5 Most Important Things in Business Today

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) may cut a deal with luxury retailer Lord & Taylor to add its e-commerce website to

According to The New York Times, car riding service and Uber rival Lyft has raised $1 billion from investors that include Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL). The company may also go public soon, according to the paper.

Investors, upset with the quarterly results of airline operator United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) and its tepid forecast, hammered shares down 12%.

The president has narrowed his selections for Federal Reserve chair, according to Bloomberg:

President Donald Trump’s closest advisers are steering him toward choosing either Stanford economist John Taylor or Federal Reserve Board Governor Jerome Powell to be the next Fed chief, according to several people familiar with the process.

Trump has not yet made up his mind, the people said, though he has publicly promised to announce a decision soon. Besides Taylor and Powell, his shortlist of five candidates also includes the current Fed Chair Janet Yellen, former Fed governor Kevin Warsh and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.

On Thursday, Trump conducted his final interview with the Fed chair contenders, sitting down with Yellen at the White House for half an hour. Yellen, whose term as central bank chief ends on Feb. 3, came across as polished during their meeting.

A new research study measures the huge toll of population on human life. In the medical journal Lancet, experts wrote:

For decades, pollution and its harmful effects on people’s health, the environment, and the planet have been neglected both by Governments and the international development agenda. Yet, pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today, responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths.

The California Department of Insurance puts early estimates of wildfire costs at over $1 billion. According to its report:

With more than 7,000 structures damaged or destroyed, residents in several counties across northern and southern California are leaving evacuation centers to access what they’ve lost and begin the long road to rebuild and recover.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced preliminary data provided by eight California insurers processing claims for tens of thousands of policyholders. While the numbers are expected to climb, as more claims are filed and processed, the preliminary data reflects $1.045 billion in losses, commercial and residential structures, personal and commercial vehicles, and agricultural equipment.