Obama signs stimulus as Goodyear cuts back
President Barack Obama signed his huge stimulus plan into law on Tuesday at a ceremony in Denver.
The $787 billion package includes about $150 billion in infrastructure investment, about $46.5 billion of which is devoted to highway, transit and passenger rail repairs and upgrades.
The legislation, designed to save or create up to 3.5 million jobs during the next two years, comes as Goodyear announced that it will lay off an additional 5,000 employees, and the Commerce Department reported that housing starts in January fell almost 17 percent to their lowest level on record for January.
Goodyear said that falling auto sales have hurt its tire sales, which was down to $4.1 billion in the fourth quarter from $5.2 billion in the same 2007 quarter. The job cuts are on top of 4,000 slots eliminated last year. As part of its cash-management strategy, Goodyear said it will also reduce inventory levels by more than $500 million and is taking steps to lower the cost of raw and indirect materials. ' Eric Kulisch