6 Most Important Things in Business Today

Many investors believe the price of oil will go higher. According to Reuters:

Oil futures prices have soared past three-year highs, OPEC’s deal has cut millions of barrels of inventory worldwide and investors are betting in record numbers that prices could rocket past $80 and even hit $90 a barrel this year.

But physical markets for oil shipments tell a different story. Spot crude prices are at their steepest discounts to futures prices in years due to weak demand from refiners in China and a backlog of cargoes in Europe. Sellers are struggling to find buyers for West African, Russian and Kazakh cargoes, while pipeline bottlenecks trap supply in west Texas and Canada.

CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) sued its largest shareholder as the pressure on it to merge with Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIAB) increases. According to The Wall Street Journal:

CBS Corp. moved to break free from the Redstone family’s grip and thwart what it fears would be a forced merger with Viacom Inc. escalating a yearslong power struggle over the fate of the two media giants.

CBS filed a lawsuit Monday against the Redstones and their family holding company and invoked a little-known provision in the CBS corporate charter that it claims would allow it to issue voting shares to all stockholders, significantly diluting the voting power that the Redstones have held over CBS for nearly two decades.

After several accidents, Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) looked at changing its autopilot technology. According to The Wall Street Journal:

One idea was sensors to track drivers’ eyes to ensure they watch the road. Tesla executives questioned the costs of such a system, which typically includes a camera and infrared sensor, and whether it would be ready for deployment, these people said. Another concern was whether the sensors could reliably detect drivers of varying heights.

Another measure the Autopilot team considered was incorporating sensors into the steering wheel to monitor whether drivers’ hands were touching it at all times, these people said.

Founder Elon Musk may change Tesla’s management structure. According to Bloomberg:

The Tesla Inc. management ranks that Elon Musk told employees he’s “flattening” had already been raising eyebrows by how quickly it was thinning out.

Musk announced a “thorough reorganization” in a memo to employees Monday, saying Tesla was changing its structure to improve communication, combine functions and get rid of activities that aren’t “vital to the success” of the company’s mission. Last week, a spokesman confirmed one of only four executive officers named in the company’s recent proxy statement was taking time away from the company to “recharge.”

New taxes set by Seattle could affect a number of local companies, which include Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). According to CNBC:

Seattle’s city council on Monday approved a new tax for the city’s biggest companies, including
Amazon, to combat a housing crisis attributed in part to a local economic boom that has driven up real estate costs at the expense of the working class.

Amazon, the city’s largest employer, said after the vote that it would go ahead with planning for a major downtown office building that it earlier had put on hold over its objections to a much stiffer tax plan originally proposed.

Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) took more steps to sell Kenmore. According to CNNMoney:

Sears is getting serious about selling Kenmore.

The struggling retailer announced Monday that it had formed a “special committee” to explore the sale of its in-house appliance brand.

The move comes less than a month after Sears CEO Eddie Lampert wrote a letter to the board urging it to sell the brand. He offered to buy it himself if necessary, along with other assets.

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