Home Business and Economics This Week in Business: Trade Deficit, Daimler, and More

This Week in Business: Trade Deficit, Daimler, and More

trade deficit

US Trade Deficit Drops

The US trade deficit dropped to a three-year low in November, as imports to the country slowed. President Trump’s trade war with China is a likely candidate for the cause. However, exports jumped, suggesting that the country ended 2019 on a good platform. Statistically, the trade deficit dropped 8.2% to $43Bn, the lowest since October 2016.

In addition, the trade deficit drop was the largest since January. Falling consumer good imports suggest a slowdown of domestic demand. And, while the US and China are engrossed in a political trade war, President Trump has also engaged in trade debates with other trading partners. This includes the EU, Brazil, and Argentina.

Daimler Sued For $1Bn

Investors have sued German carmaker Daimler for $1Bn, German law firm TILP announced Tuesday. In the suit, the investors claim that Daimler concealed its use of emissions cheating software. They also claim that Daimler failed to inform stockholders about the risks of using such software. They say this amounts to a violation of capital markets law.

Attorney Andreas Tilp said, “This means that the plaintiffs bought the Daimler stock at too high a price, and it is our conviction that Daimler is liable to them for compensation of damages.” However, Daimler has yet to be informed of the lawsuit. It does believe that the lawsuit does not have merit, and will fight it.

Andrew Left’s Hedge Fund Post 43% Gain

Andrew Left’s Citron hedge fund has posted a 43% gain in its first year. “In 2019, our first full year of operation, Citron Capital, LP (“Fund”) generated a gross return of 56.4% and net return of 43.3%,” Left wrote in a letter. He also predicted that home furnishing company RH may make a takeover offer. “We believe the company has matured to a point that we might see it acquired in 2020,” Left said on the matter.

Currently, Citron has not disclosed the size of its hedge fund. However, because Left has been investing in the fund, he now has the ability to acquire more and more companies. He is also eyeing his stock in Peloton Interactive. Neither RH nor Peloton responded to a request to comment.

Ford Quarterly Sales Slip

American carmaker Ford’s quarterly sales slipped as demand for passenger cars dipped. On Monday, the company posted a 1.3% drop in fourth-quarter vehicle sales. Total U.S. light-vehicle sales fell by about 1% from 2018. However, it still finished above 17 million vehicles for the fifth consecutive year. Ford said that the passenger cars have fallen out of demand due to more profitable SUVs and pickups.

Xerox Secures $24Bn For Possible HP Takeover

Xerox announced that it had acquired $24Bn out of $33.5Bn for a possible takeover of HP. Currently, HP is opposing the deal, saying it undervalued the company. The offer, valued at $22 per share, is too low. However, HP does recognize the value of a merger and is open to explore a bid. HP did not respond to a request to comment.