Business briefing

The daily business briefing: July 11, 2022

Leaked Uber files indicate company used covert tech to thwart raids, Abbott Labs restarts baby-formula factory, and more

1

Leaked Uber files suggest company used covert tech to thwart raids

Leaked documents suggest Uber used a "kill switch" and other covert technology to prevent European regulators from examining the ride-hailing company's business practices as it challenged taxi services around the world, according to more than 124,000 documents known as the Uber files that were leaked to Britain's The Guardian. During this period, The Washington Post reported Sunday, Uber faced raids so frequent that it provided a Dawn Raid Manual to instruct employees how to react if authorities arrived, with directives such as "Move the Regulators into a meeting room that does not contain any files" and "Never leave the Regulators alone," the Post reported.

2

Abbott Labs reopens Michigan baby-formula plant

Abbott Laboratories has restarted baby-formula production at its Sturgis, Michigan, plant, a company spokesperson John Koval confirmed Sunday. The news came three weeks after a shutdown prompted by severe thunderstorms disrupted the push to ease a nationwide shortage.  Koval said production of Abbott's EleCare formula for babies with digestive issues had resumed, according to The Wall Street Journal. Shipping will start back up within weeks, he said, and production of Similac formula will start again as soon as the company can manage. The company had announced on June 15 that it temporarily stopped operations at the plant to clean and sanitize it after flooding caused by the storm.

3

Twitter stock falls after Musk says he'll end deal

Twitter shares fell as much as 7.8 percent in pre-market trading on Monday after Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he would drop his $44 billion deal to buy the social media company. Musk had demanded that Twitter provide definitive information on how many of its accounts were legitimate users and how many were bots and fake accounts, and he said the company hasn't provided the information he needs. Musk's lawyer notified Twitter's board on Friday that Musk wants to end the deal. Twitter says it has provided information showing spam accounts make up only 5 percent of its active users. Twitter has said it will fight in court to keep Musk from backing out of the deal.

4

Stock futures fall ahead of inflation data

U.S. stocks futures fell early Monday ahead of fresh inflation data and the start of earnings season. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were down 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively, at 6:45 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were down 0.7 percent. The Dow and the S&P 500 edged lower on Friday after a strong jobs report, which showed that U.S. employers added 372,000 jobs in June, beating expectations. The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose slightly, its fifth straight day of gains. Analysts warned that markets would remain volatile this month due to ongoing concerns about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the effect of the Federal Reserve's aggressive interest-rate hikes to fight high inflation.

5

Gas prices drop along with oil costs 

The average price of a gallon of gasoline fell 19 cents per gallon to $4.86 per gallon in the United States over the last two weeks. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey attributed the change to falling crude oil costs. "Assuming oil prices do not shoot up from here, motorists may see prices drop another 10-20 cents as the oil price cuts continue making their way to street level," Lundberg said Sunday in a statement. Gas is now down 24 cents in a month. It remains $1.66 per gallon higher than a year ago. Diesel has dropped 13 cents per gallon, to $5.76 per gallon, since June 24.

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