6 Most Important Things in Business Today

Douglas A. McIntyre

President Trump said he would cut subsidies to General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) after it said it would close or cut production at several U.S. plants. According to The Wall Street Journal:

President Donald Trump threatened to cut electric-vehicle and other subsidies that have benefited General Motors Co., escalating tensions with the Detroit auto maker a day after it released plans to close several U.S. factories next year.

The president’s comments Tuesday hit at GM’s strong position in the electric-car market in the U.S., where along with Tesla Inc. the auto giant has benefited from tax incentives implemented during the Obama administration to spur sales of battery-powered vehicles.

Microsoft Corp.’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) market cap is getting close to Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL). According to The Wall Street Journal:

Microsoft Corp. briefly unseated longtime rival Apple Inc. on Tuesday as the world’s most valuable company, reflecting investors’ faith in its revival under Chief Executive Satya Nadella while the iPhone maker adjusts to slowing momentum for its most profitable product.

Shares in Microsoft opened at $106.27, pushing its market capitalization to $815.75 billion, elbowing past Apple’s opening value of $813.88 billion. After the first minute of trading, Apple was back on top. The two swapped spots several times later in the day before Apple at the close reclaimed the title it has held for most of the past seven years.

Publishing giant Conde Nast pushed out its CEO. According to The New York Times:

Condé Nast, the once-flush publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and other magazines, is looking for a new business leader after years of losses.

The company said on Tuesday that its chief executive, Robert A. Sauerberg Jr., would step down after his successor was found. The announcement came months after Mr. Sauerberg announced a sweeping plan to address the struggles at Condé Nast.

After reports that Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) had lost 70% of its sales in China last month, a Chinese executive disputed the claim:

Don’t read too much into reports that Tesla sold just 211 cars in China last month, a top Chinese auto executive said Wednesday.

An official from the China Passenger Car Association told Reuters on Tuesday that Tesla’s China sales dropped 70 percent in October from a year earlier. Speaking at CNBC’s East Tech West conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China, WM Motor CEO Freeman Shen called the report “misleading information.”

“I doubt that number because, as a person who has been working in the Chinese auto industry for many years …the Chinese Passenger Car Association is not always accurate,” Shen told CNBC’s Eunice Yoon.

Most people who have applied for student loan forgiveness have not gotten it. According to CNBC:

When Congress authorized a $350 million fund to help fix a popular but troubled student loan forgiveness program earlier this year, Michael Sonn was excited.

Finally, he thought, he might be debt-free.

However, the remedy isn’t going too well.

Nearly 34,000 people have applied for loan forgiveness through the fix-it fund, according to data shared this week at a conference held by the Department of Education.

Papa John’s International Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) shares dropped on a report a suitor has lost interest. According to The Wall Street Journal:

A major potential bidder for Papa John’s International Inc. has taken itself out of the running, putting pressure on the pizza maker to figure out its future.

Trian Fund Management LP, which was evaluating a bid, has decided not to pursue it, according to people familiar with the matter.

Papa John’s is in the midst of a sale process that began in August. While some bidders remain interested in potentially taking a stake, none is currently considering buying the whole company, these people said. Binding offers are due next week, they said.