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Ford has a lot riding on the Detroit auto show this year

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The new 2020 Ford Explorer SUV is revealed at Ford Field on January 9, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan.

Bill Pugliano | Getty Images

The new 2020 Ford Explorer SUV is revealed at Ford Field on January 9, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan.

Few automakers exhibiting at the Detroit auto show, which kicks off Sunday in Detroit, have more riding on this year’s show than Ford.

The company, which is scheduled to release its fourth-quarter earnings Jan. 23, is in the midst of an $11 billion turnaround under CEO Jim Hackett. Investors haven’t been pleased so far. Its shares skidded 39 percent last year, falling below $10 a share for the first time since 2012, as its profits plunged 27 percent to $3.8 billion during the first nine months last year from the same time the previous year. And it announced Thursday a massive restructuring in Europe that will cut thousands of jobs there and discontinue several vehicle lines that have been losing money.

Detroit will give the public its first look at redesigns of two of the automaker’s most important models: the Explorer and Mustang Shelby GT 500. Ford launched a fully redesigned Explorer last week, but most of the public will get their first glimpse of it at the North American International Auto Show. Ford’s also unveiling a new design for its classic Mustang Shelby GT500, a supercharged version of the sports car that carries the high-profile Shelby brand.

“Ford’s putting a lot more stock in their Mustang and Explorer which are their more iconic vehicles,” Julie Blackley, communications manager for automotive analytics firm iSeeCars, told CNBC. Iconic may be underselling it. The Mustang is the best selling sports car of all time, while Explorer is the industry’s top-selling SUV nameplate in history.

It’s not just about sales for the 116-year old car company. In Detroit, the company is showcasing two of its star performers that personify its new strategy, revealed to much surprise and dismay last year. The company is planning to phase out all traditional cars, except the Mustang, producing only SUVs and trucks.

“This is Ford broadcasting its identity,” Jeremy Acevedo, manager of industry analysis at Edmunds, said. The company, as he sees it, is making an “all-in bet on their trucks and SUVs.”



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Canada re-examining Boeing Max approval after FAA certification probe

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Boeing 737 MAX9 takes part in a flying display over the Le Bourget Airport during the 52nd International Paris Air Show on June 22, 2017, in Paris, France.

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Boeing 737 MAX9 takes part in a flying display over the Le Bourget Airport during the 52nd International Paris Air Show on June 22, 2017, in Paris, France.

Transport Canada is re-examining the validation it gave Boeing’s 737 Max jets, following reports of a U.S. probe into the aircraft’s certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau said on Monday.

Garneau told reporters in Ottawa that Transport Canada might not take any action but thinks it would be wise to re-examine the validation of the jet, which has been grounded worldwide for safety concerns following the crash of an Ethiopian plane.

Canada accepted the FAA’s March 2017 certification of the Max under a deal where such approvals by the United States are accepted by Canada and vice versa.



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Fed may let inflation run a little hotter than usual, Goldman says

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Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell arrives to speak at a press conference after the Fed announced interest rates would remain unchanged, in Washington, DC, January 30, 2019.

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Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell arrives to speak at a press conference after the Fed announced interest rates would remain unchanged, in Washington, DC, January 30, 2019.

Goldman Sachs says the Federal Reserve is likely to let inflation run higher than its 2 percent target.

The central bank has begun a monthslong review of its policy framework to consider alternative approaches to targeting inflation. Goldman believes the Fed will decide to allow overshoots of its inflation goal next year, which would take rate hike off the table.

“Our economists believe it is leaning toward adopting an average inflation targeting approach. If implemented, they believe this change would decrease the likelihood of further near-term policy tightening and lead to a small and gradual increase in both expected and realized price inflation,” Goldman equity strategist Ben Snider said in a note.

Since 2012, the Fed has always been attempting to hit a 2 percent inflation target, but the rate of price rises has fallen short through much of the recovery from the recession. The alternative approach that Goldman expects the Fed to adopt calls for targeting 2 percent on average over the business cycle, which encourages higher prices during expansions to balance weak inflation during recessions. New York Fed President John Williams is a supporter of this framework.

Fed chief Jerome Powell during his February testimony before the House Financial Services Committee said the central bank is examining alternatives to “more credibly achieve” its target, adding that it’s not looking at a higher inflation target.



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Activists call on NAACP to drop Jussie Smollett’s Image Award nom

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Jussie Smollett attends the Thurgood Marshall College Fund gala on Oct. 23, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Tasos Katopodis | Getty Images

Jussie Smollett attends the Thurgood Marshall College Fund gala on Oct. 23, 2017 in Washington, DC.

A black conservative group is calling on the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to drop Jussie Smollett from the list of nominees for an Image Award after the actor was arrested on the suspicion of filing a false police report claiming to have been the victim of a hate crime.

Project 21, an activist group sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, said Smollett “does not deserve honor after arrest for hate crimes hoax.”

“Everyone has a reason to be disappointed with Jussie Smollett right now, and these accumulated reasons justify the NAACP taking swift and appropriate action to remove him from consideration for its Image Award,” Council Nedd, co-chairman of Project 21, said in a statement Monday.

Smollett was nominated for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for his work on “Empire.” The Image Awards is an event that celebrates the achievements and performances of people of color as well as individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.

The Image Award nomination came before Smollett was charged with 16 counts of disorderly misconduct for allegedly lying to the Chicago police.

Representatives for Smollett and the NAACP’s Image Awards did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

This isn’t the first time that Project 21 has contested the Image Award’s nominees. In 2004, the group criticized the NAACP for allowing R&B singer R. Kelly to keep his nomination for outstanding album despite the fact that he was under indictment for alleged child pornography violations.



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