Avie Schneider | KERA News

Avie Schneider

When Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last week that he was considering ending the automaker's 8-year run as a publicly traded company, he indicated that he had found the money to do it.

"Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured," Musk tweeted.

Musk is reportedly under scrutiny by federal securities regulators for this tweet as well as earlier statements. Now he is explaining that Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund could help him take the electric car company private.

Tesla Motors started selling its stock to the public in 2010 — the first initial public offering of a U.S. automaker in more than a half-century. On Tuesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he's considering a reversal — taking the electric car company private.

As he often does, the outspoken entrepreneur took to Twitter to deliver the news. "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured," Musk tweeted in early afternoon.

Updated at 9:08 a.m. ET

The economy continued to add jobs at a steady pace last month, and the unemployment rate remained low. Analysts have been looking for signs that wage growth might pick up, but it held steady, too.

Payrolls grew by a lower-than-expected 157,000 in July, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent, as projected, the Labor Department said Friday.

Updated at 3:31 p.m. ET

Wells Fargo will pay a $2.09 billion civil penalty over allegations the company originated and sold residential mortgage loans that included misstated income information, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

The bank's actions contributed to the financial crisis, the agency said.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

A data-sharing scandal and privacy concerns appear to be taking a toll on Facebook.

Its stock dropped nearly 20 percent Thursday — a day after the company released earnings showing that its user growth has stalled and told investors that it expects revenue growth to slow for the rest of the year.

With a loss of more than $100 billion in its value, the social media giant had one of its worst trading days.

Updated at 3:19 p.m. ET

The Federal Reserve got a rare piece of advice from the president Thursday. The central bank is an independent agency and presidents usually don't comment directly on Fed policy.

The days of plastic straws are drawing shorter.

Marriott International on Wednesday became the latest big company to announce it will stop using plastic straws, saying it would remove them from its more than 6,500 properties by next July. The giant hotel chain said it will stop offering plastic stirrers, too.

Updated at 5:02 p.m. ET

The power plays for Hollywood's biggest studios are coming fast and furious.

Comcast on Wednesday made a $65 billion offer for some of the biggest Hollywood holdings of 21st Century Fox, the global television and entertainment conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his family. The deal would not include Fox News.

Updated at 12:18 p.m. ET

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday announced a deal with Chinese telecommunications company ZTE that includes a $1 billion fine — a move that may indicate progress in high-stakes trade talks between the U.S. and China.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is known for being outspoken and unscripted. But he took that to a new level in a remarkably blunt and contentious call with Wall Street analysts Wednesday after the automaker reported a record loss of more than $700 million last quarter.

"Excuse me. Next, next," an irritated Musk said on the conference call with analysts who follow the company. "Boring, bonehead questions are not cool. Next?"

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 459 points Monday, falling 1.9 percent, as tech stocks led the markets down and investors eyed growing trade tensions with China. Earlier in the day, the Dow was down more than 700 points.

Amazon tumbled more than 5 percent after President Trump criticized the company in tweets. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index lost 2.7 percent. The S&P 500 index lost 59 points, or 2.2 percent.

Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

U.S. stock indexes surged about 3 percent Monday after fears eased of a trade war with China. The two big trading partners reportedly are negotiating to improve U.S. access to Chinese markets.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. and China have "quietly started negotiating" and that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is considering a trip to Beijing for talks.

Worries about a possible trade war helped send stock prices down sharply Thursday, with the Dow Jones industrial average losing nearly 3 percent of its value.

The Dow finished at 23,598, a decline of 724 points. The drop left both the Dow and the Standard and Poor's 500 index in negative territory for the year.

When President Trump announced that the United States would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports earlier this month, European allies warned that they could retaliate. Targets might include classic American exports such as bourbon, blue jeans and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Now, the European Union has published a 10-page list of hundreds of U.S. products that could be subject to European tariffs.

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET

A day after dropping more than 1,000 points, the Dow rebounded Friday to close up more than 300 points. But the index lost nearly 5 percent for the week as the markets focused on rising interest rates, inflation and ballooning government debt.

Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET

The stock market went on a wild ride again on Monday, with the Dow Jones industrial average closing down 1,175 points, its worst point drop in history. The Dow closed down 4.6 percent and turned negative for the year.

At one point Monday afternoon, the Dow was down 1,579 points — the largest intraday point drop in the history of the index.

Updated at 6:01 p.m. ET

Major stock indexes dropped sharply Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average tumbling 666 points amid signs that wage growth is finally picking up.

The 2.6 percent drop in the Dow came as the Labor Department reported that 200,000 jobs were added to the economy last month, which was stronger than expected, and the unemployment rate stayed at 4.1 percent — the lowest since 2000.

A Japanese maker of materials used in airplanes and car parts has admitted that one of its subsidiaries falsified quality-assurance data, the latest in a string of Japanese industrial giants to mislead customers.

Toray Industries said Tuesday that it had identified 149 instances of altered data between 2008 and 2016. The products involved affected 13 customers and included cords used for tires and car hose belts.

Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET

Richard Cordray, the embattled director of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, announced Wednesday that he will leave the agency by the end of November.

"I am confident that you will continue to move forward, nurture this institution we have built together, and maintain its essential value to the American public," Cordray wrote in an email to the agency's staff.

Updated at 4:11 p.m. ET.

The Dow Jones industrial average on Tuesday briefly topped 23,000 for the first time, crossing another milestone amid better-than-expected earnings reports and concerns that stocks are approaching another bubble.

But the 30-stock index ended the day at 22,997.44, up 40.48 points.

The Dow finished above 22,000 for the first time on Aug. 2.

Stanley Fischer is resigning early as vice chair of the Federal Reserve after three years at the central bank. His term was set to expire next June. Before becoming second in command to Fed Chair Janet Yellen, the former MIT economics professor served as head of the Bank of Israel and as a top official at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and Citigroup.

Updated at 3:55 p.m. ET.

Federal Reserve policymakers have raised their target for the benchmark federal funds interest rate by a quarter-point, to a range of 1 percent to 1.25 percent.

Apple giveth, Apple taketh away.

Every year about this time, the tech giant unveils its latest iPhone. Company executives proclaim it the best iPhone yet. And fans can't wait to get their hands on the shiny new toys.

Sometimes fast food just isn't fast enough. A new highly automated restaurant that opened in San Francisco on Monday looks to speed service through efficiency — you won't see any people taking your order or serving you at the Eatsa quinoa eatery.

Updated 1:39 p.m. ET July 24: NHTSA Investigating Chrysler Recall

Andy Greenberg was minding his own business, driving a Jeep Cherokee on the highway in St. Louis when the SUV's air vents suddenly started blasting cold air. Then the radio switched stations and began blaring hip-hop at full volume. Spinning the radio control knobs did nothing. Soon, the windshield wipers turned on and wiper fluid obscured Greenberg's view.

Then things started getting really interesting.

The U.S. economy keeps adding jobs at a steady pace, but the Labor Department report for June also shows more people are leaving the labor force and wages are not rising.

The economy added 223,000 jobs last month as unemployment fell to its lowest rate since 2008, the Labor Department said Thursday. The jobless rate dipped to 5.3 percent from 5.5 percent in May.

Updated at 2:32 p.m. ET

As 2015 began, the U.S. economy posted its weakest performance in a year, growing at a 0.2 percent annual pace. That's a sharp slowdown from the fourth quarter and well below the 1 percent rate economists had projected.

What's in your home, always on, ready to listen to you and constantly adapting to the way you talk? Why, it's Amazon's Echo speaker. Think a less portable Siri or Google Now, but hands-free.

Are you ready to bring an eavesdropping device that's connected to the cloud into the privacy of your abode?

When Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, hugged Dallas nurse Nina Pham on Friday it was as much to combat the stigma surrounding the deadly virus as to celebrate her being free of Ebola.

Fauci said it was an honor to treat Pham and get to know "such an extraordinary individual." Pham said she felt "fortunate and blessed" and put her trust "in God and my medical team."

Pham later met with President Obama in the Oval Office. The president and the nurse also hugged as news photographers captured the moment.