6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Nordstrom Inc.’s (NYSE: JWN) board ended talks with its founding family, which wants to take it private. According to MarketWatch:

Nordstrom Inc. said late Tuesday the special committee of the board has terminated talks with several Nordstrom family members who wanted to acquire the company and take it private.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) passed Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) as the most valuable company based on market cap. According to The Wall Street Journal:

During a selloff that has dragged down the broader market this week, Amazon.com Inc.’s market value passed that of Alphabet Amazon closed as the second biggest U.S. company on Tuesday, topping Alphabet for the first time ever, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Market Data Group.

Amazon closed up 2.7% at $1,586.51, giving it a market value of $768 billion, while Alphabet shed 0.4% to $1,095.80, lowering its market cap to $763 billion. Apple Inc. has the largest market cap, at $889 billion.

Orbitz said it was hacked and hundreds of thousands of customers were affected. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Expedia Inc.’s Orbitz subsidiary said Tuesday it has discovered a possible data breach affecting thousands of customers who booked trips through one of its older websites or a partner platform.

Orbitz didn’t disclose which business partners were affected by the breach, but American Express Co. said separately that travel booked through its representatives and through Amextravel.com had been affected by the cyberattack.

The breach is estimated to have affected about 880,000 payment cards, Orbitz said.

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) suspended its self-driving car business in the United States after an accident involving an Uber car killed a pedestrian. According to Bloomberg:

Toyota Motor Corp. halted tests of its “Chauffeur” autonomous driving system on U.S. public roads after a Uber Technologies Inc. vehicle operating in autonomous mode under the supervision of a human safety driver struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona, on Sunday evening.

“Because we feel the incident may have an emotional effect on our test drivers, we have decided to temporarily pause our Chauffeur mode testing on public roads,” spokesman Brian Lyons said in an emailed statement, referring to its hands-off testing mode. The carmaker said it could not speculate on the cause of the crash or what it may mean to the future of the nascent automated driving sector.

The total net worth of Americans reached an all-time high. According to CNBC:

Nine years into the second-longest bull market run in history, the level of total net worth compared with income has reached a record, according to Joe LaVorgna, chief economist for the Americas at Natixis, citing Federal Reserve data.

Since the Great Recession ended in June 2009, the disparity between net worth and income has soared, attributable in large part to the growth in financial assets, which have increased by $33.9 trillion, compared with $10.4 trillion in nonfinancial assets.

Saudi Arabian oil sales to the United States have hit a multiyear low. According to CNBC:

Saudi Arabia’s oil shipments to the United States have declined sharply despite closer ties between the two nations under President Trump.

American imports of Saudi crude dropped 14% last year to 943,000 barrels per day, according to US government statistics. That’s the lowest since 1988, President Reagan’s final year in office.

The trend, driven by Saudi Arabia’s desire to boost oil prices, has accelerated lately. The United States imported just 690,000 barrels per day of Saudi crude in December, down 32% from the year before, according to the Energy Information Administration.

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