The daily business briefing: March 28, 2017
Trump to issue order unraveling Obama climate policy, Musk confirms new company aiming to connect brains to computers, and more
Trump ordering regulators to undo Obama climate rules
President Trump on Tuesday plans to sign an executive order seeking to undo much of former President Barack Obama's environmental legacy. Administration officials said Trump would tell the Environmental Protection Agency to start the legal process necessary to rewrite Obama's Clean Power Plan, which aimed to cut carbon dioxide emissions from electricity by 32 percent by 2030. The sweeping order also would seek to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing and end a requirement on federal officials to consider how their decisions impact climate change. The White House said Trump's order would increase the nation's "energy independence" and restore thousands of coal mining jobs. Harvard energy economist Robert Stavins said the impact on energy independence was overblown. "We don't import coal," he said.
Musk confirms looming launch of new company aiming to use implants to enhance human brains
Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, founder of space-flight company SpaceX and electric-car maker Tesla, confirmed Monday that he is launching another start-up, Neuralink, aiming to help humans boost their brains with tiny implanted electrodes. In a tweet, Musk said that in "about a week" an article would come out offering more details. The new company will work on the development of "neural lace," something Musk has discussed in the past. "Neural lace" has been described as an implant or an appendage attached to the brain to help it interact with devices or otherwise augment human intelligence. "Difficult to dedicate the time," Musk tweeted, "but existential risk is too high not to."
Markets calm after Trump rally pauses
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped for the eighth straight day on Monday, losing 46 points or 0.2 percent on growing fears that President Trump might not be able to pass his promised pro-business agenda following the failure of last week's push to replace ObamaCare. The losing streak is the Dow's longest since 2011. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped by 0.1 percent and the Nasdaq composite index gained 0.2 percent. The main U.S. indexes started even worse, but clawed back during the day. U.S. futures edged higher early Tuesday, pointing to a higher open on Wall Street.
Ford expected to announce big investments at 3 Michigan plants
President Trump said early Tuesday that a "big announcement" was coming from Ford Motor Co. "Big announcement by Ford today," Trump tweeted. "Major investment to be made in three Michigan plants. Car companies coming back to U.S. JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!" The Detroit News reported that Ford planned to announce major investments in three of its Michigan manufacturing plants. It was not immediately clear how many jobs Ford planned to create. Sources familiar with the plans also did not say what the total investment would be, but said it would be "significant."
Amazon to buy Middle East's biggest online retailer, Souq.com
Amazon has agreed to buy Souq.com, the Middle East's biggest online retailer, in a deal that would expand the U.S. web retail giant's reach in the region, the companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday. They did not disclose the price, but the announcement came a day after Emaar Malls, an arm of Dubai's biggest real estate developer, unveiled a counteroffer worth $800 million. "Joining the Amazon family will enable Souq.com to continue growing while working with Amazon to bring even more products and offerings to customers worldwide," Souq said in a statement.