The daily business briefing: May 31, 2017

Amazon shares hit $1,000, Uber fires star engineer accused of stealing Google autonomous car secrets, and more

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in Seattle
(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. Amazon shares hit $1,000 for first time

Amazon's stock price hit $1,000 for the first time on Tuesday, before inching back below the milestone. Google parent Alphabet was right behind Amazon, with its shares reaching $995. Amazon stock has split three times since its 1997 IPO, issuing a 2-for-1 split in 1998, another one in early 1999, and a 3-for-1 split later the same year, meaning with the price now at $1,000, an original share that sold for $18 would be worth $12,000. Amazon, Google, and fellow tech giants Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft have surged this year, collectively accounting for about a third of the S&P 500's gains. "The good news is the market is at an all-time high. The bad news is it happened on the back of a few tech stocks," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.


2. Uber fires engineer accused of stealing Google autonomous vehicle secrets

Uber said Tuesday that it had fired star engineer Anthony Levandowski, the self-driving vehicle innovator who has been accused of stealing secrets when he left Google. Levandowski left Google to start Otto, an autonomous truck venture. Uber acquired Otto last year for $700 million. In a letter obtained by The Washington Post, Uber cited Levandowski's failure to comply with a judge's request to turn over thousands of documents on driverless cars he is accused of stealing from Google's parent company. The documents are critical as evidence in the lawsuit between Uber and Google's parent company, and Levandowski's failure to turn them over violated the terms of his employment, Uber said.

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The New York Times The Washington Post

3. Jeb Bush reportedly drops out of bid to buy Miami Marlins

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Republican presidential nomination last year, is dropping a bid to buy the Miami Marlins with former New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday, citing two people close to the negotiations. A Major League Baseball source said the snag appeared to be questions over whether Bush could be the group's "control person" when he was putting up less than $20 million of his own money toward the $1.3 billion purchase. One of the sources said that Jeter was still looking into making a bid with other investors.

The Miami Herald

4. U.S. stocks on track to finish May with solid gains

U.S. stock futures were mixed ahead of Wednesday's open, but remained on track to close May with solid gains. As the month's last trading day begins, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is up by 2.6 percent for the month, followed by the S&P 500, which is up 1.2 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 0.4 percent in May, its best month since March. Wednesday's markets could get some guidance from remarks by Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan, who speaks in the morning to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.


5. Pelley out at CBS Evening News

Scott Pelley is out as anchor of CBS Evening News, people with knowledge of the situation told Page Six and CNNMoney on Tuesday night. A formal announcement is expected Wednesday. Pelley has been in the anchor chair since 2011, but will be moved permanently to 60 Minutes, the sources said. One person from CBS News told Page Six that Pelley and CBS News President David Rhodes "don't get on," and another said "there's always been friction" between the two. CNNMoney says the move was also motivated by ratings. No replacement has been selected yet.

CNN Page Six

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