6 Most Important Things in Business Today
Boring Company, owned by Elon Musk, will not complete one of its transportation tunnels. According to MarketWatch:
Elon Musk’s Boring Co. has dropped plans for a test tunnel on the west side of Los Angeles as part of a settlement with community groups that opposed it. The company had hoped to use the 2.7-mile tunnel beneath Sepulveda Boulevard near the 405 freeway as a test site for its proposed high-speed underground network aimed at beating L.A. traffic. The tunnels are expected to carry passengers inside pods on “autonomous electric skates” at speeds up to 150 mph. Community groups sued after city officials said it would exempt the Boring Co.’s project from environmental reviews. The company said Wednesday it hopes to instead focus on an operational tunnel on the other side of the city, to Dodger Stadium. The company still plans to publicly unveil a test tunnel in the neighboring city of Hawthorne on Dec. 10.
Years ago, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) considered charging for information about its users. According to The Wall Street Journal:
Internal emails show Facebook Inc. considered charging companies for continued access to user data several years ago, a step that would have marked a dramatic shift away from the social-media giant’s policy of not selling that information, according to an unredacted court document viewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The emails in the document also indicate that Facebook employees discussed pushing some advertisers to spend more in return for increased access to user information.
Taken together, the internal emails show the company discussing how to monetize its user data in ways that are employed by some other tech firms but that Facebook has said it doesn’t do.
United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) has had a good on-time delivery rate so far this year. According to The Wall Street Journal:
United Parcel Service Inc. appears to have passed its first stress test of the holiday season, an early sign that billions of dollars of network expansion and upgrades are paying off.
UPS delivered 98.3% of packages shipped during Thanksgiving week on time, according to ShipMatrix Inc., a software provider that analyzes shipping data, with little variation across the different shipping speeds used by customers.
Last year during the same week, 89.2% of parcels shipped through UPS Express were delivered on the day they were promised, meaning about 3.3 million packages a day arrived late.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS) has been hurt by its decision to stop selling guns. According to The Wall Street Journal:
Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. is paying a price for its decision earlier this year to stop selling guns to people under 21 as sales continued to sag in its latest quarter.
Sales at existing stores and websites fell 3.9% for the three-month period ended Nov. 3., driven down by weakness in the company’s hunting and electronics departments, executives said on a conference call with analysts on Wednesday. Those categories accounted for over half of the decline. Weak gun sales also hit other areas like outdoor equipment because fewer hunters are coming to stores, said Lee Belitsky, chief financial officer at Dick’s. It was the chain’s fifth consecutive quarter of sales declines.
Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) may buy a piece of an electronic cigarette company. According to The Wall Street Journal:
The Altria Group, whose fortune was built on traditional cigarette brands like Marlboro, is in talks to buy a minority stake in Juul Labs, the start-up that has captured much of the market for e-cigarettes, two people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.
If a deal is struck, Altria will get a piece of a popular e-cigarette maker — but one that critics say has targeted teenage customers.
Oil dropped below $50 a barrel for the first time in months. According to Bloomberg:
Oil Tumbles Below $50 First Time in Year on Russia Output Stance. Oil crashes below $50 a barrel for the first time in more than a year.