugeot sign deal

The Associated Press has an update on a big automaker merger that was announced in October: “The boards of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Peugeot on Wednesday signed a binding merger deal creating the world’s fourth-largest automaker with the scale to confront the challenges of stricter emissions regulations and the transition to new driving technologies.

“The companies said in a joint statement the new group will be led by PSA’s cost-cutting CEO Carlos Tavares, with Fiat Chrysler’s chairman John Elkann as head of the board of the merged group. Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley will stay on, though it was unclear in what capacity.

“No name for the new company has been decided, executives said, but both Tavares and Manley insisted it was not a ‘touchy subject.’ ”

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