6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) did poorly in government stress tests. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Regulators cleared most of the largest U.S. banks to increase their dividends and share buybacks, but forced two Wall Street titans, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, to freeze those payouts at recent levels.

Thirty-four of the nation’s 35 biggest lenders passed the second round of the Federal Reserve’s annual “stress tests,” which gauge whether banks are healthy enough to keep lending through an economic meltdown. They can now buy back shares and pay dividends, rewarding investors who have been eager to share in the bounty of near-record bank profits.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) and Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA) may settle a battle with the government. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. are close to settling a long-running antitrust lawsuit with merchants over the fees they pay when they accept card payments, according to people familiar with the matter.

Under the settlement, Visa, Mastercard and a number of banks that issue debit and credit cards including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. would pay the merchants around $6.5 billion, some of the people said. It isn’t clear how the payment would be split up among the card networks and the issuing banks.


Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is trying to limit fake accounts. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Facebook Inc. rolled out new features Thursday designed to make it easier to identify fake pages, an issue that Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said was the company’s priority ahead of the midterm elections.

The new tools are designed to help people understand what they see on Facebook and who paid for it, Ms. Sandberg said, and are part of the social media giant’s push to increase transparency on its platform.

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) will increase the deposit amount people pay to reserve its new Model 3. According to CNBC:

Tesla is sending out e-mails to all Model 3 reservation holders in North America this week informing them that their electric sedans are ready to order and asking for an additional $2,500 to fulfill their orders.

The move could help Tesla in its drive toward profitability this year. Chairman and CEO Elon Musk has promised Tesla would not only be able to produce 5,000 Model 3s per week by the end of this quarter, but that the electric vehicle maker should be profitable and cash flow positive in the second half of the year.

Bitcoin prices continue to fall. According to CNBC:

Bitcoin fell below $6,000 on Thursday. According to cryptocurrency trader Ran Neu-Ner, it’s likely to go even lower.

“There’s more blood to come,” Neu-Ner, who is host of CNBC Africa’s “Crypto Trader,” said Thursday on “Fast Money.”

Bitcoin was priced around $5,915 as of 6 p.m. ET Thursday.

H&M faces an inventory problem. According to CNNMoney:

 In a retail industry beset by problems, H&M has a doozy: A stockpile of unsold clothes worth $4 billion.

The Swedish fashion company said Thursday that the value of its global unsold inventory ballooned in the most recent quarter to 36 billion Swedish kronor ($4 billion). That’s a 13% increase over the previous year.