The daily business briefing: August 11, 2017
North Korea tensions continue to drag down stocks, Uber investor sues ex-CEO Travis Kalanick, and more
Stocks continue to fall as North Korea tensions rise
Global stocks fell for a fourth straight day on Friday as rising tensions over North Korea continued to reduce investor appetite for risk. South Korea's Kospi fell by 1.7 percent, and the Shanghai Composite Index dropped by 1.9 percent. U.S. stock futures pointed to more losses on Friday, after the three main U.S. benchmark indexes had their worst day since May on Thursday. The S&P 500 appeared headed to its worst week since November. Some analysts said declines, coming after a string of record highs, were not a sign of panic. "The tensions between North Korea and the U.S. is an excuse for profit-taking," Seo Sang Young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities. "Had investors believed a real war was on the horizon, all sectors would have declined."
Uber investor sues former CEO Travis Kalanick
Early Uber investor Benchmark filed a lawsuit on Thursday accusing the ride-hailing company's co-founder and former CEO, Travis Kalanick, of fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty. The board forced Kalanick to step down in June after a series of sexual harassment scandals sparked criticism of Uber's corporate culture. Benchmark, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm that holds an Uber board seat, accused Kalanick, who remains on the board, of trying to pull strings to get himself reinstated as CEO, and trying to remain influential by packing the board with allies in "fraudulently procured seats." Kalanick's spokesperson said the complaint was "completely without merit and riddled with lies and false allegations."
DineEquity to close up to 160 Applebee's, IHOPs
DineEquity, the parent company of Applebee's and IHOP, said Thursday that it plans to close up to 160 restaurants. Between 105 and 135 Applebee's restaurants will close, up from previous expectations of 40 to 60 closures, and 20 to 25 IHOP outlets will shut down, up from 18. The two chains will open 125 new restaurants globally between them. The news came as DineEquity posted quarterly profits that beat expectations sending its stock soaring by 14 percent.
Google cancels mass meeting over harassment concerns
Google on Thursday canceled a company-wide meeting on the controversy over a memo criticizing company gender and diversity policies, saying it feared employees would be subject to harassment from far-right internet commenters. "Googlers are writing in, concerned about their safety and worried they may be 'outed' publicly for asking a question in the Town Hall," Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in an email to staffers. The meeting was scheduled after Google fired engineer James Damore for posting an internal memo arguing that the underrepresentation of women in the technology industry was because they were less genetically suited for software engineering jobs than men.
Snap shares drop after quarterly loss widens
Snap shares plunged by 14 percent after the parent of messaging app Snapchat on Thursday reported a quarterly loss that was larger than Wall Street expected. Snap reported a loss of 36 cents per share, higher than the estimated 33-cent loss. Revenue rose to $181.7 million, falling short of the expected $185.8 million. The company's quarterly loss widened to $443.1 million, up from $115.9 million a year ago. Snap has faced a string of setbacks since its closely watched initial public offering of stock in March, as Facebook apps that have copied popular Snapchat features have grown faster than Snapchat itself. Snap got booted from the S&P 500 less than two weeks ago over voting-rights questions about its IPO.