Apple, Goldman To Launch Joint Credit Card: LIVE MARKETS BLOG

The major U.S. averages closed trading well into the green Thursday, though stocks did finish off of their highs for the session.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.8%, or 197 points to 24,739, while the Nasdaq gained 0.89%, or 65 points to 7,405, while the S&P 500 gained 0.94%, or 25 points to 2,723.

Florida Man Gets Record $120 Million Fine for Robocalls

Adrian Abramovich of Florida is the recipient of a record $120 million Federal Communications Commission fine for making over 100 million robocalls over a three month period. 

Abramovich testified before Congress last month over the robocalls, which are illegal. 

"Tough enforcement is a key part of the FCC's robust strategy for combating illegal robocalls, and this Forfeiture Order represents a big step forward in our enforcement efforts," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said on Thursday. "This is the largest illegal robocalling scheme that the FCC has investigated to date, and we are appropriately imposing a $120 million forfeiture in response."

Apple, Goldman Sachs to Launch Joint Credit Card

Apple (AAPL) and Goldman Sachs (GS) are preparing to launch a joint credit card that carries the Apple Pay brand as soon as next year, sources told the Wall Street Journal Thursday. 

The card would be mutually beneficial for both companies and address weaknesses in their business segments. 

Apple has been looking to expand its services portfolio as iPhone sales slow amid fears of market saturation. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs has been expanding its consumer banking operations as revenue from its trade desk continues to underperform. 

Evan Spiegel Was the CEO Compensation King of 2017

Snap Inc. (SNAP) CEO Evan Spiegel made $505 million last year, making him the top-earning chief executive, according to Bloomberg data. 

The 27-year old received his huge payday after the social media company went public last year.

Scott Nuttall and Joseph Bae of KKR & Co. (KKR) were second and third on the compensation list, making $213,999,206 and $213,554,122 respectively. Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk was fourth, earning $150,039,583 and Sunda Pichai, CEO of Google (GOOGL) , rounded out the top-5, making $144,338,767 in 2017. 

Spotify Limits R. Kelly's Music Under New Hate Conduct Policy

Spotify (SPOT) is removing R&B singer R. Kelly's music from its company-sponsored playlists and algorithms as part of its new policy against hate content and hateful conduct. 

"We are removing R. Kelly's music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly. His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don't censor content because of an artist's or creator's behavior, but we want our editorial decisions-what we choose to program-to reflect our values," the company said in a statement to Billboard. 

Rapper XXXtentacion joined R.Kelly on the company's hate list. Kelly has been the subject of a social media campaign named #muteRKelly which aims to pressure concert promoters and record labels to limit access to his music due to multiple allegations about sexual improprieties with underage women. 

Spotify shares were up 3.8% Thursday. 

U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Are Lower Than Expected

About 211,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, missing economists' consensus expectations of 218,000. 

Claims fell to 209,000 during the week ended April 21, the lowest level recorded since December 1969. 

The unemployment rate fell to a near 17 and a half year low of 3.9% in April following a 4.1% unemployment rate in March. 

Eli Lilly Bolsters Immuno-Oncology Portfolio With ARMO BioSciences Purchase

Eli Lilly (LLY) announced that it agreed to purchase ARMO BioSciences (ARMO) for $1.6 billion, or $50 per share, in a move that boosts Lilly's immuno-oncology footprint. 

The purchase price is nearly 70% higher than the company's closing price of $29.82 Wednesday. ARMO shares were up 67% in morning trading Thursday. 

"At Lilly Oncology, we are dedicated to developing cancer medicines that will make a meaningful difference for patients," said Sue Mahony, Ph.D., Lilly senior vice president and president of Lilly Oncology. "The acquisition of ARMO BioSciences adds a promising next-generation clinical immunotherapy asset to Lilly's portfolio of innovative oncology medicines."

Valeant to Borrow Nearly $4 Billion to Refinance Credit

Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) announced that it is borrowing $3.815 billion of new Term B loans in order to refinance its existing credit facility. 

The amendment and restatement is expected to extend the maturity date of its revolving credit facility, which holds about $1.2 billion, to five years from the closing date.

The company said it will use the proceeds from the refinancing to refinance loans and redeem sets of senior notes that are due in 2020, 2021 and 2022. 

Apple Forced to Abandon $1 Billion Irish Data Center Due to Planning Issues

Apple (AAPL) announced that it was scrapping plans to build a $1 billion data center in Ireland due to regulatory delays that have stalled the process for over three years. 

"Despite our best efforts, delays in the approval process have forced us to make other plans and we will not be able to move forward with the data center," Apple said in a statement. "While disappointing, this setback will not dampen our enthusiasm for future projects in Ireland as our business continues to grow."

Apple said that it plans to expand its European headquarters in the country which employs 6,000 people. 

Ford Halts Production of all F-150s Due to Supplier Fire

A May 2 fire at a parts factory in Michigan has forced Ford (F) to suspend production of all of its F-150 vehicles, the company announced Wednesday. 

A fire at Meridian Magnesium Products is responsible for the parts shortage, but Meridian said that it is utilizing its facility in Ontario Canada to meet its partners' supply demands. 

The F-150 is Ford's most popular vehicle. The company sold 900,000 units of the pickup truck in 2017 at an average cost of $46,000. The truck is only built at two sites.


U.S. futures were muted ahead of the opening bell Thursday as markets look to build momentum off of a strong Wednesday trading session. 

Dow futures were basically flat, indicating an open 1 point higher, while Nasdaq futures rose 0.13%, indicating an open 9 points higher, and S&P futures were up 0.09%, indicating an open 3 points higher. 

In Asia, the Hang Seng led the way higher, gaining 0.89%, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.48% and the Nikkei climbed 0.39%. 

In Europe, the CAC 40 was the lone major index trading in the red, falling 0.05%. The Das in Germany rose 0.36% and the FTSE 100 was up 0.12% with about four hours left in trading. 

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Apple, Goldman to Launch Joint Credit Card: LIVE MARKETS BLOG
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