6 Most Important Things in Business Today
Volkswagen’s profits fell. According to Reuters:
Volkswagen reported an 18.6 percent drop in third-quarter adjusted operating profit, weighed down by weaker vehicle sales and headwinds tied to the introduction of more stringent anti-pollution rules.
The carmaker’s adjusted operating profit of 3.51 billion euros ($3.99 billion) was higher than the 3.21 billion euros forecast in a Reuters poll of banks and brokerages.
The value of the yuan has plunged. According to The Wall Street Journal:
China guided the yuan to its weakest official level in a decade on Tuesday—a move that could fuel expectations of a further, self-reinforcing slide.
The yuan’s depreciation puts pressure on Chinese policy makers, who want to give investors a bigger say in determining the currency’s value but appear uncomfortable with letting the yuan fall beyond a symbolic seven to the dollar. The recent slide has reignited speculation about whether further weakness could spark capital flight, which would in turn exacerbate the currency’s swoon.
On Tuesday, the central bank set the dollar’s reference rate at 6.9574 yuan, putting the Chinese currency at its weakest since May 2008. The yuan slid to a decade low once mainland trading started 15 minutes later, with one dollar buying as many as 6.9724 yuan, according to Wind.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is about to launch new versions of its computers. According to The Wall Street Journal:
For the fourth time in the past decade, Apple is holding a second event to announce new versions of its gadgets ahead of the holiday shopping season. The technology giant, which last month unveiled updated iPhones and smartwatches, is scheduled on Tuesday to take over the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City, where it is expected to show off new members in its iPad and Mac product lines.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) wants to change the way customers pay over the holiday season. According to CNBC:
Walmart is doing whatever it can to speed shoppers through its stores this holiday season.
The retailer said Tuesday it will be rolling out a “check out with me” option that it’s been testing to all of its stores by Black Friday. Starting at some locations as soon as this Thursday, shoppers will find Walmart employees scattered throughout aisles with handheld devices that allow them to scan bulky items like flat-screen TVs and heavy furniture to allow customers to pay on the spot and have a receipt emailed to them.
A prominent investor stated the newspaper industry is at the end of its life. According to CNBC:
Technology-focused hedge fund SoMa Equity Partners told investors on Monday that one of its best investment ideas is a stake in The New York Times Company.
“Newspapers are mostly dead, but the news isn’t dead,” Gil Simon, SoMa’s founder and chief investment officer, said during an interview with CNBC’s Leslie Picker at the Sohn conference in San Francisco. “What you’ve actually seen is a pretty significant evolution in the business model of news, and really, The New York Times is at the forefront of that.”
A large shareholder of Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) said it would be willing to put more money into the company. According to CNBC:
Baillie Gifford, Tesla’s third-largest shareholder, said it is willing to inject more capital into the electric car manufacturer. The investment manager, which holds a 7.72 percent stake in Tesla, said it backed CEO Elon Musk’s long-term ambitions for the company, calling him an entrepreneur of “vision and ambition, who’s working towards a social good.”
“If he needs more capital we would be willing to back him,” Nick Thomas, partner at Baillie Gifford, told The Times of London Monday. Baillie Gifford confirmed to CNBC that Thomas had made those comments to the newspaper, but declined to comment further.