6 Most Important Things in Business Today
China’s retail sales fell sharply. According to Reuters:
A Chinese statistics bureau spokesman said the November data showed downward pressure on the economy is increasing.
The data “means that the worst is yet to come and policymakers will be very worried, particularly with consumption growth falling off a cliff,” said Sue Trinh, head of Asia FX strategy at RBC Capital Markets in Hong Kong.
Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) will start coffee delivery. According to The Wall Street Journal:
Starbucks Corp. plans to expand coffee delivery across the U.S. with UberEats as part of a broader strategy to try to reach more customers.
The coffee chain, which has been facing slowing traffic to its domestic coffee shops, on Thursday outlined its growth plans for investors gathered in New York.
Starbucks began testing delivery in Miami with UberEats in September and will begin offering it in nearly a quarter of its more than 8,000 U.S. company-operated stores early next year.
Renault has kept Carlos Ghosn as CEO. According to The Wall Street Journal:
Renault SA’s board said Carlos Ghosn, under arrest in Japan for allegedly understating his compensation, will remain chairman and chief executive of the auto maker after it found no financial wrongdoing in France.
In its written statement, Renault’s board said it hadn’t yet heard Mr. Ghosn’s defense against the allegations facing him in Japan. It cited this as a reason to keep Mr. Ghosn as its CEO and chairman for now.
CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) made a large sexual harassment claim settlement. According to The New York Times:
In March 2017, Eliza Dushku, an actress known for her work on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” signed on to play a major role in three episodes of the CBS prime-time drama “Bull,” and there were plans to make her a full-time cast member.
Her time on the set began promisingly. The show’s star, Michael Weatherly — a mainstay of CBS’s prime-time lineup for 15 years — seemed friendly. And a producer and writer on “Bull,” Glenn Gordon Caron, told Ms. Dushku she would be more than a love interest.
Then came a series of comments that made Ms. Dushku uncomfortable. In front of the cast and crew, Mr. Weatherly remarked on her appearance, and made a rape joke and a comment about a threesome. Shortly after Ms. Dushku confronted the star about his behavior, she was written off the show. She believed her time on “Bull” came to a sudden end as a result of retaliation.
After she went through mediation with CBS, the company agreed to a confidential settlement that would pay her $9.5 million, roughly the equivalent of what Ms. Dushku would have earned if she had stayed on as a cast member for four seasons.
A Bloomberg poll showed the Federal Reserve will slow rate hikes. According to Bloomberg:
Federal Reserve officials will pull the trigger on another interest-rate increase next week before slowing the pace of hikes in 2019 as risks to the U.S. economy mount, according to a new Bloomberg survey of economists.
They expect the Fed will raise rates by a quarter percentage point at its Dec. 18-19 meeting while dialing back the number of moves next year to two, in March and September, from the three hikes economists saw in September. Median responses in the Dec. 7-11 poll also anticipate one additional hike in mid-2020 when the rate would peak in this tightening cycle at a target range of 3 percent to 3.25 percent.
Stock funds lost billions of dollars from investors recently. According to CNBC:
Record cash streamed out of U.S.-based stock funds and billions more fled bonds in a week of apparently escalated caution, Lipper data showed on Thursday.
More than $46 billion thundered out of U.S. stock mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, the most ever, while a near-record $13 billion poured from bonds, according to the research service. Relatively low-risk money market funds pulled in $81 billion, also the most recorded, the research service’s data showed.