Home Must See Business News Roundup, March 15

Business News Roundup, March 15


The nation’s top chief executives like what they’re seeing and hearing from President Trump and his fellow Republicans, according to survey results released Tuesday by the Business Roundtable. The economic expectations of the heads of the nation’s largest companies jumped in the first quarter by the most in more than seven years amid optimism about corporate tax cuts, reduced regulations and a boost in infrastructure spending promised by Trump and congressional leaders, the trade group found. “I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to enact a meaningful pro-growth agenda that will benefit all Americans,” said Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase and this year’s chairman of the Business Roundtable. The group, which includes the heads of the largest U.S companies, said its quarterly CEO Economic Outlook Index shot up to 93.3 from 74.2 in the second quarter. The index is based on projections for sales, capital spending and hiring over the next six months, and ranges from minus-50 to 150, with a reading above 50 indicating the economy is expanding. Since the survey began in 2002, the average has been 79.8. SpaceX’s planned launch of a commercial communications satellite was delayed by high winds at Cape Canaveral in Florida Monday night. On Tuesday, SpaceX won a $96.5 million contract to launch a GPS satellite for the U.S. Air Force. The Southern California space company, run by Tesla’s Elon Musk, is scheduled to launch the GPS III satellite in February 2019 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The satellite will provide better anti-jamming capabilities and improved accuracy for precision navigation and timing, according to the Air Force. SpaceX was certified by the Air Force in 2015 to launch national security satellites, breaking up a longtime and lucrative monopoly held by a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin called United Launch Alliance. Last year, SpaceX won its first national security satellite launch contract, which was worth $82.7 million. LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman will join the Microsoft board, three months after the world’s largest software maker acquired the corporate social network. Hoffman, who started LinkedIn with former colleagues in 2002, is a partner at venture capital firm Greylock Partners. Neiman Marcus Group, the struggling department-store chain that scrapped plans in January for an initial public offering, is considering a sale of the company instead. The takeover speculation follows Neiman Marcus’ announcement Tuesday that it’s working with financial advisers on a review of its strategic options, which may include selling part or all of its business. Diageo sees the distillery, built on rolling farmland, as a catalyst for the brand that has flexed its muscle with annual double-digit sales growth in recent years. Stocks fell on Wall Street as another slide in crude oil prices pulled energy companies lower. Pandora Media slumped 6.4 percent after the streaming music company announced it will launch an on-demand service to compete with Apple Music and Spotify.

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