6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Skepticism about Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) business model grew as Volvo said it would sell only electric cars and hybrids after 2019. Tesla also said that, in its most recently reported quarter, parts supplies slowed production. And Goldman Sachs said further pressure on Tesla’s market could pummel the stock.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, chopped oil prices for its supply to Asia. Competition for demand has risen in the area. The news helped pressure crude prices below $50 a barrel.

Uber’s troubles in Europe continued. According to Reuters:

Uber [UBER.UL] suffered a new setback in Europe on Tuesday when a European Union court adviser said France was entitled to charge local managers of the U.S. ride-hailing app firm with running an illegal taxi service.

Uber played down the non-binding opinion from an advocate general at the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ), saying it applied only to a service using unlicensed drivers known as UberPOP, which it had already discontinued in France.

The United States cut the size of its huge strategic oil reserve due to the country’s growing output of shale. According to Bloomberg:

U.S. strategic crude stockpiles have dropped to the lowest level in more than 12 years as the shale boom reduces the nation’s need for an emergency buffer against shortages.

Inventories declined by about 13 million barrels over 17 consecutive weeks as the Energy Department delivered supplies it sold in recent months. That brought stocks down to 682 million as of June 30. In two sales held in January and February, the agency sold almost 17 million barrels of crude from its salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana to companies including Chinese state-owned PetroChina Co. Ltd.

In a new test of large sedans, Tesla failed to get a Top Safety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The designation is the highest given by the group. Its researchers wrote:

The Lincoln Continental, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Toyota Avalon come out at the top of a group of six large cars recently evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The three cars qualify for Top Safety Pick+, the Institute’s highest award. The Tesla Model S, the Chevrolet Impala and the Ford Taurus fall short of any award because they each earn only an acceptable rating in the small overlap front test.

The news is particularly good for Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), which has had trouble selling Lincoln vehicles.

After two delays in three days, Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully put a communications satellite into orbit. Due to fuel needs, the rocket did not return to earth.