BUSINESS NEWS FEBRUARY 19TH, 2016
OIL COMPANY ENACTS HUGE LAYOFF, CEO GETS HUGE PAYOFF
Oil driller company Schlumberger faced a tough 2015, laying off nearly 20% of its workforce. However, the year went much better for the company’s CEO, who earned $18.3 million. As a result of the layoffs, profits tumbled a shocking 41% for the oil driller, and shares fell 18%. The falling of Schlumberger stock is largely due to the rocky year that oil has had, with prices falling dramatically.
INDIA LAUNCHES DIRT CHEAP SMARTPHONE
On Wednesday, cellphone manufacturer Ringing Bells released the Freedom 251 smartphone for the price of 251 rupees, or just under $4. The smartphone’s features include a 4-inch display, 1.3-GHz quad-core processor and 8 GB of storage. Despite this product’s potential to revolutionize the tech industry, insiders are skeptical. Pankaj Mohindroo, national president of the Indian Cellular Association, compiled a report that showed that even with the cheapest components, this phone would cost approximately 2700 rupees, or $40 to make. Analysts say at the announced price, Ringing Bells would lose $26 on each phone.
APPLE VS U.S.: SECURITY VS PRIVACY
The FBI recently acquired an iPhone that was allegedly used by the terrorists involved in the San Bernardino shooting. However, they came across one slight problem: the phone was locked. As Apple does lock you out after a certain number of tries on a passcode, the FBI has requested Apple to create a backdoor into the iPhone that would allow the FBI to bypass the passcode. Thus far, Apple has refused, citing the danger that this would entail for all iPhone users. In the most recent development, the government asked a judge to force Apple to cooperate.
MARKET MADNESS MAY BE SLOWING DOWN
This year may have been the most volatile one for stocks. Oil prices have been dropping and surging, fears over the devaluation of Chinese currency have left investors scared to invest, and tech stocks have been unpredictable. However, this week may be the sigh of relief that all investors need. Not only has the volatility of the market decreased substantially, but the Dow is on pace to have the highest weekly gains of 2016. Some of this boost came after OPEC leaders agreed to freeze oil production, stopping the price at $32 a barrel on Thursday. While it is still early days, the market looks to be getting back on its feet.