Asian shares extend gains after more Wall Street records
UNDATED (AP) — Asian shares have logged strong gains after another round of record highs for major indexes on Wall Street.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index gained 1.1%, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.9%. In South Korea, the Kospi jumped 1.5%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.6%, while the Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.3%. India’s Sensex climbed 0.6%. Shares were also higher in Southeast Asia.
Tuesday on Wall Street, the S&P 500 picked up 10.29 points to 3,702.25. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4% to 30,173.88. The tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.5% to 12,582.77, marking its fourth straight record high.
New White House offer adds $600 checks to COVID-19 relief
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has dived back into Capitol Hill’s confusing COVID-19 negotiations, offering a $916 billion package to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that adds a $600 direct payment to most Americans.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says in a statement that he made the offer to Pelosi late Tuesday afternoon. He offered few details, though House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said it proposes the $600 direct payment for individuals and $1,200 for couples, which is half the payment delivered by the March pandemic relief bill.
Mnuchin reached out to Pelosi after a call with top congressional GOP leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who remains at odds with Democratic leaders over COVID-19 relief.
Pandemic tames health care cost growth for some employers
UNDATED (AP) — The consulting firm Mercer says large U.S. employers saw their smallest health care cost increase in more than two decades due to COVID-19, and workers may benefit from that next year.
Patients stayed home and out of doctor’s offices this year to avoid the global pandemic. That led to a nearly 2% cost hike for companies with 500 or more employees, Mercer found in a national survey. Those employers were expecting a 3.5% increase. The lowest cost increase since 1997 will help large employers avoid raising deductibles or doing other things to shift costs to workers in 2021.
SUPREME COURT-PRESIDENTIAL POWER
High court takes on Fannie, Freddie presidential power case
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is hearing a case that could make it easier for the president to fire the head of the agency that oversees government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The case before the justices today could also mean undoing an agreement between the companies and the government that has sent $246 billion in their profits to the Treasury. That was compensation for the taxpayer bailout they received after the 2007 housing market crash.
he case before the justices involves the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie and was created following the housing market crash. One of the questions for the court is whether the agency’s structure violates the Constitution.
Senate OKs Trump pick for FCC, adding hurdle to Biden plans
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has narrowly approved President Donald Trump’s lame-duck nominee to become a member of the Federal Communications Commission, setting up the agency for a stretch of partisan gridlock likely to stymie President-elect Joe Biden’s policies.
The vote was 49-46 along party lines to confirm Nathan Simington. He played a role in the plan by the Republican-majority FCC to reexamine the legal protections enjoyed by social media companies like Facebook and Twitter for content that people post on their platforms.
The FCC plan came in response to Trump’s executive order challenging the long-held protections for speech on the internet.
Cybersecurity firm FireEye says was hacked by nation state
BOSTON (AP) — Prominent U.S. cybersecurity firm FireEye says that foreign government hackers with “world-class capabilities” broke into its network and stole offensive tools it uses to probe the defenses of its thousands of customers, who include federal, state and local government agencies and major global corporations.
The company said Tuesday that it is releasing countermeasures its customers and others can employ. It didn’t identify who it thought was responsible or when its network was penetrated but many cybersecurity experts suspected Russia.
Google and FB risk big fines under draft Australian news law
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Google and Facebook would risk multimillion-dollar fines if they failed to comply with proposed legislation that’s been introduced into the Australian Parliament. It would make the tech giants pay for journalism that they display.
Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg introduced the so-called News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code today and revealed details of his plan for Australia to become the first country to force the digital platforms to compensate news media for journalistic content.
Breaches of the code would be punishable by a fine of 10 million Australian dollars or the equivalent to 10% of annual turnover in Australia.
Tesla seeks to sell $5B in stock; CEO Musk moves to Texas
UNDATED (AP) — Tesla says it wants to raise up to $5 billion in capital through a stock offering. The move came Tuesday, the same day that CEO Elon Musk said he has moved from California to Texas.
The stock offering is the second for the company in three months. In September Tesla said that it planned to sell up to $5 billion worth of common shares just one day after its 5-for-1 stock split took effect.
Musk told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that he has switched states, saying that California is complacent with innovators and has taken them for granted.
DoorDash sets share price at $102 ahead of Wednesday IPO
UNDATED (AP) — DoorDash has priced its shares at $102 apiece heading into its stock market debut, valuing the 7-year-old food delivery company at nearly $39 billion.
DoorDash will begin trading today on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DASH. The San Francisco-based company raised $3.4 billion with the offering. DoorDash was already growing before the pandemic thanks to customers’ increasing preference for dining at home. Its revenue more than tripled between 2018 and 2019. But lockdown orders and the closure of indoor dining have made DoorDash indispensable.
The company now controls half the U.S. food delivery market. Despite its market dominance, DoorDash has yet to post an annual profit.