Honda to Invest $2.75 Billion in GM’s Self-Driving Car Unit

Honda Motor Co. is investing $750 million in General Motors Co.’s self-driving car unit, with plans to commit an additional $2 billion in the coming years, in an effort to jointly develop a fully autonomous car for mass production.

The partnership comes as auto makers and technology giants scramble to plant stakes in a transportation landscape that is swiftly being reshaped by technology.

Honda…

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The Latest: Nobel chemistry findings “used today, every day”

STOCKHOLM — The Latest on the awarding of the Nobel Prizes (all times local):

5:55 p.m.

Cambridge University scientist Greg Winter says he was staring at his computer wondering how he would ever finish multiple projects when the phone rang.

He was “a bit rocky” early Wednesday after a feast the night before at Trinity College and was having coffee and aspirin when a caller from Sweden told him to expect a “very important announcement.” Winter says the line went dead and he thought it was the bank “ringing up and telling me I had some dodgy transaction.”

In fact, he shared the 2018 Nobel Prize for chemistry for his work on the directed evolution of antibodies along with Frances Arnold of the California Institute of Technology and George Smith of the University of Missouri.

There will be another party shortly in Cambridge. Lab colleagues told Winter that 2,793 pounds ($3,636) worth of Champagne have been ordered before asking “can we have your credit card please?”

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4:55 p.m.

Dr. Wayne Marasco of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston said the lab technique developed by the new Nobel laureates George Smith and Gregory Winter was “revolutionary … and it’s used today, every day.”

Marasco said he uses it daily in his own research on developing therapies that use antibodies, which are disease-fighting proteins in the blood.

The two prizewinners harnessed viruses called phages that infect bacteria.

Smith, of the University of Missouri in Columbia, showed that inserting DNA into these viruses would make them display proteins linked to that DNA on their surfaces. Winter, of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, adapted the approach to create antibodies that target disease-related targets. In a process mimicking evolution, Winter introduced mutations to make antibodies progressively better at binding to their targets.

Marasco said the technique lets scientists screen millions or even billions of antibodies for their ability to grab onto a target like a protein on the surface of a cancer cell. It makes such screening far faster and more efficient.

Frances Arnold of the California Institute of Technology shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday along with Smith and Winter.

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4:15 p.m.

Greg Winter, a British scientist who shared the 2018 Nobel Prize for chemistry, says an encounter with a cancer patient made him realize the importance of his work.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, the 67-year-old Winter recalled a moment early in his career when he visited a woman who was receiving his then-experimental antibody treatment. Even though Winter didn’t know whether the treatment would work, the patient was grateful for whatever more time it would allow her to spend with her husband, who was also sick.

Winter, who shared the prize with two other scientists for his work on the directed evolution of antibodies, says he realized afterward there was a “moral imperative” to ensure “what was produced could be used for public benefit.”

The patient responded to the therapy but died when there wasn’t enough to continue her treatment.

__

3:15 p.m.

Frances Arnold of the California Institute of Technology is only the fifth woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize in chemistry since the prizes were first handed out in 1901.

The first winner was Marie Curie, who was honored in 1911 for the discovery of radium and polonium. Twenty-four years later, Curie’s daughter, Irene Joliot-Curie, was recognized, alongside her husband Frederic Joliot, for the synthesis of radioactive elements.

British scientist Dorothy Hodgkin was the next winner, in 1964.

After a 45-year gap, Israel’s Ada Yonath was one of three winners in 2009.

On Tuesday, Canadian Donna Strickland became the third female physics laureate and the first in 55 years.

There have been several female winners in the areas of medicine, literature and peace, but only one woman —the American Elinor Ostrom in 2009— has been awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics.

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2:45 p.m.

One chemical expert says the research of new Nobel laureate Frances Arnold “has really enabled lots of different chemists to think about how we can make proteins and design proteins to do some fascinating chemistry.”

Matt Hartings, an associate professor of chemistry at American University in Washington, D.C., says “her work is incredible.”

Arnold of the California Institute of Technology was awarded half of the 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) prize Wednesday, while the other half will be shared by George Smith of the University of Missouri and Gregory Winter of the MRC molecular biology lab in Cambridge, England.

Hartings says the proteins that Arnold designed “do these really off-the-wall chemical things in record time.” He says her directed evolution approach has greatly helped chemists make enzymes do jobs that nature never intended, such as for industrial purposes.

Hartings said her recent development of an enzyme that can promote chemical reactions involving silicon was a startling accomplishment, “completely bonkers.”

___

1:10 p.m.

Scientists have been applauding the winners of the Nobel chemistry prize, saying that it highlights the practical role chemistry plays in our daily lives.

Carol Robinson, president of Britain’s Royal Society of Chemistry, says the prize shows how chemistry contributes “to many areas of our lives including pharmaceuticals, detergents, green catalysis and biofuels.”

Robinson said Wednesday that directed evolution of enzymes and antibody technology “are now transforming medicine.”

Douglas Kell, a professor of bioanalytical science at the University of Manchester, says the prize is “fantastic news. Really well deserved. Nobels commonly go to folk who develop methods that revolutionize practice or understanding. These methods are entirely general and have done both.”

___

12:30 p.m.

Nobel chemistry laureate George Smith, reached at his home in Columbia, Missouri, was quick to credit the work of others in his prize.

“Pretty much every Nobel laureate understands that what he’s getting the prize for is built on many precedents, a great number of ideas and research that he is exploiting because he is at the right place at the right time,” he told The Associated Press.

“Very few research breakthroughs are novel. Virtually all of them build on what went on before. It’s happenstance. That was certainly the case with my work. Mine was an idea in a line of research that built very naturally on the lines of research that went before.”

Smith said he learned of the prize in a pre-dawn phone call from Stockholm. “It’s a standard joke that someone with a Swedish accent calls and says you won! But there was so much static on the line, I knew it wasn’t any of my friends,” he said.

He said he has “no idea” what he’ll do with the prize money. “We’re going to give it away, I think. But we’ll think hard how we’ll do it. It’s not just the money, it has a meaning well beyond the money.”

Smith, 77, was a professor for 40 years at the University of Missouri at the Division of Biological Sciences.

___

12:20 p.m.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences says the three researchers who were awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry “harnessed the power of evolution” to develop enzymes and antibodies that have led to new pharmaceuticals and biofuels.

Frances Arnold of the California Institute of Technology was awarded half the prize for conducting the first directed evolution of enzymes, leading to more environmentally friendly manufacturing of chemicals, including drugs, and in the production of renewable fuels.

George Smith of the University of Missouri and Gregory Winter of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, share the other half of the prize. Smith developed a new way to evolve proteins and Winter used the method for evolving antibodies with the aim of producing new drugs.

The first drug based on this work is used against rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease, the academy said.

___

11:45 a.m.

The Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to two researchers in the United States and one in Britain.

Half of the 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) prize was designated for Frances Arnold of Caltech in Pasadena for work that has led to the development of new biofuels and pharmaceuticals.

The other half of the prize will be shared by George Smith of the University of Missouri and Gregory Winter of the MRC Laboratory in Cambridge. They were honored for “phage display of peptides and antibodies.”

___

6 a.m.

The Nobel Prize in chemistry, which honors researchers for advances in studying how molecules combine and interact, is being announced Wednesday by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) chemistry prize is the last of this year’s scientific Nobel Prizes.

Last year’s prize went to researchers in the United States, Switzerland and Britain who developed a microscope technique that lets scientists see details of the molecules that drive life.

The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize is to be announced Friday. No literature prize will be awarded this year. The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, honoring the man who endowed the five Nobel Prizes, will be revealed Monday.

The medicine prize was awarded Monday to American and Japanese researchers. Scientists from the United States, Canada and France shared the physics prize Tuesday.

___

Follow the AP’s coverage as the 2018 Nobel Prizes are awarded at https://apnews.com/tag/NobelPrizes

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Sen. Sanders wants to break up JP Morgan, Berkshire Hathaway and other large financials

Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to break apart giant financial companies including J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Warren Buffett‘s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, arguing their individual sizes expose the U.S. economy to too much risk.

gross domestic product. Based on that threshold, which is $584 billion, six banks and the four nonbanks would have to split up.

The banks are J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman and Morgan Stanley. The nonbanks are Berkshire as well as Prudential Financial, MetLife and American International Group.

The bill is co-sponsored in the House by California Democrat Rep. Brad Sherman.

It comes a decade after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the near-collapse of AIG at the heart of the 2008 financial crisis. The federal government stepped in with a lifeline of $700 billion to buy faltering assets from banks and inject them with capital to weather the storm.

Had the “Too Big To Fail, Too Big To Exist” bill been law back then it would have forced Lehman, with assets that were more than 4.4 percent of GDP, and Bear Stearns, with assets at 2.8 percent of GDP, to restructure.

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WiFi 6 gives wireless the big upgrade it really needs

WiFi is about to get a lot more easy to understand, with the Wi-Fi Alliance announcing WiFi 6, its freshly rebranded push to reduce wireless confusion. WiFi 6 isn’t a new technology, in and of itself. Instead, it’ll be the consumer name for 802.11ax, the next-generation of WiFi that isn’t expected to show up in devices until 2019 at the very earliest.

802.11ax will, like previous versions before it, improve range and speed, allow greater numbers of devices to coexist in the same area, and generally scale up support for things like high-resolution video. It’ll also have more applications in the Internet of Things, where factors like power consumption can be more important.

However, “802.11ax” isn’t a particularly user-friendly name, even if the technologies it will bring should make for a happier wireless experience. It’s something that has been criticized in previous years, too, with awkward naming blamed for rising consumer confusion about which WiFi is “best” among other issues. It’s only been compounded by individual branding attempts by router and device-makers themselves.

The answer is WiFi 6. That’ll be used by product vendors, OS vendors, and service providers: if you see WiFi 6, then you know the hardware and infrastructure supports 802.11ax. The Wi-Fi Alliance’s rebranding is retroactive, too.

So, 802.11ac, the current fastest WiFi release, will now be known as WiFi 5. For 802.11n, the version before that, it’ll be WiFi 4. It won’t just be on boxes and in stores, however. What you see on your device is likely to change, too.

The Wi-Fi Alliance has a new set of sample interface graphics, which it’s angling to have replace the current WiFi logos you see in the status bar of your smartphone or laptop. These would include not only an indicator of signal strength but of the type of network you’re connected to. So, if you’re on an 802.11ax connection, you’d get both the strength bars and a small “6” graphic.

Of course, the Wi-Fi Alliance can’t force those offering WiFi products to adopt either its new terminology or its UI ideas. Still, it says it’s “expected to be widely adopted by the Wi-Fi ecosystem” as device-makers and more look to better – and less confusingly – differentiate between their new products and old, and encourage upgrades in the process.

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Toys ‘R’ Us already looking at US revival as it cancels bankruptcy auction

It looks like Geoffrey the Giraffe is kicking out at two as the group of hedge funds running the Toys ‘R’ Us brand has canceled its highly-anticipated bankruptcy auction and submitted a plan to reopen and operate under the same name.

The group operating under the Toys ‘R’ Us name said in papers filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia Monday, Oct. 1 that it received “qualified bids” for its intellectual property assets, but that it plans to reorganize. 

After months of liquidation sales, Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us closed all of its 700-plus locations in the United States for good in late June. The lenders said in court documents that these qualified bids for its assets “were not reasonably likely to yield a superior alternative to the plan.” 

That plan is to maintain “the Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us brands under a newly-established, independent U.S. business, including without limitation, expected expansion of employment opportunities for workers and merchandising opportunities for toy and other vendors,” court documents read. 

” …  among other things, contemplates a new, operating Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us branding company that maintains existing global license agreements and can invest in and create new, domestic, retail operating businesses under the Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘ R’ Us names, as well as expand its international presence and further develop its private brands business.”

That’s as much detail as the court document gets into as it does not mention any timeline, information for previous employees or anything else in the court documents. 

The Wall Street Journal reports that the closure of Toys ‘R’ Us created an $11 billion hole in the toy industry, and about 33,000 people without jobs. Those workers had been fighting for severance pay since doors shut for good back in June, and the outlet reports a $20 million fund will be created and distributed to those laid off. 

Toys ‘R’ Us first filed for bankruptcy back in September 2017 after what was described as a disastrous Christmas season. In May of this year, CEO David Brandon told employees that all of its stores would either be sold or closed. 

In 2016, Toys ‘R’ Us reported net sales of $11.5 billion, and opened 29 new stores in the U.S. while closing 16.

At home in Michigan, there were 22 Toys ‘R’ Us stores and 11 Babies ‘R’ Us stores across the state. As many have seen, the branding has been removed from many of these storefronts and some of the buildings have either been listed for sale or look as if they are about to be. 

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Forbes 400: Bill Gates Unseated as Richest Man by Jeff Bezos After 24 Years

There’s a new bazillionaire at the top of the Forbes 400 for the first time since 1994. Amazon founder CEO Jeff Bezos has unseated Bill Gates from the spot after a 24-year run—and became the first person to appear in the ranks with a fortune of more than $100 billion. The Bezos fortune jumped by an incredible $78.5 billion since last year. Gates is in second position, ahead of Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg. Much further down the list, Donald Trump has dropped 11 places to No. 259, as his net worth remained the same from last year at $3.1 billion. Investor George Soros lost the most money over the year with his net worth falling to $8.3 billion from $23 billion—because he shifted $18 billion of his fortune to his charitable Open Society Foundations.

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Employer-Provided Health Insurance Approaches $20000 a Year

The average cost of health coverage offered by employers rose to nearly $20,000 for a family plan this year, according to a new survey, capping years of increases that experts said are tied to rising prices paid for health care.

Annual premiums rose 5% to $19,616 for an employer family plan in 2018, according to the yearly poll of employers by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation. Employers also continued to boost the deductibles that workers must pay out of their pockets, to help blunt the premium increases.

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National Taco Day 2018: Where to get freebies, $1 tacos and other deals Thursday



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America might run on Dunkin but what’s America’s best Mexican restaurant? If you think it’s Chipotle or Moe’s Southwest, you’re wrong on both! Buzz60’s Mercer Morrison has the story.
Buzz60

Let’s talk about why Thursday is the best day to get tacos this week.

Oct. 4 is National Taco Day, and national and regional taco chains are marking this taco lovers’ fiesta, also known as Taco Thursday this year, with free tacos or specials.

According to the made-up food holiday’s website, NationalTacoDay.com, last year Americans ate more than 4.5 billion tacos. The site estimates that’s 490,000 miles of tacos and 775 million pounds.

Mexican restaurants and taco joints are expected to be busy Thursday. Punchh, a marketing automation platform, found “a giant revenue peak” in taco sales on National Taco Day last year.

Despite the specials, Thursday won’t be the biggest day of the year for the Mexican dish, according to an analysis from small business software provider Womply.

“Not surprisingly, the best revenue day of the year for taco shops is Cinco de Mayo,” said Brad Plothow, Womply’s vice president of brand and communications. 

More: Best October deals: Your guide to this month’s spooky specials and freebies

More: Chipotle launches loyalty program in 3 cities, will expand it nationally in 2019

More: Taco Bell’s Diablo sauce now comes as a tortilla chip and is available at 7-Eleven

The deals and freebies

Most deals are available at participating locations and while supplies last. Some require an app or coupon. To be on the safe side, check with your closest location to confirm it’s participating. 

Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant: Through Oct. 29, the chain is promoting a taco Family Feast. Choose from a taco pack to-go for six people for $21.99 or $41.99 for 12 people.

Bahama Breeze Island Grille: Not a taco deal, but through Thursday, the chain has a deal on its Rum & Coke Chicken and Ribs as part of Bahama Breeze’s Rumtoberfest. The event of rum-inspired dishes and cocktails goes through Oct. 28.

Bill Miller Bar-B-Q: Get bean and cheese tacos for 65 cents each Thursday.

Bubbakoo’s Burritos: The New Jersey chain has $1 tacos Thursday, limit five per person.

California Tortilla: Buy one taco, get one free Thursday. The Blackened Fish, California Sunset, Korean BBQ and Crunchy BBQ Ranch street tacos are included in this deal and there’s a limit of five free tacos per person.

Chronic Tacos: Get a free taco between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday with a code word, which according to a tweet is “Taco Life.”

Chuy’sAdd a crispy beef taco to any order for $1 Thursday and get $1 off Modelo beers. If you visit the restaurant dressed up as a taco and post a picture on social media with #NationalTacoDay, get a free meal.

Cold Stone Creamery: While not a deal, only on Thursday, Cold Stone will sell Waffle Tacos. 

Del Taco: Buy one shredded beef taco, get one free Thursday with a coupon at www.deltaco.com.

El Pollo LocoGet a free Chicken Taco al Carbon at participating locations Thursday and enter for a chance to win a limited-edition taco shirt that unlocks free tacos for an entire year. Find the coupon and enter at www.elpolloloco.com/tacosforayear.

El Fenix: Get $1 beef or chicken soft or crunchy tacos Thursday. Limit three per guest.

Fuzzy’s Taco ShopBreakfast and Baja-style are $1 each Thursday. Some exclusions apply.

Green Leaf’s Beyond Great Salads: Get a free Baja Street Taco Thursday at participating locations with a coupon. Sign up for the coupon and join the chain’s EClub at www.greenleafsbananas.com/tacoday.

Moe’s Southwest Grill: National Taco Day is a four-day fiesta at the fast-casual chain. From Thursday to Sunday, members of Moe’s Rockin’ Rewards loyalty program, will get one free taco when they purchase two. Download the Moe’s app at www.moes.com/rewards.

On The Border: For $8.99, get unlimited tacos Thursday. Mix and match between the chain’s Seasoned Ground Beef or Chicken Tinga tacos. Through Sunday, get 15 percent off Taco Buffets catering orders $200 or more with promo code TACO18.

Qdoba: Members of the Qdoba Rewards program get double or triple points depending on what tier of the program they are on. The deal is available online, mobile and in-restaurant orders, but does not apply to catering orders. Sign up at www.qdoba.com/rewards.

Red Robin: For a limited time, get the Taco Tavern Double served with Bottomless Steak Fries for $6.99.

Rubio’s Coastal Grill: Get a free Original Fish Taco with purchase of a beverage and a coupon Thursday at participating locations. Find the coupon at www.rubios.com.

Taco BellAt participating locations Thursday, the chain has a special “National Taco Day gift set.” For $5, get four tacos including the Crunchy Taco, Fiery, Cool Ranch and Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos.

Taco BuenoGet a free Texas Street Taco with any purchase Thursday. 

Taco Cabana: Get a free Shredded Chicken Taco or Ground Beef Taco from 3 p.m. to midnight Thursday with a coupon on the chain’s Facebook and Instagram pages. One per guest, per visit and per transaction at participating locations.

Taco John’s: Through Friday, the chain that trademarked the terms “Taco Tuesday” and “Wake Up Wednesday,” is giving away free crispy beef tacos. To get the freebie each day, you need a coupon only available in the Taco John’s Rewards app. Download the app at www.tacojohns.com/rewards.

Tijuana Flats: Choose a deal Thursday. Get two tacos, chips and a drink for $5.99 or a burrito or bowl with chips and a drink for the same price. Prices may vary by state.

Torchy’s TacosDine in Thursday for a chance to win a gift card. Five guests at each location Thursday will have a gold paper lined basket, which they can redeem for a gift card.

More deals: Local restaurants and smaller chains will also offer specials for National Taco Day. Check social media accounts for deal announcements.

Kelly Tyko is a consumer columnist and retail reporter for Treasure Coast Newspapers and TCPalm.com, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK. Read her Bargainista tips at TCPalm.com/Bargainista, follow her on Twitter @KellyTyko and email her at kelly.tyko@tcpalm.com. Sign up for her weekly newsletter at www.tcpalm.com/newsletters

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ADP Reports Historic Jobs Growth Continues; Plus GM, HMC Deal

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We see another great big jobs number this morning from the monthly Automatic Data Processing (ADP Free Report) private-sector payroll report: 230K new jobs were created (non-government) in the month of September, way up from the 185K estimated by analysts. This is also a significant climb from the 168K reported for August, which itself was upwardly revised by 5000 new positions.

Medium-sized companies (50-499 employees) continued to lead the way with 99K new hires last month, with large companies outperforming small ones, 75K to 56K. Firms with fewer than 50 employees are having the toughest time hiring skilled workers for their still-open positions, which has been the narrative for the past few reads. That’s good news for larger companies, who have additional incentives on offer — including increasing wages, as we saw just this week with Amazon (AMZN Free Report) raising its minimum wage to $15 per share.

Typically, Services jobs outpaced Goods-producing jobs by more than 3-to-1, 184K to 46K. Still, with 34K new jobs in Construction and 7K more for Manufacturing, even non-service-related employment is enjoying boom times. Education/Healthcare topped the field once again with 44K new jobs, Trade/Transportation reached 30K and Leisure/Hospitality hired 16K more individuals last month.

These ADP numbers do not reflect the damage done to the labor market from Hurricane Florence, which ravaged the Carolina coast this September. For the ADP report, just being on a company’s payroll gets you counted, regardless whether or not you actually earned a paycheck during that time. As such, this 230K headline may be a little rich when we compare it to Friday’s non-farm payroll report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Speaking of the BLS report this week, estimates are currently for 180K new jobs, even factoring in the hurricane damage (although no one yet knows for sure how far-reaching Florence affected the Carolina workforce). This is still roughly double the amount of monthly jobs required to grow the domestic labor force further, meaning this historically strong employment in the U.S. just continues to tighten. Growth in average hourly wages will once again be checked closely. The headline Unemployment Rate may be expected to tick down again from the 3.9% reported for August.

As a result, pre-market indexes are very favorable, with the Dow up an additional 130 points from yesterday’s all-time record close. As jobs numbers — brought about largely by the slashing of corporate tax rates at the beginning of this year — continue to drive this historically strong economy and stock market, for now we can sit back and enjoy the ride.

Honda Invests in GM’s Autonomous Vehicles

Speaking of enjoying the ride, we see news this morning in the auto industry: Honda Motor Corp. (HMC Free Report) has agreed to invest in General Motors’ (GM Free Report) GM Cruise business, its autonomous vehicle segment of the auto-making conglomerate. Honda plans to invest $2.8 billion over the next 12 years in a partnership with GM, starting with an initial amount of $750 million, and which will bring Honda’s stake in GM Cruise to 5.7%. GM Cruise is now estimated to be worth $14.6 billion.

The main idea behind the cooperation reportedly is the development of shipping fleet expediency on a worldwide scale. These shared-use vehicles would create an automated road shipping industry. No release date has yet been set, but reports are these vehicles will be developed at its GM plant. Shares of GM are up 5% in this morning’s pre-market, while Honda’s stock has dipped about 1.8%.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

Questions or comments about this article and/or its author? Click here>>

Looking for Stocks with Skyrocketing Upside?

Zacks has just released a Special Report on the booming investment opportunities of legal marijuana.

Ignited by new referendums and legislation, this industry is expected to blast from an already robust $6.7 billion to $20.2 billion in 2021. Early investors stand to make a killing, but you have to be ready to act and know just where to look.

See the pot trades we’re targeting>>

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