6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Bitcoin hit a new record. According to Reuters:

Bitcoin, the world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, was quoted at $17,310 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange BTC=BTSP, up 5.1 percent on the day. Earlier on Tuesday bitcoin hit a record high of $17,428.42, registering a roughly 20-fold increase in its price for the year as it drew in millions of new investors.

General Electric Co.’s (NYSE: GE) board looked into the simultaneous use of two jets by former boss Jeff Immelt. The Wall Street Journal reports:

General Electric Co. recently conducted an internal review into the flying of a spare business jet to accompany former Chief Executive Jeff Immelt, as it seeks to understand an unusual practice that went on for years and surprised investors when they learned of it in October.

The investigation was discussed at a GE board meeting last week, people familiar with the matter said. William “Mo” Cowan, GE’s vice president of litigation and legal policy, led an effort in recent weeks to find out who knew about the extra plane and when they knew it, one person said.

It is unclear whether any findings would be made public.

Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) will borrow more money to stay afloat. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Sears Holdings Corp. extended the terms of a $400 million loan while announcing a new planned borrowing to cover pension contributions.

The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based retailer entered into an agreement with “new and existing lenders” to delay the maturity of its term loan to January 2019 from June 2018, with an option to further extend the maturity date by another six months, according to a Tuesday securities filing.

Sears had paid down the loan by $325 million in the fourth quarter. Despite frequent predictions from short sellers of the company’s demise, the loan extension suggests that investors haven’t lost hope that Sears can stanch a persistent cash burn and weather a downturn in brick-and-mortar shopping nationwide.

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) is close to buying most of the studio and TV assets of Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NYSE: FOX) at a price set around $60 billion.

An expert in China’s economy says that its growth could sharply decelerate. According to CNBC:

China’s economy will expand a bit faster than expected this year on resilient consumption but growth will stutter in 2018, the Asian Development Bank said Wednesday.

Growth on the mainland is now expected at 6.8 percent in 2017, up from the previous forecast of 6.7 percent, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in its latest forecasts released on Wednesday.

Growth prospects in China for 2017 have been revised upward as spending by households has held up reasonably well. Still, persisting headwinds will weigh on economic impulses next year.

The world’s second-largest economy is likely to grow by 6.4 percent in 2018 due to “controlled moderation” in the economy, Joseph Zveglich, ADB’s macroeconomic research director told CNBC. That would mark the slowest pace of expansion since 1990, according to World Bank data.

As trade tensions grow between the United States and Canada, the latter dropped the purchase of some Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) jets. According to CNNMoney:

 The country has ditched plans to buy 18 new F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets from Boeing amid a trade dispute with the U.S.

Instead, Canada will buy used, older model F/A-18s from Australia, Canadian officials announced Tuesday. The loss of the $5.23 billion deal is a major blow to Boeing.

“We received a formal offer from the government of Australia and we intend to pursue it,” Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said at a news conference.