6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will sell all his equities after questions about conflicts of interest. According to Bloomberg:

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday that he would divest all his remaining equity holdings after the government’s top ethics watchdog said his failure to sell off assets that could pose a conflict of interest “created the potential for a serious criminal violation.”

In his ethics agreement, Ross, a New York businessman, had pledged to divest numerous assets, including all his holdings in Invesco Ltd., within 90 days of his confirmation, and more complex assets within 180 days.

But in reports filed in the last month by the Office of Government Ethics, Ross disclosed sales of assets which, the filings said, he had inadvertently failed to sell on time, including at least $20 million worth of Invesco shares. That led the ethics office’s acting director, David Apol, to tell Ross in a letter released Thursday that his failure to sell the assets may have “negatively affected” public trust in the Trump administration.


Jeff Bezos’s rocket operation will charge six figures for people who want to fly into outer space. According to Reuters:

Jeff Bezos’ rocket company plans to charge passengers about $200,000 to $300,000 for its first trips into space next year, two people familiar with its plans told Reuters.

Potential customers and the aerospace industry have been eager to learn the cost of a ticket on Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle, to find out if it is affordable and whether the company can generate enough demand to make a profit on space tourism.

The Justice Department will sue AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) again over its buyout of Time Warner, even though the deal is done. According to Reuters:

The U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday it would appeal a federal judge’s approval of AT&T Inc’s $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, raising the prospect barely a month after the deal closed that it could be undone.

AT&T was sued by the Justice Department on antitrust grounds, saying that the deal would harm consumers, but U.S. District Judge Richard Leon last month approved the deal, allowing it to move forward following a lengthy trial. The merger, first announced in October 2016, was also opposed by President Donald Trump.

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) may change its primary credit card relationship. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Walmart Inc. is talking to Capital One Financial Corp. about taking over its store credit card, according to people familiar with the matter.

The discussions, which are expected to wrap up in coming weeks, could end Synchrony Financial ’s nearly 20-year run as the exclusive issuer of Walmart cards.

PC sales surged at a multiyear high. According to 24/7 Wall St.:

Just when it appeared that the smartphone would kill the computer forever, PC sales have picked up the most in the last six year. According to research firm IDC, the growth rate in the second quarter of this year was the best since the first quarter of 2012. Among the top five PC makers in the world, HP led the market, followed by Lenovo, Dell, Apple Inc, and Acer

According to IDC’s “Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker,” Preliminary results for the second quarter of 2018 (2Q18) showed shipments of traditional PCs (desktop, notebook, and workstation) totaled 62.3 million units, recording solid year-on-year growth of 2.7%.

Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) will cut back flights because fuel costs are up. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Delta Air Lines Inc. said it will boost fares and add fewer flights than planned, as carriers contend with a surge in fuel prices that is looming over flush times for the industry.

Delta on Thursday posted second-quarter earnings than topped forecasts, with record revenue helping to offset a $578 million jump in its fuel bill, up 33% from a year earlier on an adjusted basis.