6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has come up with a way to improve its competitive pricing for the holidays. The paper’s editors wrote:

Amazon has quietly started lowering prices by as much as 9% on goods offered by independent merchants on its site, ratcheting up a price war with other retail giants—and potentially straining its relationship with some sellers.

The new Thor movie passed $100 million in its first weekend of box office results. According to Box Office Mojo:

With an estimated $121 million, Disney and Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok delivered the seventh largest opening for a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, topping the $117 million debut for Spider-Man: Homecoming earlier this year. On average, films in the MCU deliver 2.72x multipliers, which would put Ragnarok’s domestic run over $330 million if it merely holds to the average, but we’re expecting it to play a bit better thanks in large part to strong reviews and opening weekend audience reception.

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) may have to fight for independence from fellow chip maker Broadcom (NASDAQ: AVGO). According to Bloomberg:

Broadcom is preparing a $70-a-share offer for Qualcomm, which could come as soon as Monday, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. Qualcomm will argue that the proposal, the largest-ever technology acquisition, is an opportunistic move to buy the chipmaker on the cheap, the people said.

While Qualcomm’s board and management will give the offer due consideration, the San Diego-based company will likely recommend that shareholders reject it, the people said

Qatar’s national airline made an investment into a large Chinese carrier. According to CNNMoney:

After its attempt to cozy up to American Airlines was rebuffed, Qatar Airways has turned its attentions elsewhere.

Facing problems in some Middle Eastern markets, the state-owned Gulf carrier announced Monday it’s buying almost 10% of Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific for $5.2 billion Hong Kong dollars ($662 million).

The deal makes Qatar Airways the third-biggest shareholder in Cathay after Swire Pacific, a conglomerate that holds a majority stake, and Air China. It also gives the Middle Eastern airline a stronger link to China, which is expected to surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest aviation market within five years.

One of the Federal Reserve’s most senior regional presidents will leave. According to CNBC:

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley is close to announcing his retirement, according to CNBC, potentially widening the overhaul of leadership at the U.S. central bank and raising questions about what it means for monetary policy.

Citing several people familiar with his plans, CNBC reported that Dudley could announce his intention as soon as next week to step down during the spring or summer, well before his term ends in January 2019. Dudley declined to comment when reached by a reporter.

Legal bills for troubled Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) could soar. According to Bloomberg:

Wells Fargo & Co. added $1 billion in the third quarter to what it says the bank may face in possible legal expenses.

Legal costs could potentially be $3.3 billion more than what the San Francisco-based bank has reserved, Wells Fargo said Friday in a regulatory filing. While that figure was unchanged from the previous three-month period, it constitutes a $1 billion increase because Wells Fargo moved a similar amount into legal reserves during the period.

The bank announced a surprise $1 billion charge in the third quarter for a previously disclosed regulatory investigation into its pre-financial crisis mortgage activity when it reported third quarter earnings. Banks typically move funds into an accrual when they determine a cost is no longer “reasonably possible” and instead becomes probable.