Business Briefs – October 18, 2017

Corporations to Keep Tax Break Lost by Millions of Americans

WASHINGTON (AP) – Millions of Americans would lose a prized tax break under President Donald Trump’s sweeping revamp of the tax code, but corporations would get to keep it. The Republican proposal would eliminate the federal deduction for state and local taxes, a widely popular break used by some 44 million Americans, especially in high-tax states like New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois.

Big Question for US Cities: Is Amazon’s HQ2 Worth The Price?

WASHINGTON (AP) – Dozens of U.S. cities are battling to become the location of Amazon’s second headquarters. The Seattle company is promising $5 billion of investment and 50,000 jobs over the next decade and a half. But the winning city would have to provide Amazon with generous tax breaks and other incentives that can erode a city’s tax base. Many economists say Amazon is a rare case in which a package of at least modest enticements could repay a city over time.

American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault to Retire Next Year

NEW YORK (AP) – Kenneth Chenault, one of the most prominent black corporate leaders and long-time chairman and CEO of American Express, is stepping down next year, the company announced Wednesday. Chenault, 66, will be replaced on Feb. 1 by Stephen Squeri, who will take over as both American Express’ CEO and chairman of the board. Squeri, 58, is currently vice chairman at American Express. Chenault took over as CEO in 2001 and guided the company through several seismic events.

Anthem Will Turn to CVS After Troubled Express Scripts Deal

NEW YORK (AP) – Anthem has found a new partner to help run prescription drug coverage after the Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer’s rocky relationship with Express Scripts ends. The nation’s second-largest insurer says it will create a pharmacy benefits manager called IngenioRx starting in 2020 and will work with CVS Health Corp. to manage the business.

Anthem rose 2.4 percent after announcing that it’s entered a prescription benefits management deal with CVS. Anthem shares added $4.53 to $191.79. CVS rose $1.47, or 2 percent, to $74.10.

IBM Beats Revenue Estimates; Hints at Sales Growth

NEW YORK (Reuters/AP) – International Business Machines Corp’s shift to newer businesses such as cloud and security services helped it beat analysts’ quarterly revenue estimates, and the technology major hinted at sales growth after nearly six years of declines.

IBM& has been focusing on cloud, cybersecurity and data analytics, or what the company calls its “strategic imperatives,” to counter a slowdown in its legacy hardware and software businesses.

Revenue from these businesses climbed 11 percent to $8.8 billion in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, accounting for about 46 percent of the company’s total revenue.

IBM jumped 8.9 percent. The gain was the biggest one-day jump for IBM since January 2009. Even so, the stock remains down 3.9 percent for the year.

IBM’s gain was responsible for 89 points of the Dow’s increase. Gains by Goldman Sachs accounted for another 40 points of the 30-company average’s climb.