6 Most Important Things in Business Today
There is more evidence that the Chinese economy is slowing. According to MarketWatch:
Business activities in China cooled further in July, with investment slowing to a near two-decade low, official data showed, suggesting the Chinese economy is facing increased headwinds amid rising trade tensions with the U.S.
Fixed-asset investment in China’s non-rural areas climbed 5.5% in the January-July period from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday. That’s the slowest level since end-1999, according to Wind Information.
Elon Musk has met with Saudi investors about taking Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) private. According to The Wall Street Journal:
Elon Musk said Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund has approached him several times over nearly two years about providing financial support to take Tesla Inc. private, as the chief executive sought to explain his claim to have funding for a possible deal.
Mr. Musk’s blog post on Tesla’s website Monday provided new information about what led to his surprise tweet last Tuesday announcing the possible transaction. But the new post also left unanswered a host of big questions including how much capital would be required and whether the Saudi fund is indeed able and willing to provide it.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) parts supplier Foxconn posted poor results. According to The Wall Street Journal:
Foxconn Technology Group posted a surprise 2.2% decline in second-quarter profit, even after its biggest customer Apple Inc. said recent demand for iPhones remained resilient.
Taiwan-based Foxconn said Monday that its net profit for the quarter ended June 30 was 17.5 billion New Taiwan dollars ($566.7 million). That compared with the NT$20.2 billion average estimate of analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ. Its net profit in the year-earlier quarter was NT$17.9 billion.
Carl Icahn will not oppose a Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) M&A deal. According to The Wall Street Journal:
Carl Icahn no longer plans to solicit votes from Cigna Corp. shareholders against the health insurer’s $54 billion deal to buy Express Scripts Holding Co. after two proxy-advisory firms recommended shareholders support the deal, the billionaire activist investor said in a statement Monday.
Significant shareholder overlap between the two companies, which he initially hoped had decreased since the deal was announced, was also a factor in his decision, he said.
The price of bitcoin continues to collapse. According to CNBC:
Bitcoin fell below $6,000 late Monday — for the first time since June — against a backdrop of cryptocurrencies declining in value.
The world’s largest digital currency by market value tumbled as low as $5,900 at around 10 p.m. ET, and was down around 4 percent, according to CoinDesk index data, which tracks prices from several exchanges.
The cryptocurrency’s price is close to its lowest point of the year. The lowest level of 2018 was reached in June 18, when it retreated to $5,785.
Tariffs on certain metals have earned the United States over $1 billion. According to CNBC:
In less than five months, the Trump administration has collected more than $1.4 billion in new revenue from steel and aluminum tariffs, according to a recent report prepared for members of Congress.
The Congressional Research Service estimated that, between March 23 and July 16, the U.S. reaped $1.1 billion and $344.2 million from levies on foreign steel and aluminum, respectively.