Business briefing

The daily business briefing: March 17, 2017

Snap shares dive on latest "sell" rating, Republicans vow major changes to Trump's budget, and more

1

Snap shares plunge after another analyst gives 'sell' rating

Snap shares fell by 4 percent on Thursday, dropping below $20 for the first time since the Snapchat parent company's high-profile initial public offering of stock this month. The stock soared for two days after the IPO raised $3.4 billion. The share price topped $29 before starting a steady decline as investors fretted over the lofty valuation and Snap's inability to make a profit. This week's tumble came after MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson became the latest to give Snap a "sell" rating, warning that "the market has priced Snap for perfection."

2

Republicans vow big changes to Trump budget

President Trump's budget proposal came under intense criticism in Congress on Thursday, with even some of his closest allies saying it has no hope of being passed. Defense hawks said Trump's $54 billion hike in military spending wasn't enough, while Democrats and some Republicans said that paying for the extra defense spending by sharply cutting the budgets of other agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department, would cause extensive harm. "While we have a responsibility to reduce our federal deficit, I am disappointed that many of the reductions and eliminations proposed in the president's skinny budget are draconian, careless, and counterproductive," said Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), a member and former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

3

Mnuchin heads into G20 meeting saying U.S. wants no trade wars

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that the Trump administration has no desire to "enter into trade wars." Mnuchin made the remarks after speaking with Germany's finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, on the eve of his first meeting with other ministers from the Group of 20 leading global economic powers. President Trump's protectionist rhetoric has rattled leaders of some important U.S. trading partners, but Mnuchin said the U.S. wants to pursue policies that will promote "economic growth that is good for the U.S. and the rest of the world," while addressing cases where there are "imbalances in trading relationships."

4

USA Gymnastics chief resigns over handling of abuse scandal

USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny resigned Thursday after facing criticism for his handling of a sex abuse scandal. "My decision to step aside as CEO is solely to support the best interests of USA Gymnastics at this time," Penny said in a statement. The United States Olympic Committee's board recommended a week ago that Penny step down. Penny, who had served as the organization's president since 2005, presided over a period in which the team became a dominating force in the sport, winning team golds in 2012 and 2016. His image suffered, though, when he was accused of acting too slowly to allegations of sexual abuse of athletes by a team doctor, Larry Nassar.

5

McDonald's blames hacker for anti-Trump tweet

McDonald’s Corp. said Thursday that its corporate Twitter account was hacked before somebody used it to post insults against President Trump. The rogue tweet, responding to a post on Trump's Twitter account, said: "You are actually a disgusting excuse for a president and we would love to have @BarackObama back." After the broadside against Trump, the account resumed its typical back-and-forth with customers about McDonald's burgers and other products. The company promptly deleted the anti-Trump tweet, beefed up its account security, and launched an investigation into the breach.

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