The daily business briefing: January 30, 2018
Waymo orders more Chrysler minivans for its autonomous ride-hailing service, U.S. stock selloff heads into second day, and more
Waymo to buy thousands more Chrysler minivans for autonomous ride-hailing service
Google's self-driving vehicle arm, Waymo, will buy thousands more Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans as it prepares to launch an autonomous ride-hailing service in Phoenix later this year, Fiat Chrysler said Tuesday. Waymo had already ordered 600 Pacificas, so the additional vans are expected to be used as Waymo expands to more cities. The size of the deal is expected to give a boost to the development of self-driving cars, generally. "In order to move quickly and efficiently in autonomy, it is essential to partner with like-minded technology leaders," said the automaker's CEO Sergio Marchionne in a statement. "Our partnership with Waymo continues to grow and strengthen; this represents the latest sign of our commitment to this technology."
U.S. stock selloff heads into second day
U.S. stocks had their worst day of the year on Monday. All three of the major equity indexes dropped as the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield jumped to its highest level since April 2014, raising fears that increasing borrowing costs could take steam out of a long rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 0.7 percent, dragged down by Caterpillar, which fell by 2.7 percent, and Apple, which dropped by 2.1 percent. The S&P 500 index also fell by 0.7 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.5 percent. Dow futures slid another 146 points, or 0.6 percent, early Tuesday. Futures for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 fell by 0.4 percent, indicating the selloff would continue at the start of trading Tuesday.
Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase partner to improve employee health-care
Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced Tuesday that they are teaming up to form a new company focused on improving health-care options for their U.S. workers. The three companies said they would use their scale and joint expertise to help reduce costs and increase employee satisfaction in health plans, using an independent company that will be "free from profit-making incentives and constraints." The companies said they hope to use a fresh approach to solve longstanding problems. "The ballooning costs of health-care act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy," said Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett. "Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable."
Keurig to buy Dr Pepper Snapple for $18.7 billion
Keurig Green Mountain intends to purchase the beverage company Dr Pepper Snapple, the coffee pod-maker announced Monday. If the $18.7 billion purchase is approved by Dr Pepper Snapple shareholders, the new company — Keurig Dr Pepper — would total approximately $11 billion in annual revenue. The proposed merger would allow Dr Pepper Snapple shareholders to maintain a 13 percent ownership claim in Keurig Dr Pepper, as well as receive a $103.75 per-share payout on their stocks. In light of the news, shares of Dr Pepper Snapple jumped by 22 percent on Monday.
Cleveland Indians to drop controversial Chief Wahoo logo
The Cleveland Indians plan to stop using their controversial Chief Wahoo uniform logo next year, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Monday. "Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game," Manfred said in the statement. "The club ultimately agreed with my position that the logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball." Chief Wahoo, a caricature of a Native American, has been used by the club since the late 1940s. Indians chief executive and chairman Paul Dolan said he recognized that "many of our fans have a long-standing attachment to Chief Wahoo," but he agreed it was time for a change.