The daily business briefing: December 8, 2023

Honeywell agrees to buy Carrier Global security unit, Musk lashes out at Disney's Iger for pulling X ads, and more

Elon Musk
Elon Musk
(Image credit: Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images)

1. Honeywell to buy Carrier Global security unit for $5 billion

Honeywell International has agreed to buy Carrier Global's security business for about $5 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. Carrier is known for its heating and air-conditioning equipment, but its security business manufactures electronic locks and other equipment for companies, hotels and hospitals. The acquisition is part of Honeywell's ongoing "spending spree to bolster its portfolio," with plans to spend at least $25 billion over the next three years, the Journal reported. Honeywell chief executive Vimal Kapur said in October that the company is focusing its spending on expanding its automation, aviation and energy transition portfolios. The Wall Street Journal

2. Musk slams Iger for pulling Disney ads from X

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk said Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger "should be fired" after the entertainment giant joined an advertising boycott of Musk's social media platform X, formerly Twitter. "Walt Disney is turning in his grave over what Bob has done to his company," Musk posted on X. Disney joined other companies in pausing ad spending on X after Musk endorsed antisemitic remarks on the platform. Disney declined to comment on Musk's post. Attacking Iger is unlikely to help X, said Rich Greenfield, a media analyst at LightShed Partners. Companies want to advertise in places where they feel their brands are safe, and "it's hard to see how attacking one of the most respected CEOs in the world" further achieves that goal, Greenfield said. Fortune

3. Alphabet shares rise after Google unveils Gemini AI system

Alphabet shares jumped 5.3% on Thursday after its Google search giant unveiled its Gemini artificial intelligence system, which is widely seen as the company's answer to Microsoft-backed OpenAI's ChatGPT. Google said its much-awaited AI system was faster than OpenAI's latest version, with the ability to process different video, audio and text. "Google is beginning to address investor concerns around generative AI innovation," J.P. Morgan analysts said. The stock surge added $80 million to Alphabet's market value as Google added Gemini technology to its Bard chatbot and prepared to introduce a more advanced version in early 2024. Reuters

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4. Stocks gain ahead of jobs report

The S&P 500 gained 0.8% on Thursday, closing near a 2023 high, and the Nasdaq jumped 1.4% as big tech shares continued to power Wall Street, fueled by optimism about artificial-intelligence technology. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%. The S&P 500 and the Dow snapped three-day losing streaks. Stock futures were little changed early Friday ahead of the release of the November jobs report. Futures tied to the Dow and the S&P 500 were down 0.1% at 7 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were down 0.2%. Stocks stalled in early December after a November rally fueled by signs of cooling inflation. The Wall Street Journal, CNBC

5. Trump attends civil trial as defense witness says 'no fraud here'

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday attended his ongoing New York civil fraud trial as an expert witness for the defense told the court that Trump's statements about his finances were detailed and transparent. "There is no fraud here," the witness, New York University accounting professor Eli Bartov, testified. New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against Trump, his two eldest sons, and their company, accusing them of inflating the value of some of their properties to get favorable loans. James is seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump from the New York real estate business. Reuters

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