Here's what happened on Wall Street Thursday, December 7.
The Nasdaq led the averages higher Thursday, closing the day up 0.54% while the Dow and S&P snapped out of their malaise to close trading up 0.29% and 0.3% respectively.
Toys R Us to Pay Executives Millions in Bonuses
Bankruptcy Judge Keith Phillips has granted Toys R Us permission to pay bonuses totaling about $14 million to its top 17 executives. The lone caveat for the payout is that fiscal year earnings must first reach $550 million.
Toys R Us argued that the bonuses were necessary to motivate the company's executives during the critical holiday shopping season. The plan was OKd over the objection of creditor attorney Judy Robbins.
"It defies logic and wisdom, not to mention the Bankruptcy Code, that a bankrupt company would now propose further multi-million dollar bonuses for the senior leadership of a company that began the year with employee layoffs and concludes it in the midst of the holiday season in bankruptcy," Robbins said, according to CNN.
Chevron Lowers 2018 CapEx Budget by $1.5 Billion
Chevron (CVX) announced that its 2018 capital expenditure budget will total $18.3 billion, about $1.5 billion less than its budget in 2017.
The budget has declined for four consecutive years. For the next three years, the company expects the budget will range between $17 billion and $22 billion annually.
Hackers Make Off With $70 Million in Bitcoin
Hackers stole nearly $70 million worth of bitcoin from a cryptocurrency mining service called NiceHash that markets itself as the world's largest cryptomining marketplace.
NiceHash halted operations for 24 hours following the breach.
"Clearly, this is a matter of deep concern and we are working hard to rectify the matter in the coming days. In addition to undertaking our own investigation, the incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and law enforcement and we are co-operating with them as a matter of urgency. We are fully committed to restoring the NiceHash service with the highest security measures at the earliest opportunity," the company said in a Facebook post.
Ford Changes Mind, to Move EV Production to Mexico
Ford (F) has reversed its earlier decision to produce electric vehicles at its Flat Rock, MI assembly plant, instead, it will move production to Mexico beginning in 2020.
Ford announced in January that it would produce the vehicles at the suburban Detroit plant, instead, the company plans to use that plant to produce driverless cars, a company executive told the Wall Street Journal.
Ford had said that it would invest $700 million into the Michigan facility for EV production, but now it plans to invest $900 million into the facility and create 850 new jobs to produce the driverless vehicles there.
Bitcoin Loses Steam
Video game streaming service Steam has decided to stop accepting bitcoin due to volatility in the cryptocurrency.
"As of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method on our platform due to high fees and volatility in the value of Bitcoin," Steam engineer Kurtis Chinn wrote in a blog Thursday.
Steam boasts 67 million active monthly players, only three million less than Sony's SNE 70 million active player base.
"The value of Bitcoin is only guaranteed for a certain period of time so if the transaction doesn't complete within that window of time, then the amount of Bitcoin needed to cover the transaction can change. The amount it can change has been increasing recently to a point where it can be significantly different," Chinn wrote.
Anheuser Busch Orders 40 Tesla Semis
Anheuser Busch (BUD) ordered 40 of Tesla's (TSLA) new battery powered semi trucks for shipments to wholesalers within 150-200 miles of its brewery locations. The trucks have a total range of 500 miles on one charge.
The trucks, which were unveiled last month and will be available in 2019, features a single driver's seat centered in the middle of the vehicle and the ability to directly integrate with a trucking company's fleet management system for routing and scheduling
The vehicles are also supposed to require less maintenance because they do not feature an engine or transmission.
GE Power to Cut 12,000 JobsGeneral Electric's ( GE) GE Power division will reduce its global headcount by 12,000 as softness in traditional power markets including gas and coal hurts its bottom line. The layoffs will affect about 18% of the company's global workforce.
GE Power says that the market is down 40% and the move will strengthen GE Power's global competitiveness and drive increased value for customers and shareholders.
The reduction will help it reach its previously announced goal of $1 billion in structural cost reductions in 2018.
Bitcoin Rises 10% Before Markets Open
Bitcoin reached a new record high Thursday morning, pushing past $15,000 to top out at $15,091.44.
The digital currency opened trading Thursday at $13,709. Bitcoin is the talk of Wall Street this week as it's value has risen from $10,000 to $15,000 in less than a week's time.
U.S. futures were mixed ahead of the opening bell Thursday, with the Nasdaq continuing to show signs of gains while Dow Jones and S&P futures indicated a soft opening for those averages.
Asian markets showed signs of recovery during a dismal week of trading. The Nikkei jumped 1.45% Thursday and the Hang Seng followed suit, rising 0.28%. The Shanghai Composite was the lone major average to close the day in the red.
In Europe, the CAC 40 and DAX were hanging on to modest gains while the FTSE 100 declined 0.06% with about three hours left in trading.