Barnes & Noble stock soars 20% as it explores a sale

The truth about the retail apocalypse Barnes & Noble stock jumped more than 20% after the board said it would consider a sale of the troubled company. The board said Wednesday it had appointed a special committee to review offers. One came from longtime Barnes & Noble chairman Len Riggio. He is the company’s largest shareholder, controlling close to 20%. Barnes & Noble (BKS) also disclosed that a shareholder it could not identify had rapidly built up a stake in the company. To block a hostile takeover, Barnes & Noble’s…

Cloudera shares skyrocket on merger with rival Hortonworks

Cloudera stock jumped 17 percent on Wednesday after it announced an all-stock merger of equals with competitor Hortonworks. The company will hold a conference call to discuss the deal at 5 p.m. Eastern time. The combined equity value of the two companies is $5.2 billion based on the prices of the companies’ stocks on Wednesday, according to a statement. « Under the terms of the transaction agreement, Cloudera stockholders will own approximately 60% of the equity of the combined company and Hortonworks stockholders will own approximately 40%, » the statement…

Amazon’s hourly workers lose monthly bonuses and stock awards as minimum wage increases

Amazon’s minimum wage increase for its hourly workers comes with a trade-off: no more monthly bonuses and stock awards. Amazon confirmed in an email to CNBC that the company is getting rid of incentive pay and stock option awards as it increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour. The company, however, stressed that the wage increase « more than compensates » for the loss in other benefits. « The significant increase in hourly cash wages more than compensates for the phase out of incentive pay and RSUs, » Amazon’s…

Zuckerberg reportedly hunts for an investment head to manage his $10 billion philanthropy fund

Mark Zuckerberg might be hiring. But not for Facebook. The tech CEO is reportedly looking for a chief investment officer to manage his philanthropic Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. The fund oversees more than $10 billion. Yale University’s widely followed CIO David Swensen is conducting the search, along with an executive recruiter, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. Swensen would also reportedly chair the investment committee. The charity organization formed in 2015 to tackle issues from eradicating disease to reforming the criminal justice system. Zuckerberg and…

Why it’s time for investors to go on defense

Why Howard Marks is cautioning investors It’s time for investors to start making safer bets. That’s what Howard Marks, co-chairman of Oaktree Capital, told CNNMoney editor-at-large Richard Quest on « Markets Now » on Wednesday. « Defense is more important than offense » right now, said Marks, the author of « Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side. » Investors should consider taking a stake in utilities, and decreasing their investments in more volatile tech stocks, he said. Defense is the name of the game for a…

GM Cruise and Honda deal show how automakers share risk and high costs to build self-driving cars

GM and Honda’s deal to partner on developing an autonomous vehicle signals that the two companies don’t want to take on all the risk, expense and engineering resources needed to develop a self-driving car. Companies are finding ways to share the burden and keep costs down on what could be a long road to a true autonomous vehicle market — and an even longer haul before it’s ready to sell to the masses at a profit. « Our mission is to deploy this technology safely at massive scale, » GM…

Houston officials nix brothel featuring sex dolls

(Note: Story may contain material objectionable to some readers) FILE PHOTO: Women look at a sex doll at a booth at the China International Adult Toys and Reproductive Health exhibition in Shanghai, China May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo(Reuters) – The Houston City Council on Wednesday prevented what was billed as the first brothel in the United States equipped with sex dolls from opening in the Texas city, altering a local ordinance to block the business and any others like it. The Houston Chronicle reported that Toronto-based KinkySdollS had planned…

Senate moderates criticize Trump for mocking Kavanaugh accuser

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three moderate Republicans who could be pivotal in determining whether the Senate confirms U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh criticized President Donald Trump on Wednesday for mocking a woman who has accused the judge of sexual assault. Senators Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski were among the lawmakers who objected to Trump’s comments regarding Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor from California who detailed her sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh at an extraordinary Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week. The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn,…

Ronaldo denies rape accusations in tweet

LISBON (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo on Tuesday denied rape allegations leveled against him, saying his conscience was clear and that he would calmly await the results of any investigation. “I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in,” the world-famous athlete wrote in a tweet. His agents Gestifute also sent the same statement by Ronaldo in an email to Reuters. “Keen as I may be to clear my name, I refuse to feed the media…

Stock brokerage giant TD Ameritrade bets on a new cryptocurrency exchange

Despite a massive slump in cryptocurrency prices, TD Ameritrade is doubling down on the sector. The U.S. brokerage firm announced a strategic investment Wednesday in an exchange called ErisX, which offers both bitcoin spot and futures trading. High-speed trading company Virtu Financial will also back the exchange. « We continue to see our retail clients seeking access to trade digital currency products, » JB Mackenzie, managing director of futures and foreign exchange for TD Ameritrade, told CNBC in a phone interview. » We wanted to find a platform that would…

Microsoft is embracing Android as the mobile version of Windows

Microsoft unveiled a bunch of Surface hardware during a press event in New York City last night. While matte black Surfaces, headphones with Cortana, and a new Surface Studio were the highlights of the hardware side, Microsoft unveiled an interesting change to its Windows operating system. Windows 10 will soon fully embrace Android to mirror these mobile apps to your PC. The Android app mirroring will be part of Microsoft’s new Your Phone app for Windows 10. This app debuts this week as part of the Windows 10 October 2018…

Tesla shares drop after analysts worry about China trade war risk

The escalating trade conflict between the U.S. and China could be bad news for Tesla, according to J.P. Morgan. On Tuesday, Tesla cautioned investors about the « headwinds » in China from the trade war in its third-quarter vehicle production and deliveries announcement. The company said the trade conflict has led to a 40 percent import tariff on Tesla vehicles exported to China. « In another negative development, the deliveries release speaks to challenges in China relative to the increase in tariffs for vehicles imported from the United States, »…

Rédoine Faïd case: French gangster evaded police in burqa

France’s most-wanted fugitive Rédoine Faïd was tracked down by police through phone-taps and was discovered using a burqa as a disguise, prosecutors say. Faïd, 46, was detained on Wednesday in the town where he grew up north of Paris. Six others are being held. He broke out of jail on 1 July, escaping in a helicopter flown by a flying instructor who had been taken hostage. After three months on the run Faïd was tracked down to a block of flats. He was sprung out of prison in Réau, south-east…

Skripal poisoning: Putin denounces ex-spy as ‘scumbag’

Russian President Vladimir Putin has labelled poisoned ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal a « traitor » and a « scumbag ». In a speech, he complained that the media were treating Mr Skripal as « some kind of human rights defender », insisting he had betrayed his country. Mr Skripal and his daughter survived an attack in Salisbury, which the UK says was carried out by two agents of Russian military intelligence. But a British woman died in another poisoning that police say was linked. UK authorities believe Mr Skripal’s door…

The Facebook hack explained: Who’s affected, what happens next, and how the company will fare

Facebook announced a major security breach on Friday, and information has been trickling out ever since. While the public waits for a full accounting of what happened and who was affected, here’s a quick overview of what we know so far. Facebook says attackers were able to get into and take control of about 50 million accounts, as if they were the users in charge of those accounts. But the company has not said yet if any of the accounts were actually taken over and used, and if so, for…

The oil market ‘fever’ might push prices toward $100 before it breaks

Investment banks and hedge funds say oil prices have rallied too far too fast, but the fear and uncertainty gripping the market will keep pressure on crude futures in the coming weeks. Brent crude oil hit a new four-year high at $85.70 on Wednesday, fueled by concerns about a shortfall in global supply as U.S. sanctions whittle away at Iranian crude exports. The market is just one month away from the Nov. 4 deadline that President Donald Trump set for oil buyers to stop purchasing Iran’s crude. In May, Trump…

Paddle your own pumpkin: German racers swap boats for vegetables

LOHMAR, Germany (Reuters) – With a look of apprehension, a blond woman clad in a wetsuit wobbles her way onto a lake in western Germany in a huge, hollowed-out vegetable. A man paddles his giant pumpkin boat during the raditional pumpkin race in Lohmar, Germany October 3, 2018. Reuters/David SahlPaddle held aloft, she’s a contestant in the Krewelshofer lake’s annual pumpkin race, held for the third time on Wednesday over a 35-meter (115-ft) course. Slideshow (2 Images)Grown specially for the race, the pumpkins must weigh at least 250 kilograms (550…

Redesigned Google Assistant is easier on the fingers and eyes

Google Assistant is getting a redesign that better integrates touch into the user experience built around voice. Asking Google to dim your smart lights, for example, will now generate a slider so you can fine-tune the result. The update also adds some of the Material Design touches that Google has been rolling out across its other services, and makes certain visual elements bigger, more informative, and easier to read at a glance. Google Assistant is by many measurements the best voice assistant available. Nevertheless, today’s changes reflect the fact that…

Dow nears 27,000. But be careful, investor warns

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc.2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones…

Amazon has a new $50 Fire TV Stick 4K, but the remote is the best part

Amazon on Wednesday announced a new Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, a compact version of its regular Fire TV Stick but with updated support for 4K and UHD content for $49.99. That’s ten bucks more than the regular Fire Stick. But the best part of it might be the remote, which now has dedicated volume buttons. I own a lot of Amazon’s Fire TV products, including the Fire TV Cube which I sometimes control by my voice and really enjoy. One of my biggest frustrations with all of Amazon’s Fire…

Peggy Sue, namesake of Buddy Holly rock classic, dies in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Peggy Sue Gerron, whose name has echoed in the annals of rock ‘n’ roll history for six decades as the crush in the Buddy Holly classic song “Peggy Sue,” has died at the age of 78 in Lubbock, Texas, where she and Holly went to high school, officials said. The 1957 song from Holly and his band the Crickets was an anthem of the early days of rock ‘n’ roll and inspired a sequel tune from Holly called “Peggy Sue Got Married,” which was also the…

Ebay alleges Amazon poached sellers from its platform

(Reuters) – Ebay Inc (EBAY.O) on Wednesday accused Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) of trying to poach sellers for its own platform through Ebay’s internal messaging system. FILE PHOTO: An eBay sign is seen at an office building in San Jose, California May 28, 2014. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach “We have uncovered an unlawful and troubling scheme on the part of Amazon to solicit eBay sellers to move to Amazon’s platform,” eBay said, adding that it had sent a cease-and-desist letter to Amazon on Monday. “We have demanded that Amazon end its unlawful activity…

Key senators criticize Trump for mocking Kavanaugh accuser

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two moderate Republicans who could be pivotal in determining whether the Senate confirms U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh criticized President Donald Trump on Wednesday for mocking a woman who has accused the judge of sexual assault. Senators Jeff Flake and Susan Collins were among the lawmakers who took issue with comments Trump made regarding Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor from California who detailed her sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh at an extraordinary Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week. At a political rally in Mississippi on…

Fir Tree’s Stern says German utility E.ON could double in value over two years

Hedge fund investor Aaron Stern is a big believer in the German utility E.ON turnaround. E.ON’s « management team has engulfed in a multi-year transformation, which has been nothing short of spectacular but has yet to be rewarded by the market, » he said on CNBC’s « Worldwide Exchange » Wednesday. The investor said the company has sold off its legacy coal business, spun out its non-core assets and trades at a « significant discount » to its industry peers. « Yes we do believe [E.ON shares] could double over…

Everybody will get a ‘presidential alert’ on their phones, and you can’t turn it off

There’s a good chance that Wednesday afternoon, around 2:18 p.m. ET, your phone will sound an alarm and receive a message that says « Presidential Alert. » Don’t worry about it. This is a joint test by FEMA and the FCC of the existing emergency alert system (EAS) and wireless emergency alerts (WEA). You’re probably already aware of WEA messages. They warn you about severe weather, such as flooding, in your area. Or you might have received a WEA AMBER alert if a child is missing. Wednesday’s message will simply…

Google Translate now knows the difference between US and UK English and other dialects

Google Translate’s iPhone app now includes several regional options for speech input and output. This means that someone using the app to speak English, for example, isn’t stuck listening to someone in Standard American English. As spotted by All Things How, these new regional speech inputs and outputs for Google Translate now include US, UK, Australia, and India for English; Bangladesh and India for Bengali; France and Canada for French; and Mexico and Spain for Spanish. Having the app recognize and speak in these regional pronunciations could prove to be…

The clock is ticking on Google’s smartwatch platform

Last week, I wrote about the new software update for Wear OS, Google’s smartwatch platform. I thought (and think) that it’s a good update for existing users and potentially a foundation that the company could build on to make something that’s actually competitive with both the Apple Watch or even Saumsung’s Galaxy Watch. The update “breathes new life into Wear OS smartwatches,” but the emphasis is very much on existing smartwatches. You see, I also wrote that this update does not mean that you should go out and buy a…

EBay accuses Amazon of ‘unlawful’ merchant poaching

EBay is accusing Amazon of « unlawful and troubling » poaching of merchants on the platform, the company said Wednesday. Amazon employees have been using eBay’s seller messaging feature to sway merchants over to Amazon, eBay claims. The « scheme » has been going on for several years and in several countries, it says. EBay issued a cease and desist letter earlier this week. « We have uncovered an unlawful and troubling scheme on the part of Amazon to solicit eBay sellers to move to Amazon’s platform, » eBay said…

It’s good to start holiday shopping early but here’s what not to buy in October

Once you’ve stocked up on Halloween treats and all things pumpkin spice, you might want to give your wallet some time to breathe. There’s nothing wrong with getting a head start on your holiday shopping, but buying certain items in October may not make sense. Timing is everything, so think carefully about what belongs on your shopping list. To help you decide what to buy this month, here are some products to pass on until better deals become available in the coming months. Back-to-school sales have come and gone, and…

MoviePass is forcing some former customers to re-enroll unless they opt out

MoviePass has undergone several changes to stay afloat lately, from canceling its unlimited plans to testing out « surge pricing » and blocking in-demand showtimes, just to name a few. So what’s the latest survival tactic? Asking former customers to « opt out » of enrollment by Thursday or risk being charged without consent, according to a company email posted on the Verge and shared widely on social media by former MoviePass customers. Launched in 2011, MoviePass allows subscribers to pay a flat fee every month to see multiple movies.…