The major indices took well to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's first visit to Capitol Hill, climbing out of negative territory to close Tuesday's session in the green across the board.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.23%, or 58 points to 25,122, while the S&P 500 rose 0.4%, or 11 points to 2,810, and the Nasdaq rose 0.63%, or 49 points to 7,855.
MGM Sues Victims of Vegas Shooting
MGM Resorts (MGM) is suing the more than 1,000 victims of the shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas in order to prevent them from suing the casino resort company for the incident.
Shooter Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of thousands of concert-goers on October 1, killing 58 people and wounding more than 500 others.
The federal suit notes that more than 2,500 people have either filed or threatened to file complaints against the company, claiming negligence and responsibility for death, injury and emotional distress. MGM counters that it should be shielded under a 2002 federal law that provides liability protection to any company that uses anti-terrorism technology.
MGM says that the security company it hired to work the festival is protected from liability under the law because it was certified by the Department of Homeland Security.
MGM shares were up 0.21% Tuesday afternoon after experiencing volatile trading for most of the session.
China to Buy Even More Iranian Oil In Spite of U.S. Sanctions
China is throwing a monkey wrench in U.S. efforts to punish Iran through sanctions by purchasing ever-increasing amounts of crude from the middle eastern country.
The U.S. slapped sanctions on Iran due to its belief that it is acting improperly behind the scenes following the signing of a nuclear non-proliferation deal during the Obama administration.
Some European countries bristled at the U.S. unilateral decision to exit a 2015 deal with the country, but some countries have also begun winding down their purchase of Iranian oil.
However China is stepping in to blunt the impact of those departures buy upping the amount of crude it is purchasing, a senior U.S. government energy official told the Wall Street Journal.
Walmart Chooses Microsoft Over Amazon for Cloud Services
Walmart (WMT) is taking its battle against Amazon (AMZN) further into the digital front, signing a five-year deal with Microsoft (MSFT) to "further accelerate Walmart's digital transformation in retail, empower its associates worldwide and make shopping faster and easier for millions of customers around the world."
Amazon is the cloud services market leader through its Amazon Web Services business, but Microsoft is a close competitor.
"Walmart is a pioneering retailer, committed to empowering its employees and delivering the best experience for its customers wherever they are," said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. "The world's leading companies run on our cloud, and I'm thrilled to partner with Walmart to accelerate their digital transformation with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365."
Warren Buffett Donated $3.4 Billion in Berkshire Stock
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) CEO Warren Buffett made his annual stock donation this week to five foundations, giving away about $3.4 billion.
Buffett converted 11,867 Class A shares into about 17.8 million Class B shares in order to make the donation.
13.5 million shares worth about $2.6 billion, based on the stock's closing price Monday of $192 per share, went to the Gates Foundation. Buffett has donated 243.3 million Class B shares to the Gates Foundation, just south of the 500 million shares he's pledged to the charity run by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
The other foundations receiving stock include the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Sherwood Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation and NoVo Foundation.
IBM Wants $167 Million From Groupon for Patent Infringements
IBM (IBM) is suing online deals broker Groupon (GRPN) for $167 million for allegedly using four of its patents without permission, saying that companies like Amazon (AMZN) and Facebook (FB) bought licenses to use those technologies for between $20 million and $50 million.
Groupon says the case isn't valid because the patents don't cover the internet, because IBM didn't invent it.
"We are here because IBM has another business that IBM does not talk about in its commercials," Groupon's lawyer said. "In that business IBM uses its huge stock of patents as a club to get money from other companies."
Jeff Bezos is the Richest Person in Modern History
Amazon (AMZN) shares rose 0.52% to $1,822.49 per share Monday, pushing CEO Jeff Bezos' fortune to new heights.
Bezos' wealth is now estimated at over $150 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, eclipsing the previous record of $100 billion achieved by Microsoft (MSFT) founder Bill Gates in 1999.
Bezos' wealth is still eclipsed by John D. Rockefeller's, whose wealth was estimated to be about 2% of the national GDP, which would equate to about $350 billion in today dollars.
U.S. futures were mixed Tuesday morning, matching the market's sentiment following a volatile Monday session as international diplomacy was the news of the day that dictated market movements.
Dow futures were basically flat, indicating an open 5 points higher, while S&P futures fell 0.09%, indicating an open 3 points lower, and Nasdaq futures fell 0.13%, indicating an open 10 points lower.
World markets were showing few signs of life, with the Nikkei being the lone major Asian market to rise, climbing 0.44%. Meanwhile, the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite dropped 1.25% and 0.57% respectively.
In Europe, the CAC 40 was down 0.4%, the DAX was falling 0.17%, and the FTSE 100 declined 0.08%.