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Yahoo’s board is reportedly talking about selling the company’s core internet business. The Wall Street Journal reported, citing anonymous sources, that the discussions will happen in meetings today through Friday, as investors grow impatient with CEO Marissa Meyer’s efforts to turnaround the company. Yahoo would also consider spinning off its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Activist shareholder Starboard had last month urged Yahoo to halt its plan to shed its 15% stake in Alibaba through a tax-free spinoff that’s on track to be completed by January. Yahoo shares were up by as much as 4% pre-market.
Mark Zuckerberg will give away 99% of his Facebook shares, worth $45 billion. He announced this Tuesday in a letter to his newborn daughter, Max. Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, created the Chan Zuckerberg initiative to donate to causes focused on curing diseases, increasing global internet penetration, and others.
Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard said the path of higher interest rates will be low and gradual. In a speech on Tuesday, she noted that this may become a “new normal”, necessitated by bleak foreign growth prospects and higher risk sensitivity following the financial crisis. The FOMC meets in two weeks, and is widely expected to raise its benchmark rate for the first time in nine years.
American manufacturing is still struggling. The Institute of Supply Management’s manufacturing index, released Tuesday, fell into contractionary territory (below 50, to 48.6) for the first time since June 2009. Markit’s manufacturing PMI also dropped, to the lowest level in 25 months at 52.8. Demand for exports was weak, and new work from abroad fell for the first time since August, even as ISM’s employment index improved a bit. With manufacturing making up just 12% of the economy, some experts say this is not cause for economy-wide concern, at least for now.
Volkswagen is getting a $21 billion loan to help with the costs of the emission scandal. Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter, that Europe’s largest automaker reached an agreement with 13 banks on the terms of the 20 billion-euro bridge loan. Each bank is offering either 1.5 billion euros or 2.5 billion euros, making up the total, and adding to the company’s 6.7 billion euros it had set aside. On Tuesday, the carmaker said its US sales fell 24.7% in November. The company had halted sales of vehicles with the types of diesel engines that were found to have emissions-test-cheating software installed.
Eurozone core inflation unexpectedly fell in November. Core inflation fell to 0.9% from 1% in November, while headline inflation was unchanged at 0.1%. This could give the European Central Bank even more reason to boost its policy stimulus to the economy.
Brazil’s economy is shrinking. Third-quarter gross domestic product in Latin America’s largest economy fell by 4.5% year-on-year, according to the country’s statistics bureau. The cumulative drop of 3.2% so far for 2015 is the worst since 1996.
Australia has gone 25 years without a recession. Economic growth in the September quarter increased 0.5%, with the annual growth rate at 2.5%, beating forecasts. The country has not seen two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth since June 1991.
Major global markets are green. Dow futures were up about 14 points near 7:08 a.m. ET. The 10-year yield was unchanged at 2.16%, near a one-month low.
In economic data, ADP private payrolls for November cross at 8:15 a.m. ET, crude oil inventories at 10:30 a.m., and the Fed’s beige book at 2:00 p.m. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen will speak at the Economics Club of Washington near noon.
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