The daily business briefing: June 9, 2017

Harold Maass
The pound and the dollar
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British pound drops after Conservatives lose majority in snap elections

The British pound dropped by 2 percent after Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party lost its parliamentary majority Thursday in snap elections, boosting the U.S. dollar and European stocks. May had called the vote hoping to strengthen her grip on power going into looming negotiations with the European Union on Britain's exit from the trading bloc. The stunning outcome left no party with a clear claim to power, and sparked calls for May to resign. The Conservatives secured enough seats to remain the largest party, but with their numbers dwindled from 331 seats to 318, eight short of a majority. The opposition Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, wound up with 261 seats, a gain of 29. [Reuters, The BBC]


House votes to roll back Dodd-Frank banking regulations

The House voted Thursday to gut the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which imposed tough restrictions on banks after the 2008 financial crisis. The bill, if it becomes law, would let big financial institutions, including investment and consumer banks and insurance giants, avoid some of the banking reform law's toughest regulations. Republicans, who control the House, pushed through the bill in a party line vote, marking the first part of what is expected to be a long fight over deregulation of the banking industry. [The Washington Post]


Yahoo shareholders' approval clears way for sale to Verizon

Yahoo shareholders on Thursday gave final approval to the $4.48 billion sale of the company's main Web properties to Verizon Communications. The decision cleared the final obstacle to the nearly year-old deal, and Yahoo said it planned to hand over the Web properties to Verizon on Tuesday. The price was originally supposed to be $4.8 billion, but Verizon insisted on a discount, arguing that massive privacy breaches reduced the value of the Yahoo assets. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer tried for four years to turn around the company after a relentless declines in advertising revenue, but agreed to sell the internet pioneer's core websites last year after her efforts fell short. Verizon's first move after taking over is expected to be cutting 15 percent of the 14,000 jobs, or about 2,100 positions, at Yahoo and AOL as it combines their operations. [TechCrunch, The Associated Press]


U.S. stock futures inch up after a big news day

U.S. stock futures edged higher early Friday, as investors digested a barrage of news. European stocks and the U.S. dollar gained after British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party lost its parliamentary majority in snap elections, weakening the government's hand ahead of negotiations on the terms of the U.K.'s exit from the European Union. U.S. stocks made modest gains late Thursday after former FBI Director James Comey made his closely watched testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. "The U.S. arguably has its own major issues at the moment, namely the Comey/Trump/Russia scandal and next week's potentially rate-hiking Fed meeting, so the reaction to Theresa May's failed attempt at securing a majority may remain localized," said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, in emailed comments. [MarketWatch]


Softbank agrees to buy robotics companies from Alphabet

Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank on Thursday agreed to buy Boston Dynamics, which makes animal-like robots, from Google parent Alphabet. The price was not disclosed. Softbank, which sells a humanoid robot named Pepper that can read human emotion, also agreed to buy Schaft, a Japanese bipedal robotics company that is also owned by Alphabet. The deal marks a step back for Google from a push it started in 2013 to buy up robotics companies to build a robot unit. [The New York Times]