Must-Read Money Stories for Wednesday, Jan. 4

by January 4, 2017
After a four-year downtrend, U.S. gas prices are expected to climb in 2017, when U.S. consumers could pay $52 billion more at the pump than last year. (Image "Gas Pumps in Bayse" by Taber Andrew Bain via Flickr, CC license by 2.0.)

After a four-year downtrend, U.S. gas prices are expected to climb in 2017. U.S. consumers could pay $52 billion more at the pump than last year. (Image “Gas Pumps in Bayse” by Taber Andrew Bain via Flickr, CC license by 2.0.)

Obamacare repeal gains momentum

Senate lawmakers in Washington D.C. will spend Wednesday evening in a floor debate about the possible repeal of President Barrack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act—a proposal Republicans swiftly rolled out the day prior as the new Congressional session was just beginning, according to CNN. The GOP’s proposal, handed down in the form of a budget resolution, is the first of a two-step process to repeal Obamacare that could take a few months before coming to a final vote. Republicans are proposing a two-or three-year transition period for the repeal, which CNN reports is already facing a messy uphill battle from both the Democratic minority and private-sector healthcare industry.

Ford axes plans for Mexico auto factory

Ford Motor Co. sounded the death knell Tuesday for its proposed $1.60-billion southern expansion into Mexico, saying it’ll instead add 700 jobs domestically, in its home state of Michigan. Ford’s decision was quickly applauded by President-elect Donald Trump, who, minutes prior, had taken to Twitter to criticize competitor General Motors Co. for moving production of one of its model cars to Mexico, according to Bloomberg. Ford executives told reporters their decision stems from an anticipated pro-business climate under Trump, who spent much of his time on the campaign trail blasting automakers such as Ford and GM for moving jobs across foreign borders.

Gas pump prices may soar in 2017

The downtrend in gas prices that U.S. consumers have enjoyed over the past four years may soon come to an end. GasBuddy, a market observer and price tracker, said Tuesday that consumers are expected to pay a whopping $52 billion more at the pump in 2017 than last year—a difference that translates to an average $2.49 per gallon, up from the $2.13 average in 2016, according to USA Today. Analysts say that’s a sizable jump in just one year. Even amid a stronger jobs market it could creep up on consumers’ wallets and ultimately hurt the overall economy.

Xerox finalizes two-part split

Xerox Corp. saw its stock prices soar roughly 15 percent higher Tuesday. That was its first day of trading  as a new company following the completion of its corporate split into two entities, according to the Wall Street Journal. Plans for the split were publicly announced about a year ago, when executives, attempting to reverse several quarters of declining revenue, proposed spinning off the company’s business-services unit, now called Conduent Inc., from its traditional copy and printing business, now under the new Xerox entity. Following the split’s completion, the new Xerox was upgraded by analysts, saying the move was a “constructive” way to focus on its roots as a technology and hardware business.