Japanese Shares Gain 0.2%; China Lower

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 stock average rose 0.2% to 10,126.03, following three down days, as factory output rose 2.5% in January for the 11th-straight month. Shares of Toyota(TM Quote), which is in the news everyday because of the recall of millions of its vehicles, rose 1.8%. The Shanghai Composite Index in China fell 0.3%, while stocks in Hong Kong finished higher by 1%. European shares were higher with stocks in London gaining about 1% after the GDP report. Shares in Frankfurt and Paris rose 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively. Shares of U.K. bank Lloyds(LYG Quote) were lower after it reported a 2009 loss on impairment charges. The bank, however, said the impairments for bad loans were easing. Premarket futures suggested stocks in the U.S. would rise at the open Friday after finishing lower on Thursday. — Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York. Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.   Loading Comments… [Read the full article]

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The auto industry’s recovery may have to take a short detour. Toyota’s troubles are likely to rub off on the entire business. The unspoken aim of the congressional hearings and the trial lawyers seems to be to frighten Toyota ( TM – news – people ) owners. But that nervousness is likely to spread beyond one company. All carmakers run into accusations of “unintended acceleration” at one time or another. I’ve always believed that they’re driving errors, people (often older drivers) stepping on the gas instead of the brake and holding it down when the car doesn’t stop. But when the legislators and safety regulators and trial lawyers think they’ve got all they can get from Toyota, they’ll be looking at others: Ford ( F – news – people ), Honda ( HMC – news – people ), Audi. Remember the destructive but never proven charges against Audi years ago? When buyers get frightened or nervous they are less likely to buy–and that means less likely to buy any car. [Read the full article]

Investment supports new fuel-efficient 3.7-liter V-6 engine for 2011 Mustang that delivers an expected best-in-class 30 mpg highway and 305 horsepower  

The 3.7-liter DOHC Ti-VCT V-6 is one of nine new engines and transmissions Ford is introducing in North America for 2011-model-year vehicles

With Cleveland plant upgrade, Ford already has invested $1.8 billion and added 1,260 jobs in North American powertrain engineering and facilities to support 2011 vehicle launches” with more to come  

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F – News) is investing $155 million and adding 60 jobs at its Cleveland operations to build a new fuel-efficient V-6 engine for the 2011 Mustang, which has expected class-leading highway fuel efficiency of 30 miles per gallon on the highway and 305 horsepower.  

The investment and jobs at Ford’s Cleveland Engine Plant No. [Read the full article]

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