Corporate America, not banks, could cause the next recession

The collapse of Lehman Brothers: 10 years later 1. The next debt crisis: There’s a $6.3 trillion elephant in the room. And it just might cause the next recession. The last downturn was triggered by Wall Street and Americans accumulating too much debt — particularly in the sizzling housing market. A decade later, it’s Corporate America borrowing with gusto. Egged on by extremely low rates, US companies have piled on a record-setting $6.3 trillion of debt, according to S&P Global Ratings. All that debt is easy to ignore right now.…

Comcast outbids 21st Century Fox for Sky

Comcast outbid 21st Century Fox and its powerful backer, Disney, on Saturday in an auction for control of European broadcaster Sky. Comcast lodged a winning bid of $39 billion (£30 billion) for Sky following a rare, three round auction managed by UK’s Takeover Panel. Both companies were vying for 61% control of Sky. 21st Century Fox already owns 39% of the company. Both companies must now make their offers official. Then the Sky board will make a recommendation, and Sky shareholders have until October 11 to vote. –This is a developing story…

Don’t cut up your credit cards yet — or sell MasterCard, Visa and AmEx

5 stunning stats about credit cards The demise of the credit card is greatly exaggerated. Yes, companies like Square (SQ) and PayPal (PYPL), which owns Venmo, are red hot — especially with millennials. But the stocks of American Express, Visa and MasterCard have all hit record highs in the past week. AmEx (AXP) stock is up more than 10% this year. Visa (V) is up about 30%, making it one of the top stocks in the Dow. Only Microsoft (MSFT) and Nike (NKE) have performed better. And MasterCard (MA) has…

The final battle for Sky is underway

Comcast and Fox battle for Sky An extended takeover battle involving three of the world’s most powerful media companies is culminating in the most dramatic way imaginable: An auction. Comcast is bidding against 21st Century Fox (FOX) and its powerful backer, Disney (DIS), on Saturday in an auction that is designed to end nearly two years of wrangling over control of European broadcaster Sky. The UK Takeover Panel will oversee the rare auction, which includes up to three rounds of bidding and is designed to produce two final offers for…

Papa John’s possible new logo drops the apostrophe

Papa John’s is losing the pizza wars. Big time. Papa John’s is considering a sleek, boxy new logo that turns Papa John’s into Papa Johns. The company filed a trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office in late August, but a company representative said that there are no immediate plans to start using the new logo. AdAge first reported the filing. It’s no surprise that Papa John’s is considering a fresh look. The company recently launched two ad campaigns seemingly designed to win back customers and employees disappointed in…

Walmart discriminated against pregnant workers, federal agency says

A federal agency is suing Walmart for discriminating against pregnant employees. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said on Friday that it had filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Walmart violated the law when it refused to accommodate pregnant employees’ requests for a lighter work load. According to the EEOC, Alyssa Gilliam and other pregnant employees at a Walmart warehouse in Menomonie, Wisconsin, were not allowed to take part in a company program that allowed some workers to receive lighter duties. « Walmart deprived pregnant workers of the…

Pot company CEO expects American market to open up

Pot company CEO optimistic the U.S. market could open up The head of a big publicly traded pot company said he’s preparing for potential changes that will make his products available in America. Cannabis is still illegal in the United States under federal law, even though a number of states have legalized marijuana. But Bruce Linton, the co-founder and CEO of Canopy Growth (CGC), told CNN’s Julia Chatterley on the First Move show Friday that he thinks some of the laws prohibiting marijuana could soon be relaxed. « Republicans have…

The trade war reaches Procter & Gamble — and into the medicine cabinet

El-Erian: Investors recognize trade fears are short-term Procter & Gamble, the maker of familiar brands like Tide, Pampers, Gillette and Bounty, has been knocked around the past few years by lackluster sales and new competitors. Its latest headache is President Donald Trump’s trade war with China. For P&G, the Trump administration’s latest round of tariffs on Chinese imports will raise the cost of making many of its household staples. Two weeks ago, the company lobbied to have more than a dozen imported goods left off the list of more than…

General Electric’s turbine troubles raise more red flags

GE changed our lives. Why was it kicked out of the Dow? General Electric’s power problems just got worse, and the iconic company’s comeback efforts now look even more precarious. GE Power, the most troubled part of the slumping conglomerate, confirmed on Thursday that one of its gas turbines recently suffered a glitch at a Texas power plant. The failure was serious enough that Exelon (EXC) said it shut down the power plant — and as a precaution it also shut another plant that runs on the same GE turbine.…

Google still lets third-party apps scan your Gmail data

These are Gmail’s new features Google is defending its policy to allow third-party apps to access and share data from Gmail accounts, according to a letter made public Thursday. Gmail, which has over 1.4 billion users globally, lets third-party developers integrate services into its email platform, such as trip planners and custom relationship management systems. « Developers may share data with third parties so long as they are transparent with the users about how they are using the data, » Susan Molinari, VP of public policy and government affairs for…

Wells Fargo plans to cut up to 26,500 jobs over three years

Buffett acknowledges Wells Fargo’s ‘cardinal sin’ Wells Fargo plans to cut as many as 26,500 jobs over three years as the troubled bank adapts to the rise of online banking. CEO Tim Sloan said on Thursday that Wells Fargo (WFC) plans to cut 5% to 10% of its 265,000-person workforce. He cited « changing customer preferences, » including the wide adoption of digital banking. « Wells Fargo takes very seriously any change that involves its team members, and as always, we will be thoughtful and transparent, and treat team members…

Amazon unveils Alexa-controlled microwave, wall clock and new Echo devices

Amazon is worth $1 trillion It’s only the beginning for Alexa. The voice assistant, which started as the centerpiece to Amazon’s Echo smart speaker line, now even has its own microwave, wall clock and device for the car. On Thursday, Amazon unveiled a handful of Alexa updates and new Echo devices at a press event held inside its new Amazon Spheres greenhouse space at its Seattle headquarters. New Echo speakers Amazon showed off a handful of Echo devices — and one of which doesn’t even come with a built-in speaker.…

Gap challenges Lululemon with a men’s athleisure line

5 stunning stats about Gap Gap is stretching into athleisure for men. Hill City, a line of men’s athletic wear to go along with the company’s Athleta brand for women, will go on sale in October. The line consists of lightweight stretch pants, puffer jackets and premium shorts meant to be worn from « working out to work to weekend. » Hill City will be more expensive than the men’s workout gear already sold in Gap stores. For example, a pair of pants will cost $128 and an oxford shirt…

Tilray is having a wild week. Is this a cannabis bubble?

Why this cannabis stock is skyrocketing Canadian cannabis stock Tilray has, to put it mildly, been on a strange trip. Tilray’s moves have been wackier than anything Harold and Kumar experienced on their trip to White Castle or Seth Rogen and James Franco’s adventures in « Pineapple Express. » Shares of Tilray (TLRY) have shot up nearly 50% in the past week, surging nearly 40% alone on Wednesday — a day when the stock was halted five times in the final 70 minutes of trading on the Nasdaq for volatility.…

Trump administration changes tariff exemption process after complaints

This American company says it was crippled by Trump’s tariffs The Trump administration is changing the process for receiving exemptions from steel and aluminum tariffs. Businesses complained that the procedure to apply for an exemption was murky, and tilted toward big companies that were able to squash requests from smaller ones. Under the new guidelines announced by the Commerce Department on Thursday, companies will have more time to respond when other companies try to block their exemption requests. « These updates will help perfect the process to ensure a fair…

Amazon to unveil new hardware at Seattle event

Amazon is worth $1 trillion Amazon is planning a surprise announcement for Thursday, most likely expanding its line of Echo smart speakers. The company has invited press to its Seattle headquarters for a secretive hardware event, which starts at 1 p.m. ET. It could unveil eight new Echo devices, a device for the car and even a microwave, according to a CNBC report. More Echos make sense for the company. The reign of Alexa is only beginning for Amazon. It wants the chipper voice assistant to be available in more…

European banking still has a massive money laundering problem

First it was HSBC. Then ING. Now Danske Bank. European banks are still uncovering money laundering on a vast scale. Danske Bank (DNKEY), Denmark’s largest bank, admitted Wednesday that an internal investigation had uncovered a large number of suspicious accounts and transactions at its branch in Estonia. The bank said the branch handled about €200 billion ($235 billion) for around 15,000 foreign clients, some from Russia, between 2007 and 2015. It said that the « vast majority » of the 6,200 customers it has investigated so far were « suspicious.…

Dow sets first record high since January

El-Erian: Investors recognize trade fears are short-term What trade war? The Dow just soared to its first record high since late January. The milestone shows that Wall Street is mostly unfazed by the escalating trade clash between the United States and China. The S&P 500 also notched an all-time high on Thursday. The Dow has spiked about 3,300 points since a low on April 2, when investors were more worried about trade. They’re betting that the strong US economy will power through the outbreak of tariffs. « The market is…

Jack Ma: The trade war has ‘destroyed’ my promise to create 1 million US jobs

How Jack Ma changed China Chinese tech billionaire Jack Ma’s promise to create 1 million new US jobs is the latest casualty of the trade war. The Alibaba (BABA) chief grabbed attention at the start of last year when he made the ambitious jobs pledge following a meeting with Donald Trump, who was president elect at the time. But in an interview published late Wednesday by China’s official news agency, Xinhua, Ma said the waves of new tariffs imposed by Washington and Beijing in recent months have undermined the plan.…

China strikes back by going after America’s energy companies

This is what a trade war looks like The United States has an abundance of natural gas that pollution-riddled China badly needs to wean itself off coal. Eying China’s voracious demand, Cheniere Energy, ExxonMobil (XOM) and other American energy companies are racing to build more than two dozen expensive facilities to export liquefied natural gas, which is super-cooled natural gas that can be transported by ship. China even marked President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing last fall by agreeing to invest as much as $43 billion into an LNG project…

Mark Cuban to donate $10M in wake of Dallas Mavericks workplace probe

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will donate $10 million to women’s advocacy groups after an independent investigation found a long history of sexual harassment among team employees. The investigation found « numerous instances of sexual harassment and other improper workplace conduct » within the organization over more than 20 years, the NBA said Wednesday. The instances included touching and forcible kissing of women employees by a former team president, as well as other misconduct by a former ticket sales employee and by a former Mavs.com reporter, the league said. The…

Apple’s latest are the best yet. But do you need them?

First impressions of Apple’s iPhone XS and XS Max Each year, Apple CEO Tim Cook calls the next-generation iPhones the best ever made. The company’s 2018 lineup, specifically the iPhone XS and XS Max, delivers on that promise: They’re the smartest, fastest, best iPhones we’ve seen to date. But at this point, buying an updated iPhone is like getting a new Ferrari — you’ll find a faster engine, a new coat of paint, and a few new bells and whistles, but beneath all that it’s still basically the same car…

The Dow is one big rally away from an all-time high

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…

Walmart is where the trade war comes home

How the US trade war might impact your beer Two weeks ago, Walmart asked the Trump administration to walk back its plan to put tariffs on Christmas lights, shampoo, dog food, luggage, mattresses, handbags, backpacks, vacuum cleaners, bicycles, cooking grills, cable cords and air conditioners. In a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the company said expanded tariffs on Chinese imports would hurt its customers, its suppliers and the US economy. « The immediate impact will be to raise prices on consumers and tax American business and manufacturers, »…

Don’t cut your credit cards yet — or sell MasterCard, Visa and AmEx

5 stunning stats about credit cards The demise of the credit card is greatly exaggerated. Yes, companies like Square (SQ) and PayPal (PYPL), which owns Venmo, are red hot — especially with millennials. But the stocks of American Express, Visa and MasterCard have all hit record highs in the past week. AmEx (AXP) stock is up more than 10% this year. Visa (V) is up about 30%, making it one of the top stocks in the Dow. Only Microsoft (MSFT) and Nike (NKE) have performed better. And MasterCard (MA) has…

Walmart wants to bring its ‘everyday low prices’ to health care

How Walmart is taking on Amazon When most people think about health care, rarely do « discounts » and « low prices » come to mind. But Walmart is looking to change that. The retail behemoth, which markets itself as the leader in « Everyday Low Prices, » is beefing up its presence in the health care sector. It inked a deal last month with Anthem, one of the nation’s largest insurers, to entice more Medicare enrollees to buy over-the-counter medications and health supplies at its stores. It recently tapped…

China says it will ‘never go down the path’ of devaluing its currency again

GoPro CEO: We’re ‘actively looking’ to source outside of China The trade war between China and the United States is intensifying, but Beijing has just taken one potential weapon off the table. Premier Li Keqiang told an audience of global executives and policymakers that China would not weaken the yuan to boost trade with the rest of the world. « China will never go down the path of stimulating exports by devaluing its currency, » Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Wednesday. His comments came a day after the United States…

Papa John’s new campaign pushes Papa John further away

Papa John’s is losing the pizza wars. Big time. Papa John’s new ad campaign makes a clear statement: The pizza chain is moving on without Papa John. On Tuesday, the embattled pizza company released a new commercial featuring a diverse panel of franchisees and employees. « You’ve heard one voice of Papa John’s for a long time, » one employee says to the camera. « It’s time you heard from all of us, » said another. At the commercial’s close, a list of names scrolls to replace John’s. Papa John’s…

Investors are starting to worry about the economy

Analyst: Trade war is big headline, not big problem Wall Street doesn’t seem to care about the escalating trade war between the United States and China. The Dow jumped 175 points and the Nasdaq climbed 1% on Tuesday despite Washington and Beijing pushing ahead with another round of punishing tariffs. Investors are betting the US economy will continue to power ahead of the rest of the world. Yet beneath the surface, some are getting worried about the ability of the global economy to withstand the trade war and brewing storms…

The holiday season will be so huge it will overwhelm stores

The truth about the retail apocalypse Retailers are making big hiring plans in anticipation of the holiday shopping rush. Gap (GPS) said on Monday that it was bringing on 65,000 seasonal workers. Target (TGT) announced plans for 120,000 workers last week, 20% more than last year, while Macy’s said it was hiring 80,000, the same number as last year. Delivery and logistics companies are also looking for workers to help with shipping: UPS (UPS) said on Monday that it was hiring 100,000 full and part-time workers, up 5% from last…