Judge Rules Against 'Expert Witness' Testimony in GM Ignition Switch Case
General Motors (GM) received some good news from U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan who ruled that the expert testimony plaintiffs in two bellwether cases wanted to supply during the trial was unreliable.
The plaintiffs wanted to use the testimony to show that the ignition switch moved into the "off" position during crashes, exacerbating the impact of the collision.
"The court recognizes that these conclusions may have a significant impact on a swath of cases now pending in the MDL and, thus, does not reach them lightly," Furman wrote in his decision. Furman is overseeing a multi-district litigation against GM over claims that its faulty ignition switch caused the deaths of up to 124 people in car crashes.
GM has already paid more than $2.6 billion in fines and settlements over the issue. The company has also recalled 2.6 million vehicles tied to the issue since February 2014.
SoftBank Successfully Takes Large Stake in Uber
SoftBank (SFTBF) succeeded in tendering an offer to buy a large stake of ride-hailing company Uber, sources told the Wall Street Journal Thursday.
SoftBank is expected to limit the stake it acquires to 15%, according to WSJ sources, valuing Uber at about $48 billion. Uber's invitation to purchase shares of the privately owned company expires at noon Pacific time.
As part of its offer, SoftBank will invest at least $1 billion into Uber at its most recent valuation of $70 billion.
McAfee Founder Twitter Account Hacked
Editor's note: story has been updated to reflect that John McAfee is the founder of McAfee, not the current CEO
John McAfee, founder of cybersecurity firm McAfee, said that his twitter account was hacked following a tweet from his account promoted lesser-known cryptocurrencies.
McAfee dismissed suggestions that the security breach tarnished his credentials as a security expert.
Though I am a security expert, I have no control over Twitter's security. I have haters. I am a target. People make fake accounts, fake screenshots, fake claims. I am a target for hackers who lost money and blame me. Please take responsibility for yourselves. Adults only please.— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) December 28, 2017
Asbestos Found in Claire's Makeup Triggers Product Recall
T'was two days before Christmas when Claire's Inc. announced possible toxins in its makeup.
The retailer said that it was pulling makeup products from its stores due to an asbestos scare after a mother in Rhode Island had the makeup kit her daughter was using tested.
The tests revealed that the product contained Tremolite Asbestos, a toxic cancer-causing material that has been linked to the fatal disease Mesothelioma.
Tremolite Asbestos was also found in 17 more Claire's makeup products that were purchased in nine different states, according to Rhode Island lawyer Kristi Warner, leading Claire's to make an announcement on Twitter Saturday.
Bitcoin Dips After South Korea Places Restrictions on Trade
Bitcoin dipped 7% Thursday morning to $14,359.94 after South Korean officials looked to tighten controls on the digital currency amid wild speculation that has set up conditions for a bubble.
South Korean officials said they could potentially shut down at least some of the currency exchanges. They will require real-name cryptocurrency transactions and impose a ban on the offering of virtual accounts by banks to crypto-exchanges.
"Cryptocurrency speculation has been irrationally overheated in Korea. The government can't leave the abnormal situation of speculation any longer," the government said in a statement.
U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Total 245,000
245,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, higher than the 240,000 economists estimated for the period. Last week was the 147th straight week claims stayed below the 300,000 mark.
The claims report also showed that the number of people receiving benefits after the first week of aid increased 7,000 to 1.94 million in the week ended December 16.
Apple CEO Tim Cook Was Paid $102 Million in 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook received a $9.33 million incentive bonus for Apple's performance during the year. In addition to his $3.06 million base salary and equity award of $89.2 million, bringing his total compensation to $102 million.
Apple's shares offered returns of 30% in fiscal 2017, double the rate of the S&P 500.
Apple also now stipulates that Tim Cook is required to fly on private aircraft "in the interests of security and efficiency based on our global profile and the highly visible nature of Mr. Cook's role as CEO."
Apple, Amazon to Expand Presence in Saudi Arabia
Both companies already sell products in the Kingdom through third parties but neither have a direct presence in the country. A source told Reuters that the two companies were in talks with Saudi Arabia's foreign investment authority, SAGIA.
A licensing agreement for Apple stores with SAGIA is expected by February with initial retail store openings targeted for 2019.
Reuters Poll: Oil to Hit $60/Barrel in 2018
A Reuters poll of 32 economists and analysts suggests that markets should expect oil to hover around $60 per barrel in 2018.
The economists see supply discipline and forecasts of demand growth around the globe will help oil prices out of the doldrums next year. Analysts expect oil to get to $59.88, last month the analysts polled suggested a $58.84 price target.
Chinese demand for oil has rebounded late this year to the second highest level ever at 9.01 million barrels per day.
U.S. futures indicated a strong open for markets Thursday, building on the momentum markets garnered with a late push in afternoon trading Wednesday to close that session in positive territory.
Nasdaq futures were leading the way, rising 0.32%, or 20.75 points, Dow Jones futures climbed 0.16%, or 40 points, and S&P 500 futures climbed 0.09%, or 2.5 points.
Asian markets were mixed with the Nikkei declining 0.56% on the day. The Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite both closed the day up 0.9% and 0.63% respectively.
In Europe, the CAC 40 and DAX were in the red with more than three hours left in trading while the FTSE100 in the U.K climbed 0.13%.