SoftBank and Toyota want driverless cars to change the world

Meet ‘crazy’ tech tycoon Masayoshi Son Softbank and Toyota want to change the world of transportation through autonomous vehicles and other technologies. The high-profile Japanese companies are forming a joint venture called Monet to develop businesses that will use driverless-car technology to offer new services, such as mobile convenience stores and delivery vehicles in which food is prepared en route. SoftBank (SFTBF) will own just over half of Monet, while Toyota (TM) will hold the rest. The new company’s name is not a reference to Claude Monet, the famous abstract…

Aston Martin falls 5% in London IPO

You could own James Bond’s car Aston Martin is joining the ranks of listed automakers with an IPO that values the British company at more than $5 billion. But its first day of trading in London got off to a rocky start. The favorite carmaker of fictional British secret service agent James Bond priced its shares at £19.00 ($24.70), giving it a valuation of £4.3 billion ($5.6 billion). The final listing price is 16% below the top of the range that Aston Martin had targeted, reflecting investor doubts about whether…

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…

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…

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…

Toys ‘R’ Us brand may be brought back to life

You won’t be hearing the Toys ‘R’ Us jingle anymore Toys « R » Us may be coming back. The company closed all of its US stores in June as part of a bankruptcy liquidation. But the owners of the company’s remaining assets are looking into restarting the business, as well as the related Babies « R » Us brand, the company disclosed in a court filing this week. Toys « R » Us had planned to auction off the rights to its name and the Babies « R »…

Aston Martin IPO values James Bond’s favorite car brand at $5.6 billion

You could own James Bond’s car Aston Martin is joining the ranks of listed automakers with an IPO that values the British company at more than $5 billion. The favorite carmaker of fictional British secret service agent James Bond has priced its shares at £19.00 ($24.70), giving it a valuation of £4.3 billion ($5.6 billion). The stock will be listed on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday, with full trading set to begin on October 8. « We are delighted by the positive response we have received from investors across…

Tencent Music aims to raise $1 billion by going public

What you need to know about Tencent Tencent Music has filed plans to go public in the United States in what could be one of the biggest recent US IPOs by a Chinese company. The company set a placeholder target of $1 billion, which could value the company between $25 and $30 billion, according to its SEC filing. That amount would mark the third largest Chinese IPO to list in the United States since the beginning of 2018, according to data provider Dealogic. The Netflix-like video platform iQIYI raised $2.3…

The markets are soaring. How should investors play it?

Things are looking good on Wall Street. The S&P 500 rose by more than 7% in the third quarter, which ended Friday. That’s the strongest quarter for the index in nearly five years. The Dow spiked 9%, while the Nasdaq climbed 7%. All three major indexes are near record highs. History suggests the growth could continue. Since 1945, the S&P has risen an average of 3.8% in the fourth quarter after it makes gains in the third quarter, according to Sam Stovall of CFRA Research. In midterm election years, the…

JCPenney names Jill Soltau as its new CEO

Why JCPenney is in serious trouble Jill Soltau, a veteran retail leader most recently in charge of Joann fabric and craft stores, will be tasked with turning around JCPenney. The company announced on Tuesday that Soltau will take over as its chief executive beginning on October 15. JCPenney has been leaderless since Marvin Ellison left in May to take the top job at Lowe’s. Soltau, 51, will be the 25th woman currently leading a Fortune 500 company, according to Fortune magazine. She will become Penney’s fifth chief executive in the…

Facebook doesn’t think hackers accessed third-party sites

Here’s why quitting Facebook is so hard Facebook says it has not found any evidence « so far » that its attackers accessed third-party sites through Facebook Login. It’s a sliver of good news about a massive data breach that the company first disclosed last week. Attackers accessed as many as 50 million accounts in the largest such breach of Facebook’s network. « We have now analyzed our logs for all third-party apps installed or logged during the attack we discovered last week. That investigation has so far found no…

Alexis Ohanian’s VC firm raises new $225M fund

Reddit co-founder defends net neutrality Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian’s venture capital firm has raised an additional $225 million to invest in early-stage startups. It is the fourth and largest fund raised by Initialized Capital, the San Francisco-based venture capital firm founded by Ohanian and Garry Tan. The new fund, announced on Tuesday, comes as Ohanian spends more time with the firm. About nine months ago, he stepped away from his day-to-day role at Reddit, the popular discussion board platform he co-founded in 2005. When Initialized Capital launched in 2012, Ohanian…

S&P downgrades debt-riddled GE and GE Capital

GE changed our lives. Why is it struggling? New General Electric boss Larry Culp just got a fresh reminder of the debt-riddled balance sheet he’s inheriting. Barely 24 hours after Culp became CEO, S&P Global Ratings downgraded the credit ratings of GE (GE) and GE Capital. Moody’s and Fitch warned they could do the same. All three ratings firms cited GE’s elevated leverage and shrinking cash flows — an alarming trend exacerbated by serious problems at GE’s power division. GE said on Monday that plunging profit at GE Power will…

Amazon announces $15 minimum wage for all US employees

Amazon is worth $1 trillion Amazon is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all US employees. The change takes effect November 1 and applies to full-time, part-time and temporary workers. Amazon (AMZN) says the $15 minimum wage will benefit more than 250,000 Amazon employees, plus 100,000 seasonal workers. « We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead, » said Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO. « We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and…

Tesla calms fears with strong sales numbers

Elon Musk stepping down as Tesla chairman A tumultuous quarter at Tesla ended with some very good sales numbers. The company delivered 83,500 vehicles during the third quarter, a strong performance that should calm investor fears about logistical problems and a looming cash crunch. That included almost 56,000 of the lower-priced Model 3. Production was a bit below that number: Tesla said it built about 53,000 Model 3s. But that was within the company’s projections. Only three months ago, the company struggled to build 5,000 Model 3s in a week,…

Meet GE’s new boss: Can Larry Culp right the ship?

GE changed our lives. Why is it struggling? General Electric is turning to an outsider to clean up a mess that took decades to create. Larry Culp, 55, is a proven leader known for his hands-on approach. He received a hero’s welcome from Wall Street on Monday after suddenly being installed as GE’s new boss. GE’s (GE) beaten-down share price spiked 10%. Culp, who became CEO of industrial manufacturer Danaher (DHR) at just 37, faces a monumental task in restoring GE to greatness. The iconic maker of light bulbs, MRI…

Tinder, Pinterest and others struggle to determine how Facebook hack affects their users

Exclusive: Is Facebook doing enough to stop election meddling? A massive Facebook breach may also have affected users of hundreds of other websites and apps. But three days after the public disclosure of the breach, it’s not clear that those companies know what, if anything, might have happened to their users. A spokesperson for the dating app Tinder said Monday that Facebook (FB) has shared only « limited information » and called on Facebook to be « transparent » about which of Tinder’s users may have been affected. In a…

Goldman Sachs’ new CEO has a lot of work to do

Goldman Sachs’ CEO is a part-time DJ It’s a new era at Goldman Sachs. David Solomon, the part-time electronic dance DJ who previously served as president of the company and co-head of its investment banking division, took the reins from Lloyd Blankfein on Monday as CEO. Blankfein, who had served as CEO since 2006 and will stay on as chairman through the end of the year, is already thinking about his next chapter, which could include more « unrestrained tweeting. » He started weighing in on issues including climate change…

GE unexpectedly removes its CEO

GE changed our lives. Why was it kicked out of the Dow? General Electric, mired in a deep slump, has ousted CEO John Flannery after barely a year on the job. Flannery is being replaced by H. Lawrence Culp Jr., the former CEO of Danaher, an industrial company. GE also installed Thomas Horton, the former CEO of American Airlines, as its lead director. Both changes are effective immediately. GE also revealed more bleak financial news: The conglomerate warned that its 2018 profit will « fall short » of guidance because…

California just passed the nation’s strictest net neutrality law

This city is giving out free cash to curb poverty California will soon have the country’s strictest net neutrality protections, thanks to a bill that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Sunday. The law could serve as a blueprint for other states, set California up for a clash with the federal government — and possibly draw a lawsuit from major internet providers. The bill was approved by lawmakers in early September, but it had been unclear if Brown would veto or approve the comprehensive measure, even though it had broad…

California has a new law: No more all-male boards

Accenture CEO: Diversity is critical Companies headquartered in California can no longer have all-male boards. That’s according to a new law, enacted Sunday, which requires publicly traded firms in the state to place at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of 2019 — or face a penalty. It also requires companies with five directors to add two women by the end of 2021, and companies with six or more directors to add at least three more women by the end of the same year. It’s…

The next big test for Elon Musk arrives this week

Elon Musk is being sued by the SEC 1. Back to business: The SEC is off Elon Musk’s back. Now he and Tesla can return to that other pesky problem — making and selling cars. Tesla will turn in a critical production report on Tuesday that will show investors whether the company can sustain and surpass its long-promised target of building 5,000 Model 3s per week. That report will go a long way toward determining whether Tesla (TSLA) can fulfill Musk’s pledge to turn a profit in the third and…

Elon Musk agrees to pay $20 million and quit as Tesla chairman in deal with SEC

Elon Musk agreed Saturday to step down as chairman of Tesla and pay a $20 million fine in a deal to settle charges brought this week by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Under the settlement, which requires court approval, Musk will be allowed to say as CEO but must leave his role as chairman of the board within 45 days. He cannot seek reelection for three years, according to court filings. He accepted the deal with the SEC « without admitting or denying the allegations of the complaint, » according…

Facebook hack: What to do if you’re affected

Here’s why quitting Facebook is so hard Sheryl Sandberg, Mark Zuckerberg and me. And there’s a good chance you, too. Welcome to a not-so-exclusive club: Facebook users who may have been affected by a major security breach. Hackers may have gained access to nearly 50 million accounts by exploiting flaws in the social network’s code, Facebook said Friday. It’s the largest breach in the company’s history. Facebook says it has notified law enforcement officials and patched the code vulnerability that hackers exploited. A lot of questions remain. We don’t know…

What would happen to Tesla without Elon Musk at the helm?

Elon Musk is being sued by the SEC Perhaps no chief executive is more inextricably linked to his company as Elon Musk is to Tesla. But Musk’s future at the helm of the electric car company was thrown into question when the SEC sued him on Thursday. The SEC claims Musk misled investors on August 7 when he tweeted he had secured funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share, causing Tesla’s stock to soar. He had not secured the funding, the SEC alleges. The regulator wants a federal…

Facebook hack exposed 50 million users’ info — and accounts on other sites

Here’s why quitting Facebook is so hard An attack on Facebook exposed information on nearly 50 million of the social network’s users, the company announced Friday — and gave the attackers access to those users’ accounts with other sites and apps that they logged into using Facebook. The attackers exploited a bug in a feature called « View as » that lets users see their Facebook page the way someone else would. The attackers were able to take over the accounts and use them exactly as if they were the…

SEC charges LendingClub unit with mishandling investors’ money

Elon Musk is being sued by the SEC Two former executives of LendingClub mishandled investors’ money and fudged the returns of funds that they oversaw, the SEC charged Friday. Ex-CEO Renaud Laplanche, former finance chief Carrie Dolan and a LendingClub subsidiary will pay a combined $4.2 million to settle the charges. The settlement also bars Laplanche from the securities industry for at least three years. Regulators had already accused the company of deceiving customers about fees and taking money from their accounts without authorization. LendingClub connects borrowers directly to investors…

10 years after the crisis, some investors are still scared of stocks

Reliving the financial meltdown, ten years later It was one of the most terrifying moments of the financial crisis: The Dow plunged nearly 780 points on September 29, 2008 — a 7% wipeout — after the House voted against a bailout of the nation’s biggest banks. And many investors simply never came back. The market plunge following the rejection of the bailout was just one of a series of wild swings in stocks that fall. Congress eventually approved a new plan, but that didn’t end the volatility. Four of the…

Arriving soon: Tesla’s moment of truth for the Model 3

Elon Musk is being sued by the SEC Can Tesla navigate through its many controversies and still meet its sales targets? We’re about to find out. Early next week Tesla will report how many cars it made in the third quarter and how many it was actually able to deliver to customers. Three months ago, investors and Tesla fans waited to see if the company could hit its long-promised target of building 5,000 Model 3 cars in a week. It just made that goal, building 5,031 in the last week…

Facebook says attack exposed info of 50 million users

An attack on Facebook discovered earlier this week exposed information on nearly 50 million of the social network’s users, the company announced Friday. The attackers exploited a feature that lets users see their Facebook page the way someone else would. They could then potentially use it to take over the accounts. Facebook said it does know who the attackers were or where they were based. It also said it has already fixed the issue and informed law enforcement. More than 90 million users were forced to log out of their…