The daily business briefing: November 8, 2017
Snap falls short of expectations as it plans redesign, Waymo beats rivals with driverless-car first, and more
Snap falls short of expectations but aims to woo users with redesign
Snap Inc. on Tuesday announced that its third quarter revenue was $207.9 million, below analysts' estimates of $235.5 million. One reason for the shortfall was that Snap, the parent of messaging app Snapchat, saw its price per ad fall by 60 percent. Its daily users averaged 178 million, falling short of the 180.5 million analysts expected. CEO Evan Spiegel said Snap also expected "that the redesign of our application will be disruptive to our business in the short term," but would yield "substantial longterm benefits." The company's shares dropped to a low of $11.78 in extended trading after closing at $15.12. The company's initial public offering price was $17 a share.
Waymo tests driverless cars without human backup on public roads
Waymo, the autonomous vehicle division of Google-parent Alphabet, announced Tuesday that it had started testing its autonomous vehicles on public roads with no human backup driver, a first. "Our ultimate goal is to bring our fully self-driving technology to more cities in the U.S. and around the world," Waymo's chief, John Krafcik, said at a technology conference in Portugal. "Fully self-driving cars are here." Soon the company plans to invite regular people to take test rides in the self-driving cars. Dozens of other companies are testing self-driving technology on U.S. roads, but so far they've all put humans in the vehicles to take the controls in case of emergency.
U.S. stocks hover near records after banks and small companies stumble
The three main U.S. benchmark stock indexes inched down early Wednesday after slipping back from record highs as shares of big banks and small companies fell. Futures of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which bounced back Tuesday to eke out the latest in a series of records, fell by less than 0.1 percent early Wednesday, as did S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures. The three benchmarks had gained between 16 percent and 26 percent this year as of Tuesday's close. "On a week light on tier-one economic data, the focus is on how tax reform is progressing," said Richard Perry, a Hantec Markets analyst, in a note.
U.S., China companies sign $9 billion in deals as Trump arrives in Beijing
Companies from the U.S. and China signed a flurry of deals worth $9 billion ahead of President Trump's arrival in China on Wednesday. Trump's visit is expected to focus on trade talks and pressure to get Beijing to do more to get North Korea to curb its missile and nuclear weapons programs. No details of the 19 agreements were immediately available as they were signed in a Beijing ceremony attended by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Chinese vice-premier Wang Yang. U.S. business leaders want China to open its market more to U.S. companies, which are often forced to hand over their technology and enter joint ventures with Chinese partners to get access.
Syria joins Paris climate accord, isolating U.S.
Syria announced Tuesday at the Bonn climate conference that it would join the Paris climate accord, leaving the U.S. as the only country refusing to embrace the deal. Former President Barack Obama had signed on, but President Trump is pulling out. The only other holdout, Nicaragua, announced in September that would embrace the accord. The 2015 agreement calls for sharp cuts to global carbon emissions, which scientists blame for global warming. Trump has called climate change a "hoax," and said when he decided to abandon the deal in June that he "was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris." Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said Trump's decision has isolated the U.S. and put it "in an embarrassing and dangerous position."