6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Japan-based Softbank will try to buy a multibillion dollar position in Uber, according to The Wall Street Journal. The world’s largest ride-sharing service has come under intense pressure for sexual discrimination, among other reasons its CEO was recently forced out.

Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: KORS) will buy Jimmy Choo in a fashion industry consolidation. The two companies disclosed:

Michael Kors Holdings Limited (KORS), a global fashion luxury brand, today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Jimmy Choo PLC (CHOO.L), a premier global luxury footwear and accessories brand. Under the terms of the transaction, Jimmy Choo shareholders will receive 230 pence per share, with an enterprise value of approximately USD $1.350 billion. The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo.

John D. Idol, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Michael Kors, said, “We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Jimmy Choo, an iconic brand with a rich history as a leading global luxury house. Jimmy Choo is known worldwide for its glamorous and fashion-forward footwear. The company is a leader in setting fashion trends. Its innovative designs and exceptional craftsmanship resonate with trendsetters globally. We believe that Jimmy Choo is poised for meaningful growth in the future and our company is committed to supporting the strong brand equity that Jimmy Choo has built over the last 20 years.”

Pressure on retail margins has driven Kors stock down by a third in the past year to $34, so some consolidation in the industry is to be expected.

Existing home sales have fallen, according to the National Association of Realtors:

Existing-home sales slipped in June as low supply kept homes selling at a near record pace but ultimately ended up muting overall activity, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Only the Midwest saw an increase in sales last month.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, decreased 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million in June from 5.62 million in May. Despite last month’s decline, June’s sales pace is 0.7 percent above a year ago, but is the second lowest of 2017 (February, 5.47 million).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the previous three-month lull in contract activity translated to a pullback in existing sales in June. “Closings were down in most of the country last month because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that’s straining their budget,” he said. “The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession. Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.”

Shares of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), parent of Google, fell, even after its posted a good quarter. Among the major concerns were whether regulatory authorities overseas will attack what has been viewed as a monopoly position held by the company and whether the cost per click Google gets will fall. The European Union recently fined Alphabet $2 billion.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) said it would not kill its popular Paint product. Word that it might be discontinued caused protests among people who use the tool regularly.

A piece of Mac malware allows people to spy on Mac users. According to CNN Tech:

Mac users typically think they’re immune to malware. But a new strain used for spying reminds us even Macs can be compromised. Researchers have found an unusual piece of malware, called FruitFly, that’s been infecting some Mac computers for years. FruitFly operates quietly in the background, spies on users through the computer’s camera, captures images of what’s displayed on the screen and logs key strokes.