Business briefing

The daily business briefing: February 7, 2018

U.S. stocks face more pressure after Tuesday's rise, SpaceX launches the world's strongest rocket, and more

1

U.S. stocks rise in volatile trading, but futures drop again

U.S. stocks snapped out of a sell-off Tuesday in a volatile day of trading, although futures dropped by nearly 1 percent early Wednesday, giving up part of the rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 568 points or 2.3 percent on Tuesday, a day after losing 1,175 points, the biggest daily loss in history, measured in points. The Dow plunged by more than 500 points at the opening bell, then reversed course before making big gains just before the closing bell. The chief executive officer at Boston Private Wealth, Tom Anderson, explained the bumpy trading to The Wall Street Journal: "No one wants to catch a falling knife," he said, "so investors are looking to see things firm up or fall a bit more before buying."

2

SpaceX successfully test launches world's most powerful rocket

SpaceX on Tuesday successfully launched its new 27-engine Falcon Heavy, now the world's most powerful rocket. The Falcon Heavy blasted off on its first test flight from the Kennedy Space Center launchpad used in the Apollo moon missions. It is the first privately financed rocket capable of sending a payload beyond Earth's orbit. Its payload, which includes a sports car made by SpaceX founder Elon Musk's electric car company Tesla, is on a voyage that will pass near Mars. SpaceX also successfully landed two booster rockets in a historic double landing, although another rocket that was to land on a drone ship crashed into the sea. SpaceX reuses booster rockets to lower costs and turnaround times for space missions.

3

Tronc nears deal to sell L.A. Times to billionaire investor

Tronc, the Chicago-based owner of the Los Angeles Times, reportedly is nearing a deal to sell the newspaper to Patrick Soon-Shiong, a Southern California biotech billionaire. Soon-Shiong is a physician and major Tronc shareholder. He also is the founder and chief executive of NantHealth. He reportedly plans to buy both the Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Tronc's forerunner company, Tribune Co., bought the Times in 2000, triggering jostling for control of the paper between executives in Los Angeles and their counterparts at the parent-company's Chicago headquarters. If the nearly $500 million cash deal goes through, it will return the region's biggest paper to local control.

4

Steve Wynn resigns as head of Wynn Resorts

Casino mogul Steve Wynn stepped down Tuesday as chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, citing "an avalanche of negative publicity" and an unjust "rush to judgment" over allegations of decades of sexual misconduct. Wynn, 76, has denied that he sexually harassed women and coerced some into sex. The allegations received widespread coverage after a Wall Street Journal investigative report found numerous cases described by dozens of sources. Wynn resigned last month as Republican National Committee finance chair. Nevada's powerful Gaming Control Board launched an investigation last week, raising the possibility of further damage to the billionaire's finances.

5

Snap shares jump after unexpected user gains

Snap shares shot up by nearly 30 percent on Tuesday after the company announced unexpected user growth for its Snapchat messaging app despite strong competition from Facebook's Instagram. Snapchat's daily active users increased to 187 million in the last quarter of 2017, beating forecasts of 184.2 million and marking an increase of 9 million over the third quarter, according to financial data and analytics firm FactSet. Snap also reported higher-than-expected revenue. "Our business really came together towards the end of last year," said CEO Evan Spiegel.

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