Business News at a Glance
Posted November 19, 2018 10:40 p.m. EST
Tech Stocks Lead Slump That Erases November’s Gains
Apple was worth more than $1 trillion at the start of November. Now, it’s valued at $880 billion. Shares of Apple and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, are down more than 10 percent since the market peaked, while Facebook and Amazon have dropped more than 20 percent. Investors’ faith has been eroded by slowing growth and a trade war with China, as well as revelations about privacy lapses, security issues and mismanagement. The tumult in tech Monday pushed major stock market indexes into negative territory for November, leaving investors clinging to a gain of less than 1 percent for the year.
Nissan’s Chief Held in Inquiry over His Pay
Carlos Ghosn, who created an alliance between Nissan and Renault that made it effectively the world’s largest carmaker, was arrested by authorities in Japan on Monday. Ghosn, widely hailed for saving Nissan, reviving Renault, and rethinking how automakers could share technologies, was detained after an internal company inquiry found that he had underreported his compensation to the Japanese government for several years. Hiroto Saikawa, Nissan’s chief executive, said he would recommend to his board, which will meet Thursday, that Ghosn be removed. Saikawa described Ghosn and Greg Kelly, a director who was also arrested Monday, as “masterminds” of a long-running scheme to mislead financial authorities.
Aid Is Scarce for Farmers in Trade War
America’s farmers have been shut out of foreign markets, hit with retaliatory tariffs and lost lucrative contracts in the face of President Donald Trump’s trade war. But a $12 billion bailout program Trump created to “make it up” to farmers has done little to cushion the blow. According to the Department of Agriculture, just $838 million has been paid out to farmers since the first $6 billion pot of money was made available in September. Another pool of up to $6 billion is expected to become available next month. The government is unlikely to offer additional money beyond the $12 billion, according to the agriculture secretary.
Disney Wins Chinese Approval for Fox Deal, Clearing Major Hurdle
The Walt Disney Co. said Monday that Chinese regulators had unconditionally approved its purchase of 21st Century Fox assets, pushing the $71.3 billion deal closer to completion. Disney is still awaiting regulatory approval from a handful of countries, which a spokeswoman declined to identify. But none are as important as China — a crucial growth market for Disney, given its swelling middle class. Analysts had worried the Disney deal could become collateral damage in the trade war, as China was looking for ways to retaliate against the United States. China’s approval of the deal is particularly notable because it came without conditions.
CNN Reporter’s Press Pass Is Restored by White House
Jim Acosta has his press pass back. The Trump administration stood down Monday from its nearly two-week-long dispute with CNN over the White House credentials of Acosta, informing the correspondent that his badge was formally restored. CNN in turn dropped its lawsuit on the matter, which had ballooned into a test of press freedoms in the Trump era. But while it yielded to Acosta — whose testy questions had touched off Trump’s ire — the administration used the occasion to lay down a set of formal rules governing reporters’ behavior at future White House news conferences, a highly unusual step.
No More Laughs as the Correspondents’ Dinner Turns to a Historian
The White House Correspondents’ Association announced Monday that for the first time in 15 years, no comedian would crack jokes at its annual black-tie dinner in April. Instead, Ron Chernow, the historian and biographer of Alexander Hamilton and John Rockefeller, will speak on the First Amendment. The dinner, intended to commemorate comity between the president and his press corps, has come under immense pressure in the age of “fake news,” and President Donald Trump has declined to attend two years running. This year’s performer, comedian Michelle Wolf, outraged the Washington crowd with her off-color jokes about members of the administration.
David’s Bridal Files for Bankruptcy Protection
David’s Bridal, the largest wedding retailer in the country, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday as it tries to shed more than $400 million in debt and adjust to new rivals, but it promised brides that no one would lose their gowns. The company is the latest bridal business to flounder in the face of sliding marriage rates, intense price pressures on dresses and a shift toward online ordering. Before going to bankruptcy court in Delaware, David’s had negotiated a deal with creditors for $60 million in new financing and a recommitment for a $125 million revolving credit facility.