Business Briefs – August 8, 2018

China Exports Accelerated In July Despite Rise in U.S. Tariffs

BEIJING (AP) – China’s exports to the United States surged last month as its merchants rushed to fill orders ahead of a jump in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

Its shipments to the United States climbed 13 percent in July from a year earlier, to $41.5 billion, after a roughly similar rise in June, customs data show.

At the same time, Beijing’s trade surplus with the United States — a frequent source of anger and threats from President Donald Trump — grew 11 percent to $28 billion.

Chinese exporters appear to be trying to ship their goods to the United States before tariffs that Trump is imposing in a fight over technology policy take full effect.

Tesla Board Weighs CEO’s Buyout Bid as Questions Swirl

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Board members at Tesla are evaluating CEO and Chairman Elon Musk’s $72 billion proposal to take the electric car maker while government regulators look into whether the announcement of the potential deal meet legal requirements.

Six of Tesla’s nine members said in a prepared statement Wednesday that Musk began talking with the board about the move last week. This included discussing how being a private company could better serve Tesla’s long-term interests. Board members met several times and also addressed funding for the move, according to the statement.

The eccentric Musk announced the bombshell move Tuesday on Twitter, writing that he had secured funding to buy Tesla Inc.’s shares at $420 each.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is now asking whether Musk’s nine-word tweet on the subject was factual, according to a Wednesday report in The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper cited unidentified people familiar with the matter

Shares rose 11 percent Tuesday but fell more than 2 percent Wednesday to close at $370.34.

CVS Health Tops 2Q Forecasts, Downplays Help From Rebates

(AP) – CVS Health detailed a better-than-expected second quarter Wednesday and then reassured investors that it doesn’t depend heavily on much-criticized prescription drug rebates that regulators may eliminate.

Shares of the drugstore chain and pharmacy benefit manager climbed after CEO Larry Merlo told analysts that rebates from drugmakers will amount to only about 3 percent of the company’s adjusted earnings this year.

Mizuho Securities USA analyst Ann Hynes said she thought they contributed about 14 percent, and Wall Street probably had an even higher estimate. She called the CVS disclosure “a big deal for the stock,” and she said in a research note that it shows that any potential changes should be manageable for the company.

New Law May Force Small Businesses To Reveal Data Practices

NEW YORK (AP) – A Rhode Island software company that sells primarily to businesses is nonetheless making sure it complies with a strict California law about consumers’ privacy.

AVTECH Software is preparing for what some say is the wave of the future: laws requiring businesses to be up-front with customers about how they use personal information. California has already passed a law requiring businesses to disclose what they do with people’s personal information and giving consumers more control over how their data is used — even the right to have it deleted from companies’ computers.

Privacy rights have gotten more attention since news earlier this year that the data firm Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed Facebook user information. New regulations also took effect in Europe.