6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that mandates companies must have a certain number of female board members. According to The Wall Street Journal:

California became the first state to require companies based within its borders to put female directors on their boards, adding to pressure on boardrooms across the country to give more women a seat at the table.

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday signed a bill mandating that all publicly traded companies with headquarters in the state have at least one woman on their boards by the end of next year. By 2021, companies with at least five directors would need to have two or three female directors, depending on the size of the board, according to the new law. Those that don’t face financial penalties.

Rising oil prices have raised the issue of whether crude could hit $100 a barrel. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Oil prices are again marching higher, prompting talk that crude could reach $100 a barrel for the first time since 2015’s crash.

Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil prices, jumped 4.1% in the third quarter to $82.72 a barrel, the highest level in nearly four years. Brent’s fifth consecutive quarterly advance marks its longest such streak since 2008. U.S. crude edged down from its most recent multiyear high, falling 1.2% to $73.25 a barrel last quarter, though it has risen in five of the past six weeks. Investors have grown more bullish ahead of Nov. 4, the U.S. sanctions deadline for companies to stop buying Iranian oil.

Canada, the United States and Mexico made a deal to salvage NAFTA. According to The New York Times:

The United States and Canada reached a last-minute deal to salvage the North American Free Trade Agreement on Sunday, overcoming deep divisions to keep the 25-year-old trilateral pact intact.

The deal came after a weekend of frantic talks to try and preserve a trade agreement that has stitched together the economies of Mexico, Canada and the United States but that was on the verge of collapsing. After more than a year of tense talks and strained relations between President Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, negotiators from both sides came to a resolution just ahead of a midnight deadline set by the White House.

Business economists are mildly optimistic about the economy in the mid-term future. According to NABE Vice President Kevin Swift, CBE, chief economist, American Chemistry Council:

Despite concerns over trade policy, NABE Outlook panelists are slightly more optimistic about the U.S. economy in 2018 than they were three months ago, especially regarding prospects for the industrial sector of the economy. Other indicators of real economic activity show light vehicle sales remaining elevated and housing continuing to improve.

China claims its economic growth will no longer be red hot. According to CNBC:

Over the weekend, a private survey showed growth in China’s factory sector stalled after 15 months of expansion, with export orders falling the fastest in over two years, while an official survey confirmed a further manufacturing weakening.

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk sent a note to his workers about the company’s bright future. According to CNBC:

Elon Musk believes Tesla is “very close” to turning a profit after years of burning through cash, but warned that Sunday would prove pivotal to the car marker achieving an “epic victory” on its production goals.

On the heels of a turbulent last few weeks that culminated in Tesla reaching a settlement with securities regulators, the company is expected to report third quarter production numbers this week.

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