6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Fujifilm will take over one of America’s most storied companies — Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX). According to Reuters:

Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings is set to take over Xerox Corp, and combine the U.S. company into their joint venture Fuji Xerox in an effort to cut costs, the companies said on Wednesday.

Fujifilm will own 50.1 percent of Xerox shares, and combine Xerox with Fuji Xerox, their joint venture in which the Japanese company already holds a 75 percent stake.

The federal government is examining Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) reasons for making some of its older phones run more slowly than current ones. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Apple Inc. is being investigated by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission over potential securities violations related to the company’s disclosure of a software update that slowed older iPhones, people familiar with the matter said.

The two probes add pressure on the tech giant to address criticism from customers and lawmakers after it acknowledged in December that it was throttling the performance of older iPhones as batteries aged. The company later apologized for the issue and slashed the price of an iPhone battery replacement to $29 from $79, hoping to win back customer goodwill.

Chip sales helped Samsung post an impressive profit. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Samsung Electronics Co. delivered its third consecutive quarter of record results, owing to robust demand for its memory chips, though operating profit at its smartphone unit fell.

The Suwon, South Korea-based tech company said fourth-quarter net profit rose 42% to 12.26 trillion South Korean won ($11.4 billion) from 7.09 trillion won a year earlier.

The world’s largest smartphone maker said revenue rose to 65.98 trillion won from 53.33 trillion won a year earlier. Operating profit was 15.15 trillion won, an all-time high.

Unemployment in Germany reached a record low. According to Bloomberg:

German unemployment extended its decline at the start of the year as companies in Europe’s largest economy stepped up hiring to meet buoyant demand.

The jobless rate dropped to a record low of 5.4 percent in January, the Federal Labor Agency in Nuremberg said on Wednesday. The number of people out of work plunged a seasonally adjusted 25,000 to 2.415 million. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast a drop of 17,000.

The head of a Swiss bank forecast a huge market correction this year. According to CNBC:

A market correction is well overdue and investors should expect a price drop of up to 15 percent this year, Julius Baer Chief Executive Bernhard Hodler told CNBC Wednesday.

“Generally I think we will see sooner or later a correction — hopefully it will be like a 5, 10, 15 percent correction, another very large one, but I think that will happen sometime in 2018,” Hodler said, sounding not in the least perplexed at the prospect.

Contrary to popular belief, America imports more energy than it exports. According to CNNMoney:

President Trump said Tuesday night: “We are now, very proudly, an exporter of energy to the world.”

And it’s true that the United States exports energy. It has for decades. It just imports a lot more.

The gap has been shrinking in recent years. But the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates the United States will keep importing more energy than it exports until 2026 — maybe sooner and maybe later, depending on prices, world demand and regulation.

American exports of one form of energy, crude oil, are booming. But that’s not because of Trump. U.S. oil production has climbed substantially for a decade. And Congress repealed a law in 2015 and allowed U.S. producers to send crude to countries other than Canada.