6 Most Important Things in Business Today

Douglas A. McIntyre

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Bitcoin prices rallied again. Among the reasons, according to Bloomberg:

The allure of bitcoin was too much for CME Group Inc.

The world’s largest exchange owner reversed course today and said it plans to introduce bitcoin futures by the end of the year, only a month after dismissing such a plan. The largest cryptocurrency, which has surged more than sixfold this year, climbed to a record high after the announcement.

Worker problems could undermine Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) production plans. According to The Wall Street Journal:

As Tesla cranks up production on the Model 3 sedan, it is having to wrestle with mounting signs of labor unrest—rooted in the Model X’s introduction—that could disturb the Silicon Valley company’s effort to build its first electric car for the masses.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) has upped its game in the artificial intelligence sector. According to CNBC:

Microsoft is working on an artificial intelligence (AI) chip for its next generation HoloLens headset.

And the U.S. technology giant could take it to other products in its hardware range, Panos Panay, corporate vice president of devices at Microsoft, told CNBC on Tuesday.

In July, Microsoft disclosed it was working on a processor for the second generation of HoloLens, a headset that allows users to interact and touch digital images overlaid on the real world. Microsoft calls this “mixed reality.” The AI chip will allow HoloLens to do things like recognize objects in the line of sight.

Airlines for America, an industry group, expects a rise in Thanksgiving holiday travel:

Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today projected that 28.5 million passengers will travel on U.S. airlines during the 12-day Thanksgiving air-travel period, up 3 percent from 2016. The 2.38 million passengers per day expected to take to the skies represent an increase of 69,000 from the 2016 Thanksgiving travel period. Airlines are accommodating this increase in demand by adding 86,000 more seats in the marketplace each day, a 3.2 percent increase over 2016.

The 2017 Thanksgiving air-travel period runs from Friday, Nov. 17 through Tuesday, Nov. 28, with the busiest day projected to be Sunday, Nov. 26, with an estimated 2.88 million passengers.

HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) closed its deal to buy the Samsung printer business. According to the company:

HP Inc. announced the completion of its acquisition of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.’s printer business in a deal valued at $1.05 billion.

A3 represents HP’s largest growth opportunity in business printing. The combination with Samsung expands HP’s portfolio, accelerates its ability to disrupt the $55B A3 copier segment with superior multifunction printing technology, and strengthens its leading A4 laser printing business. Samsung also brings compelling intellectual property of more than 6,500 print patents and a world-class workforce of nearly 1,300 researchers and engineers with expertise in laser technology, imaging electronics and supplies and accessories.

California may sharply increase its tax on marijuana. CNNMoney reports:

Buying legal marijuana in California could be pricey enough to keep the black market healthy.
Between customers, retailers and growers, taxes on cannabis may reach as high as 45% in parts of the state, according to a Fitch Ratings report. Those high taxes may keep consumers away from legal marijuana stores once the recreational retail market goes live on January 1.

“High effective tax rates on California cannabis may complicate the state’s efforts to establish legal markets” said analysts Stephen Walsh and Karen Ribble in a Fitch Ratings report on California’s marijuana taxes.