Business News at a Glance
Posted May 1, 2018 11:06 p.m. EDT
Europe Is Annoyed, Not Grateful, After Trump Delays Tariffs
U.S. allies did not bother to conceal their annoyance Tuesday with the Trump administration’s last-minute decision to delay punitive aluminum and steel tariffs by a month, in their view leaving a sword of Damocles hanging over the global economy. In Europe, the reprieve was seen not as an act of conciliation but instead as another 30 days of limbo that will disrupt supply networks and undermine what has been an unusually strong period of growth. European leaders, normally circumspect, are openly irritated that President Donald Trump’s protectionist assault is aimed at them despite decades of military alliance and shared values.
Snap to Tweak Snapchat’s Redesign After Users Complain
When Snapchat’s app was redesigned late last year, a viral rage gripped its passionate and young users. Social media star Kylie Jenner tweeted that she had not been using the app as much and called the changes “sad.” More than 1.25 million people signed a Change.org petition to get the company to return the app to its old design. A complaint on Twitter about the Snapchat redesign became one of the most retweeted messages of all time. On Tuesday, Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, said it would redesign parts of the app’s redesign after the overhaul had dragged down its business.
Zuckerberg Has a Message: Facebook Will Keep Building
Mark Zuckerberg has faced scandal after scandal in recent months. On Tuesday, he indicated he was ready to move on and continue Facebook’s march of taking over people’s online lives. At the social network’s annual developer conference in San Jose, California, Zuckerberg, its chief executive, announced a slew of new products and technology features. They included a dating app for Facebook members, a group calling feature for the WhatsApp messaging service and photo filters on Instagram. Zuckerberg also said Facebook’s cordless virtual reality headset, Oculus Go, was now available for $199. “The world would lose if Facebook went away,” he said.
Apple Says It Will Buy Back $100 Billion in Stock
Since Apple said in January that it would bring back most of the $252 billion it held abroad under the new tax law, investors have wondered what the company would do with the cash. On Tuesday, those investors learned that they are in line for a chunk of the money. Apple said it would buy back $100 billion in stock, the largest increase in its historic record of returning capital to investors. The company didn’t provide a timeline for the repurchases. Apple also increased its dividend by 16 percent to 73 cents a share, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Vista, Maker of Ammunition and Recreation Gear, Plans to Sell Off Gun-Making Unit
Vista Outdoor, among the largest producers of ammunition in the country and one of a few publicly held firearms companies, said Tuesday it plans to sell its gun-making business. Vista said it would “explore strategic options” for the Savage and Stevens firearms brands as part of a broader “business transformation plan.” Savage, which was founded in 1894, began producing AR-15-style rifles last year. Gun-makers have been under pressure since February’s fatal shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. The rampage spurred a push to boycott companies associated with the National Rifle Association and the firearms industry.
Vaping Products That Look Like Juice Boxes and Candy Are Target of Crackdown
Federal authorities said Tuesday they were issuing 13 warning letters to companies that sell vaping products like liquid nicotine in packaging that may appeal to children, including products that resemble juice boxes and candy. The joint action by the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission is the latest step by the government to crack down on the vaping industry. Last week, FDA officials said they had started an undercover sting operation targeting retailers that sell the popular Juul products to minors and had asked the maker to turn over documents related to marketing practices and health research.