From news services and staff reports
President Trump met with Brian Krzanich, the chief executive of U.S.-based technology company Intel, to announce a $7 billion investment in an advanced computer chip factory in Chandler, Ariz. Krzanich said the facility, called Fab 42, would employ 3,000 people at its peak and indirectly create 10,000 jobs in the area in support of the factory. Trump lashed out on Twitter at department store Nordstrom over its decision to stop carrying Ivanka Trump products, saying his daughter “has been treated so unfairly” by the retailing giant. The social media missive adds to a cloud of confusion swirling around the Trump administration about how the family’s business interests are colliding with Trump’s job at the White House. Nordstrom said the move was based on sales results, not politics. Its share price climbed on the news. Volkswagen formed a subsidiary to manage the $2 billion it is required by the Environmental Protection Agency to spend over the next decade in support of zero-emission vehicles in the United States. The company, Electrify America, will invest in construction and maintenance of charging stations for electric vehicles. Vizio used 11 million televisions to spy on its customers, and the company agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle a case with the FTC and the New Jersey attorney general’s office after the agencies accused it of secretly collecting — and selling — data about its customers’ locations, demographics and viewing habits.
Carlyle Group posted sharply lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. The Washington-based firm said it took a charge of $175 million in its former hedge fund Vermillion Asset Management and incurred about $25 million in charges after selling its ownership stake in former hedge fund Claren Road Asset Management. For the fourth quarter, Carlyle said it earned economic net income of $6.4 million after taxes, or 2 cents per share, down from 24 cents a year ago.
The $54 billion merger of health insurance giants Anthem and
Cigna was blocked by a federal judge, who said the deal would increase prices and decrease competition. The 12-page ruling by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington follows a similar decision by a different judge to block the proposed merger of Aetna and Humana last month.
Snap has a deal to pay Amazon.com at least $1 billion for Internet services over the next five years, adding to a $2 billion agreement it already has with Alphabet’s Google. Details of the deal were released in an update to Snap’s initial public offering documents. Snap will pay Amazon $50 million in 2017 and then spend progressively more on the ecommerce giant’s cloud and infrastructure services through 2021. Snap, whose products include Snapchat, is seeking a valuation of as much as $25 billion.
General Motors posted record annual profit of $9.43 billion in 2016. GM expects to match or exceed last year’s results in large part because lucrative sport-utility vehicles keep selling strongly in North America.
The 30-year fixed-rate average
mortgage slipped to 4.17 percent with an average 0.4 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.) It was 4.19 percent a week ago and 3.65 percent a year ago. The 15year fixed-rate average dropped to 3.39 percent with an average 0.4 point.
A federal appeals panel maintained the freeze on Trump’s immigration order, meaning previously barred refugees and citizens from seven majorityMuslim countries can continue entering the country. In a unanimous opinion, three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit rejected the government’s argument that suspension of the order should be lifted immediately for national security reasons and forcefully asserted their ability to serve as a check on the president’s power. Trump reacted angrily on Twitter, posting minutes after the ruling, “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”
Andrew Puzder, the fast-food chief executive nominated by Trump as labor secretary, said that if confirmed he would offload a vast portfolio including more than 200 stock holdings and a dozen real estate partnerships and private equity funds, according to financial disclosures obtained by The Washington Post. He would also have to sell his stake in CKE Restaurants, which includes burger chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. His holdings in the fast-food chain are worth between $10 million and $50 million, the documents show.
Demand for American whiskeys is growing. The Distilled Spirits Council said that combined U.S. revenue for bourbon, Tennessee whiskey and rye whiskey shot up 7.7 percent to $3.1 billion in 2016. Export volumes reportedly rose 10 percent, but revenue fell short of $1 billion for the first time in recent years as the strong dollar led more consumers to choose lessexpensive whiskeys. The U.S. Postal Service said it lost $200 million during the year-end holiday season, despite a strong quarter of package shipping and expanded use of vote-by-mail in the November presidential election.