The daily business briefing: March 27, 2018
The Dow jumps by 669 points as trade war fears ease, Arizona's governor suspends Uber's self-driving car tests, and more
Dow jumps 669 points as trade war fears ease
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up by 669 points, or 2.8 percent, on Monday as fears of a trade war with China eased. U.S. stock futures rose further early Tuesday. The Monday jump, the Dow's third biggest one-day point gain in history, came after reports that the two countries are holding behind-the-scenes trade talks. The Nasdaq gained 3.3 percent and the S&P 500 rose by 2.7 percent. The three main U.S. indexes plunged last week after President Trump announced tariffs on $60 billion in Chinese imports annually, and Beijing threatened reprisals. Investors "have apparently recognized that a trade war is in no one's best interests and therefore extremely unlikely," market strategist Jeremy Klein told CNBC after the rebound.
Arizona's governor halts Uber self-driving car tests over fatal accident
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on Monday suspended Uber's self-driving car testing on the state's public roads pending an investigation into a crash that killed a 49-year-old pedestrian last week. Ducey, who welcomed Uber's autonomous vehicles "with open arms and wide open roads" in 2016, said in a letter sent to Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi that he found video of the crash released by police to be "disturbing and alarming, and it raises many questions about the ability of Uber to continue testing in Arizona." Police and safety regulators are investigating the March 18 accident, in which a woman walking her bike across a four-lane road far from any crosswalk was struck by a self-driving Uber SUV carrying a human safety driver.
Facebook's stock rattled by privacy concerns
Facebook's stock recovered to close 0.4 percent higher on Monday, despite more of the kind of bad news that has been dragging down the social network's shares for days. The Federal Trade Commission confirmed early Monday that it was investigating Facebook's data privacy practices in the wake of the scandal over data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica accessing information from 50 million Facebook users. Also, the attorneys general of three states said they had launched investigations. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is facing calls to testify to Congress on the company's privacy policies and how Cambridge Analytica, which did work for President Trump's campaign, got so much user data.
White House investigates loans to Kushner family business
White House attorneys are reviewing two loans totaling more than $500 million to Jared Kushner's family business to determine whether they violated any criminal laws or ethics rules, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing a letter from a federal ethics agency. The Office of Government Ethics wrote to a Democratic lawmaker saying the White House is looking into a $184 million loan from the real estate arm of Apollo Global Management, and a $325 million loan from Citigroup. The loans went to the Kushner Cos., the family real estate business of Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior aide.
Wall Street bonuses rose as profits soared
The average bonus on Wall Street jumped by 17 percent to $184,220 last year, its highest level since 2006, New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reported Monday. The increase stemmed from a second consecutive year of rising profits for financial firms. Pretax profits for broker-dealer operations of New York Stock Exchange member firms increased by 42 percent to $24.5 billion, the most since 2010. The figures are traditionally interpreted as an indication of securities industry profits. "The large increase in profitability over the past two years demonstrates that the industry can prosper with the regulations and consumer protections adopted after the financial crisis," said DiNapoli, a Democrat.