Business briefing

The daily business briefing: October 6, 2022

OPEC+ cuts oil production by 2 million barrels per day, former Uber security chief found guilty of concealing breach, and more

1

OPEC+ agrees to oil production cut to prop up prices

OPEC+ announced Wednesday it will slash oil production by 2 million barrels a day to boost prices. The cuts amount to about 2 percent of global supply. The alliance between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, led by Russia, said the move was necessary because of the "uncertainty that surrounds the global economic and oil market outlooks." The Biden administration said the "shortsighted" decision would "have the most negative impact on lower- and middle-income countries that are already reeling from elevated energy prices." Oil prices surged as high as $128 per barrel after Russia invaded Ukraine, but have fallen as global economic trouble reduced demand. Capital Economics said global oil prices could rise from around $93 a barrel to $100.

2

Jury finds former Uber security chief guilty of covering up breach

A federal jury on Wednesday found former Uber chief security officer Joe Sullivan guilty on charges related to quietly paying hackers who breached customer and driver records, and failing to tell government regulators. Sullivan was convicted on one count of obstruction of justice for hiding the breach from the Federal Trade Commission, and one count of concealing a felony from authorities. Sullivan, a leading security expert and former cybercrimes prosecutor in San Francisco, found out that more than 57 million rider  and driver accounts at the ride-hailing service had been compromised in 2016, while the FTC was already investigating a prior breach. Judge William Orrick did not set a sentencing date. Sullivan can appeal.

3

U.S. considering deal to ease Venezuela oil sanctions

The Biden administration is preparing to ease sanctions against Venezuela that would let Chevron resume oil production in the South American nation, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the situation. That could lead to reopening U.S. and European markets to Venezuelan oil. In exchange, the authoritarian government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro would be expected to resume talks with opposition leaders on preparing to hold free and fair presidential elections in 2024, the Journal's sources said. U.S. officials said the deal isn't a sure thing yet. "There are no plans to change our sanctions policy without constructive steps from the Maduro regime," said National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson.

4

Stock futures fall as early-week rally fades

U.S. stock futures fell early Thursday as Treasury yields edged higher. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.6 percent at 6:30 a.m. ET. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were down 0.7 percent. The Dow fell 0.1 percent on Wednesday. The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, as Wall Street lost steam after a two-day rally earlier in the week. "Few are convinced that the recent move is more than a bear market rally, with skepticism over the durability," Mark Hackett, chief of investment research at Nationwide, told CNBC. "Confidence remains weak, ranging from CEOs, small businesses, consumers, and investors."

5

Ford raises price on F-150 Lightning electric trucks, citing inflation

Ford said Wednesday it is raising the price of its base F-150 Lightning electric truck model by $5,000 due to ongoing supply-chain problems and high inflation, Reuters reported. The new 2023 F-150 Lightning Pro will sell for $51,974, up from $46,974, an increase of nearly 11 percent. Ford already had raised prices on the F-150 Lightning lineup by $6,000 to $8,500, depending on the variant, in August. On a second-quarter earnings call, Ford CFO John Lawler said the automaker was facing rising costs "across the board," including materials, freight, fuel, and more. Other EV manufacturers, including Tesla and Rivian Automotive, have also hiked prices this year due to tough economic conditions.

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