6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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The new Canada-United States-Mexico trade agreement helped global markets. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Investors greeted the completion of a new North American trade pact with relief Monday, lifting most indexes, as the Trump administration turned its focus on getting the deal through a divided Congress and toward even larger economic feuds with China.

Uncertainty about trade has been a worry of businesses and investors for months, after Mr. Trump began advancing an ambitious agenda that included a new North American Free Trade Agreement, tariffs on U.S. metals imports and a rewrite of U.S. economic ties with China.

Companies that lose money are doing well in the IPO market. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Stock investors are welcoming money-losing companies into the public markets this year with open arms.

About 83% of U.S.-listed initial public offerings in 2018’s first three quarters involve companies that lost money in the 12 months leading up to their debut, according to data compiled by University of Florida finance professor Jay Ritter. That is the highest proportion on record, according to Mr. Ritter, an IPO expert whose data goes back to 1980.

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is worried about the worldwide economy. According to The Wall Street Journal:

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde is raising alarm bells about the health of the global economy, saying international growth may have plateaued.

“For most countries, it has become more difficult to deliver on the promise of greater prosperity, because the global economic weather is beginning to change,” Ms. Lagarde said in a speech in Washington on Monday.

Crude has hit a four-year peak. According to Bloomberg:

Oil extended gains near the highest level in almost four years as investors grapple with doubts over OPEC’s ability to replace falling exports from Iran.

Futures rose as much as 0.8 percent in New York after closing Monday at the highest since November 2014. In Iran, crude exports declined to their lowest in 2 1/2 years before the impending return of U.S. sanctions. Meanwhile, the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement will now be superseded by the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, covering a region that trades more than $1 trillion annually.

Amazon.com Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) counterfeit issue is causing it more trouble. According to CNBC:

Amazon’s counterfeit problem has caught the attention of a major retail industry advocacy group.

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), which represents more than 1,000 brands, recommended on Monday that certain Amazon sites be added to the U.S. government’s annual “Notorious Markets” list, which identifies commerce sites and companies that facilitate the sale of counterfeit goods.

One of the founders of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) said he has cancer. According to CNNMoney:

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Monday that his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has returned.

Allen was treated for the disease in 2009, and had been in remission. In a new statement, he said his doctors are treating it again, and he plans “on fighting this aggressively.”