Jan 5, 2017

Americans buy a record number of cars

In the era of Uber and Lyft, it's easy to guess that car sales are on the way out. That's not the case. A surge in demand for light trucks and SUVs led the auto industry to a seventh straight year for record sales.

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Data: Statista.com, Autodata corp. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

The top five models sold were the same as 2015, with Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado, and Ram (all light trucks) dominating the top 3.

Cautionary note: The industry may have hit its high water-mark. These record sales are supported by low gas prices, easy credit and better economic conditions.

Go deeper

Scoop: Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates will be reassigned as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, the National Security Council said Thursday — and a senior White House official said that the administration "rejects" the rumors that she is "Anonymous."

Why it matters: Coates has battled claims that she is the still-unknown Trump administration official that penned a New York Times op-ed and book critical of President Trump.

The Fed may be setting the table for 2020 rate cuts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Fed looks to be laying the groundwork to lower U.S. interest rates this year, just as they did in April 2019 before cutting rates in July, September and October.

Why it matters: A Fed rate cut makes taking on debt more attractive for U.S. consumers and businesses, helping to juice the economy, but also puts the central bank in a weaker position to fight off a potential recession.

Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in a $13 billion deal

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Morgan Stanley is planning to buy E*Trade Financial Corp. in a $13 billion all-stock deal, the Wall Street Journal reports, with plans to acquire the company known for helping everyday Americans manage their money.

Why it matters: The deal, which would be the largest by a major American bank since the financial crisis, signals Morgan Stanley‘s desire to bulk up in wealth management.