6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Warren Buffett increased his stake in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and sold almost all of his International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) shares last quarter, according to a government filing analyzed by 24/7 Wall St.’s Jon Ogg.

Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google will start to block spam ads on sites seen in its browser. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Starting on Thursday, Google’s Chrome browser will block certain types of online advertisements, a change Google is describing as user friendly. But some in the industry say the ad giant’s move is self-serving, and they contend Google overly influenced the process that selected which ad types to block.

Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., describes the new policy as the work of a collective, industry-wide effort designed to rid the internet of spammy ads like pop-ups, and make other ads more appealing to users.

Due to new U.S. tax laws, Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) will move tens of billions of dollars from foreign countries back to America. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Cisco Systems Inc. is the latest technology giant to bring home huge sums of cash held overseas, a beneficiary of the new U.S. tax law.

The networking-gear maker said Wednesday it would repatriate $67 billion of its foreign cash holdings to the U.S. this quarter, in one of the largest repatriation plans yet revealed.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) will add workers in Europe. According to Bloomberg:

Amazon.com Inc. will create 2,000 permanent jobs this year with an eye to the strengthening French economy.

Amazon, which already added 1,500 jobs in France last year, is seeking workers to staff its distribution centers and sorting centers. Further jobs will be created in delivery services. The expansion will increase the retailer’s French workforce by more than a third and bring its total number of employees to more than 7,500 by the end of 2018.

Amazon’s market cap has passed Microsoft Corp.’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) as it became the third most valuable publicly traded company. According to CNBC:

Amazon’s market value — its closing share price multiplied by the number of shares outstanding — rose to $702.5 billion on Wednesday, and for the first time passed Microsoft, which is worth $699.2 billion as of the close of trading.

The president may try to use an increase in the federal gasoline tax to pay for infrastructure plans. According to CNBC:

President Donald Trump is calling for a 25-cent hike to the federal gas tax in order to pay for the White House infrastructure plan, according to multiple reports.

The effort could face opposition from Republicans, some of whom are reportedly worried about increasing the middle class’s tax burden so soon after cutting taxes, their only big legislative achievement under Trump.