The daily business briefing: March 2, 2017
The Dow hits 21,000, Snap shares debut after better-than-expected IPO, and more
Dow hits 21,000 for first time
The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared above 21,000 for the first time Wednesday in a surge of optimism about the economy. Some analysts credited the conciliatory tone of President Trump's first speech to a joint session of Congress, while others said investors were mostly cheered by the confidence of leading Federal Reserve policy makers, who said that improving data on jobs and inflation show that another interest rate hike might be needed soon to keep the economy from overheating. All three of the main U.S. stock indexes hit the latest in a series of record highs, with the Dow completing its fastest 1,000-point gain ever. U.S. stock futures were mixed early Thursday.
Snap shares debut after better-than-expected IPO
Snap raised $3.4 billion in its better-than-expected initial public offering of stock on Wednesday. The company, which is the parent of the popular messaging app Snapchat, sold 200 million shares at $17 each, above the projected range of $14 to $16. The pricing values the company at $24 billion. Snap's stock makes its market debut on Thursday. Snap's IPO is among the most anticipated tech debuts since Twitter's in 2013 and Facebook's in 2012. Snapchat had 158 million daily active users at the start of the year, most of them young people, from teens to those in their early 30s. The app's growth slowed last year as it faced competition from Facebook's Instagram photo-sharing app.
Yahoo says hackers used forged cookies to access some users' accounts
Yahoo said Wednesday that its investigation into two massive data breaches last year found that hackers had gained access to 32 million accounts in the last two years using forged cookies, which can get intruders into accounts without passwords. "Based on the investigation, we believe an unauthorized third party accessed the company's proprietary code to learn how to forge certain cookies," Yahoo said in its latest annual filing. The company said some of the recent hacking was linked to the "same state-sponsored actor" believed to have been behind the 2014 breach of at least 500 million accounts.
McDonald's launches quality push to lure back lost patrons
McDonald's on Wednesday unveiled plans to win back customers with what it promises will be better burgers. The massive fast-food chain has lost "hundreds of millions" of visits to competitors. In a bid to win them back, the company plans to make a push to improve quality and convenience, including exploring deliveries and more digital-friendly restaurants. "We have to attract more customers, more often," said Lucy Brady, the company's senior vice-president for corporate strategy and business development. "We've lost hundreds of millions of visits from our core customers — students, teachers, construction workers," and others.
May's Brexit plan suffers first setback in Parliament
British Prime Minister Theresa May's government suffered its first defeat over its Brexit plan when the House of Lords voted 358-256 in favor of an amendment to the government's draft plan for leaving the European Union. The change would protect the right of the three million EU immigrants in the U.K. to stay after Britain leaves the trading bloc. May's government reportedly hopes to remove the amendment in a fresh vote in the House of Commons. May has said she wants to provide protections for EU citizens in the U.K., but only after negotiating similar guarantees for Britons living in EU countries.