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Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

U.S. engine maker Cummins on Wednesday reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit and forecast full-year sales below analysts' estimates, Reuters reports.

The state of play: The news plays out almost exactly as CEO Tom Linebarger warned in a July New York Times op-ed. "These tariffs put us in a worse position now than when we started these negotiations, and we are concerned there is no end in sight," he wrote. "Because of this uncertainty, companies like ours are standing still, unclear on how and where to invest."

What it means: Cummins' soft guidance further amplifies concerns of a slowdown in sales of heavy-duty trucks in North America.

  • As we noted in late January, truck shipments' year-over-year growth fell in December for the first time since 2016. Truck shipments are thought to be a leading indicator of the economy's health as they're very sensitive to market fears.
  • Cummins said Wednesday it expects 2019 production of heavy-duty trucks in North America to rise just 2%, a significant pullback from the nearly 30% growth the industry chalked up last year.

Don't forget: The company's stock dropped 11.5% in December and fell 24% in 2018.

Go deeper: Trucking's troubles could preview an economic downturn

Go deeper

30 mins ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

54 mins ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

2 hours ago - Health

Africa CDC: Vaccines likely won't be available until Q2 of 2021

Africa CDC director Dr. John Nkengasong. Photo: Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Africa may have to wait until the second quarter of 2021 to roll out vaccines, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.

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