August 25th, 2020 by Steve Hanley
ExxonMobil has been kicked out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average index and replaced by Salesforce.com, a technology company that sells software that allows large companies to track sales and other information, according to CBS News. The move came after Apple announced a 4 for 1 stock split that takes effect on August 31. In a statement reported by Market Watch, S&P Dow Jones said the Apple split would reduce the weight of technology stocks in its index of 30 stocks.
“The announced changes help offset that reduction. They also help diversify the index by removing overlap between companies of similar scope and adding new types of businesses that better reflect the American economy.” The changes would also help the Dow “add new types of businesses that better reflect the American economy,” the company added. Other changes to the DJIA include drug company Amgen replacing Pfizer and Honeywell International replacing Raytheon.
ExxonMobil was added to the Dow index 92 years ago as Standard Oil of New Jersey and is currently the oldest member of the index. The Dow’s last original member, General Electric, was removed in 2018, according to CBS. Until 2012, ExxonMobil was the most valuable corporation in America with a valuation approaching $400 billion. It was surpassed by Apple in that year. Apple is now valued at close to $2 trillion while Exxon’s valuation has slipped to $175 billion. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Part of the reason for Exxon’s sinking valuation is its exposure to claims that it lied repeatedly over the past 50 years (or more) about what it knew regarding the impact its products have on the environment. It has been targeted along with other oil majors in a number of suits brought by state and local governments demanding that it pay for the enormous mess it has created. Such claims could cost the company trillions.
Demand for oil has also flat lined because of the coronavirus pandemic, driving many small companies that specialize in fracking to file bankruptcy. Of course, bankruptcy is always the out card corporations can play to walk away free and clear when the damage they cause becomes too great. When that happens, governments and ultimately the taxpayers get left holding the bag. Watch for something like that to happen with the once all mighty ExxonMobil in the near future.
Featured image courtesy Justin Stumberg/U.S. Navy
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Shopify says two support staff stole customer data from sellers – TechCrunch
Shopify has confirmed a data breach, in which two “rogue members” of its support team stole customer data from at least 100 merchants.
In a blog post, the online shopping site said that its investigation so far showed that the two employees, who have since been fired, were “engaged in a scheme to obtain customer transactional records of certain merchants.”
Shopify said it had referred the matter to the FBI.
The employees allegedly stole customer data, including names, postal addresses and order details, from “less than 200 merchants,” but financial data was unaffected.
Shopify said that it does not have any evidence to suggest that the data was used, but that it had notified affected merchants of the incident.
One merchant shared with TechCrunch a copy of Shopify’s email notification, which said the company first became aware of the breach on September 15, and that the two employees obtained data that was accessible using Shopify’s Orders API, which lets merchants process orders on behalf of their customers. The email also said that the last four digits of the customers’ payment card was taken in the incident.
Shopify did not say how many end customers were affected by the theft of data from merchants, but the email sent by Shopify contained the specific number of customer records taken in the breach. In this merchant’s case, more than 1.3 million customer records; over 4,900 were accessed.
A spokesperson for Shopify didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Just last month, Instacart admitted two of its third-party support staff improperly accessed the information for shoppers who deliver grocery orders to customers.
Other Battery Makers Filled With Uncertainty After Tesla Battery Day – InsideEVs
After yesterday’s Tesla Battery Day, third-party lithium-ion battery manufacturer might be quite surprised and uncertain about the future.
Tesla clearly continues on its path of vertical integration, hinting at significant improvements on the technological level and advancing also on the in-house battery production front.
The pilot plant for 4680 cells is expected to reach a production output of 10 GWh annually at some point in 2021, which alone is a huge level. The target of 100 GWh in 2022 is also very ambitious.
Tesla’s Elon Musk said that the automaker will continue to purchase cells from existing (and maybe new) suppliers, because it will not be able to produce enough of its own batteries anyway, but still the share price of the biggest EV battery manufacturers declined.
Investors are clearly aware that Tesla is pushing hard to reduce costs and increase energy density. It’s a challenging race, which requires tons of R&D investments to keep up with the leaders.
Will the ordinary battery makers from electronics and chemical industries be able to offer a competitive solution for a company like Tesla, which has an advantage of vertical integration? They would have to closely partner with other carmakers to jointly develop battery systems deeply integrated with the vehicles.
Shopify fires 2 employees for stealing customer data from up to 200 merchants – CBC.ca
Shopify says it has terminated two “rogue” employees who were involved in a scheme to steal customer information from some of the company’s merchants.
The Ottawa-based technology company says fewer than 200 merchants were included in the breach, but that an unknown number of customers of those merchants may have had their information stolen.
The information stolen includes basic things such as names and email addresses, as well as data about what products they purchased, but did not include financial information such as credit card or banking details.
“We immediately terminated these individuals’ access to our Shopify network and referred the incident to law enforcement,” the company said.
“We are currently working with the FBI and other international agencies in their investigation of these criminal acts. While we do not have evidence of the data being utilized, we are in the early stages of the investigation and will be updating affected merchants as relevant.”
The company stressed that the breach was not the result of some sort of technical vulnerability, and that the vast majority of the company’s one million merchants and the customers who shop from them online were not affected. Any affected merchants have been notified.
“We don’t take these events lightly at Shopify,” the company said. “We have zero tolerance for platform abuse and will take action to preserve the confidence of our community and the integrity of our product.”
Shares in the company fell 1.6 per cent on Tuesday in extended trading on a down day for markets overall.
The company’s shares have more than doubled in value this year, as the company is one of numerous tech names whose business has boomed during the pandemic because of higher demand for online services.
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