Business News at a Glance
Posted May 7, 2018 10:09 p.m. EDT
Coming Soon: Bitcoin Trades on Wall Street
Some of the biggest names on Wall Street are warming up to bitcoin, the virtual currency. The parent company of the New York Stock Exchange has been working on an online trading platform that would allow large investors to buy and hold bitcoin, according to sources. The news of the virtual exchange came after Goldman Sachs went public with its intention to open a bitcoin trading unit — most likely the first of its kind at a Wall Street bank. The moves by Goldman and the Intercontinental Exchange mark a dramatic shift toward the mainstream for a digital token.
U.S. Oil Tops $70 a Barrel as Deadline Nears on Iran
Benchmark prices for U.S. crude oil closed above $70 a barrel on Monday for the first time since 2014 as traders factored in a prospective U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord, which eased international sanctions on Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program. Investors fear that a withdrawal would lead to new sanctions on Iran, the world’s fifth-largest producer of crude oil in 2017, further curtailing a global supply. President Donald Trump has threatened to pull out unless Britain, France and Germany agree to make changes to the agreement. Trump said he would announce his decision Tuesday.
Microsoft Tries a New Role
Microsoft, a giant that spent most of the 1990s and early 2000s as tech’s biggest company and villain, seems to be auditioning for a different role: the industry’s moral conscience. The company's new role is partly due to the fact that it's not a major player in social media, video streaming and smartphones — the products behind the current dark mood around tech. But while the company’s power has diminished, its market capitalization of $733 billion makes it the third most valuable technology company, behind Apple and Amazon and ahead of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, and Facebook.
After Fatal Uber Crash, a Self-Driving Startup Moves Forward
On Monday, a car operated by the Silicon Valley startup Drive.ai drove itself through the streets of Frisco, Texas, navigating across four lanes of traffic and around a traffic circle. The vehicle will eventually become part of a fleet of autonomous taxis that will ferry locals along a predetermined route between the Dallas Cowboys facility in Frisco and two other office, retail and apartment complexes. Drive.ai’s vehicle debut Monday was the first new rollout of autonomous cars in the United States since a pedestrian died in Arizona in March after a self-driving car operated by Uber hit her.
Widening Feud With Macron, Airline Unions Call for Strike
In the first year of his presidency, Emmanuel Macron has pushed business-friendly labor laws, made it easier for companies to hire and fire, cut the wealth tax and decentralized collective bargaining. Through it all, France’s most militant unions have resisted. His changes, which set out to reshape the way France’s economy and society work, are now facing increasing pushback from labor groups. For weeks, unions have staged a series of strikes to oppose efforts to make the nation’s main railway system more competitive. And unions representing Air France-KLM staff on Monday called for new strikes after rejecting a pay proposal.