Fed Chairman Jerome Powell faces the tough challenge of presenting a unified voice on Fed policy from the most divided Fed in years.Market Insiderread more
Beijing is still short on details on how it will respond to new U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.World Economyread more
Falling air cargo demand could be flashing warning signs about the broader economy.Transportationread more
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is under house arrest in Canada and facing extradition to America, is not a bargaining chip in the trade...Technologyread more
Target's latest earning report shows how these investments are driving traffic and sales at a time when other retailers are struggling.Retailread more
The chip, called the Ascend 910, was first unveiled in October last year and is aimed at data centers.Technologyread more
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro hit back at French leader Emmanuel Macron, after he urged dialogue among G-7 leaders on the rising number of fires in the Amazon rainforest.World Politicsread more
Investors are rushing to get a piece of its privately held rival Impossible Foods before it goes public, according to the Wall Street Journal.Food & Beverageread more
"The economy may be in good shape now, but if we keep getting more and more tariffs it could deteriorate," Jim Cramer says.Mad Money with Jim Cramerread more
Local governments commonly share single service providers, making many vulnerable at once. On top of this, ransomware has often been used to mask more targeted, malicious...Technologyread more
Google says it shut down hundreds of YouTube channels tied to misinformation around the Hong Kong protests.Technologyread more
The U.S. auto industry saw record sales in 2015, but a flat December may portend a rougher road ahead, said Mike Jackson, the leader of the nation's largest dealer chain.
"Let's talk about December, which I consider to be a true bellwether month every year as an indication of what's going to happen," the AutoNation chairman and CEO told CNBC's "Squawk Box " on Wednesday. "I know it looks like a … cherry on top of this beautiful [ice cream] sundae of 17.5 million [units], but actually I think it's more like a prune."
U.S. auto sales totaled a record 17.47 million in 2015 even as December numbers trailed expectations, according to figures from research firm Autodata.
"The industry calendar moved three days and a January weekend into 2015. So that's 9 percent more days. And we have 9 percent more sales. If you correct for the calendar, that means sales are basically flat [for the month]," Jackson said. "I'm looking at significantly higher inventories; higher incentives from the manufacturers; and bigger discounts from us, the retailer. We had to discount an additional $250-$300 a car, compared to a year ago."
Putting his concerns into perspective, he said: "Go back to 2000, the last time we had records, if you look at the next five years, industry sales were very good." He continued, "However, the quality of the earnings [at that time] deteriorated dramatically as the industry really couldn't manage flat sales."
"You'll hear a lot of happy talk from everybody else in the industry," Jackson said. "[But] I'm saying we're in a new chapter here."
Under this scenario, Jackson expects margins and earnings to be hurt at AutoNation for a quarter or so while the company re-positions itself through cost cutting, a reduction of inventories, and finding "the right line between volume and quality."
— Reuters contributed to this report.