6 Most Important Things in Business Today: China Economy Slows

There is more evidence that the Chinese economy slowed this month. According to MarketWatch:

An official gauge of activity in China’s manufacturing sector slipped to a more than two-year low in October, as worries about an escalating trade dispute with the U.S. compounded concerns about a slowdown in the Chinese economy.

The official manufacturing purchasing managers index dropped to 50.2 in October from 50.8 in September, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics Wednesday.

Elon Musk changed much of the management team at his SpaceX rocket company. According to Reuters:

SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk flew to the Seattle area in June for meetings with engineers leading a satellite launch project crucial to his space company’s growth.

Within hours of landing, Musk had fired at least seven members of the program’s senior management team at the Redmond, Washington, office, the culmination of disagreements over the pace at which the team was developing and testing its Starlink satellites, according to the two SpaceX employees with direct knowledge of the situation.

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) cut its dividend. According to The Wall Street Journal:

General Electric Co.’s troubles came into sharper relief on Tuesday—and the need to salvage the conglomerate took on new urgency—after it revealed federal prosecutors had opened a criminal accounting probe and GE slashed its dividend to a token amount.

By cutting its dividend for the second time in a year, the once-mighty manufacturer can hold on to the little cash it is currently generating. That will buy some breathing room while Larry Culp, its first outsider chief executive officer, restructures the company and finishes breaking it apart. Meanwhile, executives warned GE would significantly miss its profit targets for the year, without giving a new forecast

Airbus will be late in delivering some of its planes, which hurt its financial results. According to The Wall Street Journal:

European plane maker Airbus SE said deliveries and free cash flow this year would fall short because of worsening supplier problems, which have buffeted it and rival Boeing Co. as they race to build all the aircraft they have promised.

Still, profit rose in the third quarter, reflecting buoyant demand from global airlines for new jets. Passenger numbers are soaring, boosted by an explosion of budget carriers. Airlines are snapping up aircraft to meet that demand but also to modernize fleets to save fuel amid today’s higher oil prices.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) bumped the price of some of its computers. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Apple Inc. on Tuesday unveiled two more-expensive versions of its Mac personal computers and a redesigned iPad, as it aims to reinvigorate lackluster sales of PCs and tablets with higher-priced devices, the way it did to strengthen its core iPhone business.

The new MacBook Air marks the first full design upgrade of Apple’s most popular laptop model since 2010. It has a high-resolution Retina display, narrower screen borders and Touch ID, while measuring 10% thinner and a quarter-pound lighter than the current version.

The changes come at a cost: The new MacBook Air starts at $1,199, compared with $999 for the existing model.

Samsung’s results soared. According to The New York Times:

Samsung Electronics, the South Korean giant, on Wednesday reported a roughly one-fifth increase in operating profit for the latest quarter from a year earlier, sending profit to a new high of around $15 billion.