1. Spotify reportedly files to go public
Music-streaming company Spotify has confidentially filed to make an initial public offering of stock for sale on the New York Stock Exchange, several news outlets reported Wednesday. The move will mark a high-profile test of a technique letting companies list shares without raising money through a traditional IPO. Spotify, with a value estimated around $15 billion, would be the biggest company yet to try such a direct listing, which will let early stakeholders start trading their shares on an exchange. With income from more than 60 million paying subscribers, Spotify doesn't need to raise extra cash and can afford to go this route to avoid underwriting fees, restrictions, and the dilution of its investors' and executives' holdings.
2. Tesla reports lower-than-expected Model 3 deliveries
Tesla on Wednesday reported delivery numbers that fell short of Wall Street expectations. The electric-car maker said that in the final days of the last quarter it reached a production rate that "extrapolates to over 1,000 Model 3s per week." The company's founder and CEO, Elon Musk, had said previously that he expected production of the Model 3, the company's first mass-market vehicle, to be "in the thousands" by the end of 2017. Now the company says it expects to reach that milestone by the end of the second quarter. The company's stock fell by 2 percent in after-hours trading after the numbers were released.
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3. Intel acknowledges security flaw, works on fix
Security researchers at Google said Wednesday they had found serious security flaws affecting computer processors built by Intel and other chipmakers. Google's Project Zero team warned that the vulnerability could let hackers collect passwords and other personal data from a computer system's memory. Intel acknowledged the problem and said it was working on patching it, adding that most users won't see significant slowdowns during the fix. Google and Intel said they would reveal more specifics on the issue after the fix was available. Intel said it was working with rival AMD, which said its chips remained safe due to their different design. Intel shares fell 3.4 percent on Wednesday, while AMD shares rose by 5.2 percent.
4. Stocks set fresh records as Dow aims for 25,000 milestone
U.S. stocks futures rose early Thursday, putting the three main indexes in position to set new records. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was poised to take a shot at reaching the 25,000 milestone for the first time, with Dow futures rising 0.3 percent after closing at a record high of 24,923 on Wednesday. Futures for the S&P 500, which also set a record on Wednesday, gained 0.2 percent. Nasdaq-100 futures rose by 0.3 percent on Thursday, adding to Wednesday gains that lifted the tech-heavy Nasdaq to another all-time high. Global stocks also mostly gained on Thursday, with Japan's Nikkei 225 index jumping by 3.3 percent to close at a 26-year high.
5. Automakers' U.S. sales dropped in 2017, ending seven-year streak
Auto manufacturers reported Wednesday that vehicle sales fell by about 1.8 percent in 2017, after seven straight gains in U.S. new-vehicle sales. Manufacturers sold 17.2 million cars and light trucks, and auto-information website Edmunds.com predicted that sales would continue falling, to 16.8 million this year. Many factors are to blame, including the raising of exceptionally low interest rates, a saturated market, and better quality that has allowed drivers to hold onto their cars longer. "Over all, you have to be cautious in this environment," said Adam Silverleib, vice president of Silko Honda, a dealership in Raynham, Mass. "The industry cycle has peaked."
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