The daily business briefing: October 13, 2016

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf steps down, dairy farmers dump surplus milk, and more

John Stumpf, former CEO of Wells Fargo
(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf steps down over sales scandal

Wells Fargo & Co. CEO and Chairman John Stumpf, under fire over the bank's sales scandal, is retiring effective immediately, the company announced Wednesday. Wells Fargo's stock has plunged by as much as 12 percent since news broke that employees had opened about two million accounts without customer authorization, resulting in $185 million in penalties for the bank. President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Sloan will step in as CEO, and lead director Stephen Sanger will take over as non-executive chairman of the board. Wells Fargo shares gained 1.5 percent in extended trading after the announcement. Stumpf will not receive severance.

Bloomberg CNBC

2. Dairy farmers, facing glut, pour out millions of gallons of milk

U.S. farmers dumped more than 43 million gallons of surplus milk, much of it into fields or used as animal feed, in the first eight months of the year to combat a huge glut, according to Department of Agriculture data. "Everyone has dumped milk, from Minnesota to New England," said Ken Nobis, head of the Michigan Milk Producers Association. Some producers are pushing to find new outlets for the excess milk, such as getting more milk into school lunches. The glut has driven down prices by 36 percent from the records set in 2014.

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The Wall Street Journal Money

3. Latest Fed message weighs on stocks

U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open on Thursday, with the major indexes falling by roughly 0.5 percent over concerns over the Federal Reserve's latest musings on interest rates and a larger-than-expected decline in China's exports. U.S. stocks closed mixed on Wednesday after the Fed released minutes from its last policy meeting that supported expectations of an interest rate hike in December. Chairwoman Janet Yellen appeared to have steered a mixed group of policy makers toward holding off to see whether economic data continued to show improvement. Some officials expressed growing concern that waiting too long could raise the danger of recession. "We remain where we were: a market still betting Chair Yellen wants a hike in December," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial.

MarketWatch CNBC

4. Delta profit beats expectations

Delta Air Lines on Thursday reported $1.26 billion in third-quarter profit, beating analysts' expectations. The Atlanta-based airline said its earnings amounted to $1.70 per share, adjusted for non-recurring costs. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had predicted $1.65 a share, on average. Delta's overall revenue of $10.48 billion fell slightly below expectations. The company's shares have fallen by 23 percent since the start of the year.

The Associated Press

5. Federal regulators recall replacement Galaxy Note 7 phones

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday that it was officially recalling replacement Galaxy Note 7 smartphones because they "can overheat and catch fire, posing serious fire and burn hazards to consumers." The news came after Samsung Electronics announced that it was scrapping production of the latest update to its flagship line, after some customers reported problems with phones they received after the South Korean electronics giant recalled some two million handsets. Samsung, which lowered its profit expectations on fear it would lose customers, offered customers a $75 loyalty premium to stick with Samsung phones.


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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.