That concern is driving a number of companies like technology firms and car makers reliant on lithium and cobalt to strike deals now, even if it means joining with suppliers that haven't started producing yet. Tesla reached a three-year supply agreement with lithium firm Kidman Resources Ltd., which begins when the Australian company begins producing battery-grade material, Kidman said Thursday. The firm isn't expected to begin producing lithium compounds before 2021. Chinese firm Tianqi Lithium Corp. also said Thursday that it has agreed to buy a 24% stake in Chilean lithium company Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA from Canadian fertilizer firm Nutrien Ltd. for about $4.1 billion. In addition to the sector's dominant players such as Glencore PLC and Albemarle Corp., analysts estimate there are more than 100 smaller lithium miners and about 25 cobalt firms.
Plastic has been much demonised recently, thanks to its impact on wildlife and the environment, which is starkly illustrated by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and pictures of seahorses clutching Q-tips or dead albatrosses with stomachs full of plastic. Despite the increasing concern about the issue, there is little sign that plastic use is falling. Half of all the plastic ever made was produced in the last 13 years, says investment house Hermes, while output is set to increase by 40% in the next decade. "There are reasons for the ongoing ubiquity of plastic: as a resource it is cheap, lightweight, waterproof and requires less energy to manufacture than many other materials," said Dr Emma Berntman of Hermes Equity Ownership Services, which engages with companies about environmental, social and governance issues on behalf of investors. "Unfortunately, another important advantage of plastic is also the reason it creates such an issue in the environment: its durability," she added in a research note.
Securities regulators across the United States and Canada announced dozens of investigations Monday into potentially deceitful cryptocurrency investment products, the largest coordinated crackdown to date by state and provincial officials on bitcoin scams. As many as 70 investigations have been opened in the sweep, with more expected in the coming weeks, said the North American Securities Administrators Association, which helped coordinate the probes. As many as 35 cases are pending or already completed, with some resulting in cease-and-desist letters warning the alleged schemes that their unregistered activity violates state securities law. The enforcement actions, which have not been previously reported, take aim at efforts by groups in more than 40 jurisdictions to attract money from unsuspecting investors. They target unregistered securities offerings that promise lucrative returns without adequately informing investors of the risks, according to state regulators.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer the stuff of science fiction. The technology is already disrupting multiple industries, many of which impact you on a daily basis. Own an iPhone X? Its facial recognition system is powered by AI. Ever been redirected by Google Maps because of an accident or construction ahead? And those are just a couple of small examples.
Stocks have shot higher in the final weeks of the year, with major indexes breaking new records day after day and the Dow grasping for 20,000. The S&P 500 is on track to return 11% this year. Trump's victory has helped several sectors rack up particularly outsized gains, including financial and industrial stocks, as investors scoop up shares of companies poised to benefit from tax cuts, looser regulations and increased government spending. A rebound in oil and other commodity prices has also pushed up the stock prices of some energy and raw materials companies, like Freeport-McMoRan and Newmont Mining. Tech stocks have lost some of their luster in 2016, however, with darlings like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet crossing the finish line with middling results.