6 Most Important Things in Business Today

The United States is about to hit the European Union with large tariffs. According to Reuters:

Washington will announce plans to slap tariffs on EU steel and aluminum imports as early as Thursday morning, sources said, while the U.S. commerce secretary said any escalation of their trade dispute would depend on the bloc’s reaction.

The two sources briefed on the matter said the decision would land before a Friday expiration deadline for exemptions to the planned tariffs.

Famous bond investor Bill Gross made investments that cost his firm huge losses. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Bill Gross’s flagship fund dropped more than 3% Tuesday, an unusually big decline for a bond fund in just one day, and a sign of how the shockwaves from this week’s sudden moves in European markets are reverberating.

The Janus Henderson Global Unconstrained Bond Fund may have been wrong-footed by a bet that German bond prices would fall relative to their Italian counterparts, analysts said.

Instead, German prices jumped, sending yields plummeting, following the apparent collapse of a prospective Italian coalition government over the weekend.

According to new research, the Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) brand has been hurt by recent controversy. MarketWatch reports:

Starbucks has some work to do if it wants to recapture the trust of customers. On Tuesday afternoon, it closed 8,000 stores for anti-bias training.

The coffee giant dropped to its lowest reputation metric in 10 years, according to a YouGov BrandIndex score released Tuesday. “Starbucks’ workplace reputation score is at its lowest level in at least 10 years, a difficult blow for a company that has been well-known for its employee benefits and culture, including helping pay for college tuition,” YouGov BrandIndex said.

Uber may go public soon. According to CNBC:

Uber is on track to go public in 2019, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC on Wednesday.

“We’re in a good position in terms of the company’s profile, in terms of profitability and margins continue to get better,” Khosrowshahi told CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Khosrowshahi added that Uber has a “very strong balance sheet.”

Bitcoin will eventually disappear, according to a major economist. CNBC reports:

Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller is drawing parallels between the world’s leading cryptocurrency and the dinosaurs.

According to the Yale professor, bitcoin could go extinct within the next 100 years.

“Bitcoin won’t look anything like it is today. It will have a different name, if it exists,” Shiller said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.” “There will have been many hard forks changing it and changing it. And, it’ll be a matter of dispute whether it exists or not.”

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) has passed Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) in market cap and could move into second place behind Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). According to CNNMoney:

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella can brag to Bill Gates that the company’s stock price has never been higher during Microsoft’s 32-year history as a public company than it is now.

And Microsoft’s market value just passed rival Google’s too.

Shares of Microsoft rose nearly 1% Wednesday and are now up more than 15% this year. The company is worth $760 billion, more than Google owner Alphabet’s market cap of $745 billion.

Microsoft now trails fellow Washington state native Amazon by about $30 billion for second place in the market value race.