6 Most Important Financial and Economic Stories Today

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has hired Dr. Sumbul Desai, who runs Stamford’s digital health initiatives. Apple has digital health products, primarily for Apple Watch. More and more of these may be transferred to the iPhone to create additional consumer features to differentiate it from other smartphones.

Hudson Bay, which owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, will cut 2,000 jobs in North America. It becomes the latest victim of the carnage in the brick-and-mortar retail business that has caused companies like Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) and Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) to close hundreds of stores. Industry experts predict layoffs and the shuttering of stores is far from over as they are cannibalized by Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and their own e-commerce efforts.

Japan’s Softbank, the majority owner of Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) will buy Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) robot arm, Boston Dynamics. Softbank is in the midst of raising a $100 billion investment fund.

Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) is the most shorted tech stock, according to Bloomberg. One reason is that millions of its shares will become “unlocked,” which means insiders and other investors will be able to sell shares that were previously restricted. According to the news agency:

Investors are skeptical that the company, which owns the Snapchat photo-sharing app, can grow quickly enough to justify its valuation — now at about $22 billion — given aggressive competition from Facebook Inc., which has been copying some of Snapchat’s features. That’s helped drive short interest in Snap up to 28 percent of the free float, or shares available to be traded publicly, according to data from Markit Group Ltd. The increase comes before the first lockup expiration on the shares — on July 30 — when certain stakeholders and executives will be free to unload their positions for the first time since the March 1 IPO.

Snap shares last traded at $18.25, down from $29.44, the high point after its IPO

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) will offer buyouts to 15,000 salaried workers, mostly in the United States and Asia. The car maker has struggled recently, which cost CEO Mark Fields his job. He was replaced by Jim Hackett. This is Hackett’s first major move as he tries to turn around the company.

Nasdaq posted its 38th daily high during the year, which has not happened since the 1999 internet bubble.

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