Must-Read Money Stories for Friday, March 31

by March 31, 2017
Trump's administration announced Thursday it seeks to roll back net neutrality rules passed under former President Barack Obama. (Web photo courtesy of Pexels).

Trump’s administration announced Thursday it seeks to roll back net neutrality rules passed under former President Barack Obama. (Photo courtesy of Pexels).

 Dear Reader,

Our format is changing! Starting next week, daily must-read money stories will be replaced by a Friday roundup of the week’s most notable business news articles. We’ll continue to curate content and bring you briefings that shine a light on the big stories of the moment, as well as under-the-radar pieces guaranteed to jump-start a conversation.

See you next Friday!

The Editors

Trump targets net neutrality

The Trump administration on Thursday pledged to reverse net neutrality rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission in 2015, The New York Times reported. The rules are designed to prevent internet providers from blocking content, or accepting fees for favored treatment or the so-called creation of internet “fast lanes.” The rules also stipulated that providers can’t slow down traffic based on the sender or whether the content competes with the provider’s business. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the rules were an example of Washington officials restricting internet service suppliers and “picking winners and losers.”

Oreos on demand

Bloomberg dug into Amazon.com’s push to upend traditional retail for packaged goods. The online giant has invited some of the world’s biggest brands to a three-day meeting at its Seattle headquarters in May. Amazon is making a bid to convince large packaged goods firms such as General Mills and Mondelez to bypass chains such as Wal-Mart, Target and Costco and to ship products to shoppers through the Amazon sales platform. If Amazon succeeds, manufacturers would have to change the way everything is packaged, from laundry detergent to cookies, crackers and cereal.

Anthem may exit Obamacare

Republicans weren’t able to roll back the Affordable Care Act last week, but the individual insurance markets continue to struggle, Reuters reported. Anthem Inc. is likely to stop offering plans in a “high percentage” of the 144 rating regions in which it currently participates, Jefferies Group analysts said on Thursday. Anthem is one of the few health insurers still offering individual plans under Obamacare, but like Aetna Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc., it reported huge losses. More sick clients than healthy customers have signed up, and premium rates have soared 25 percent this year.

Lululemon pummeled

Lululemon Athletica Inc., a maker of yoga-inspired athletic clothing, plunged more than 20 percent on Thursday after it warned investors that first-quarter sales would be lower than last year. MarketWatch reported the retailer was one of few to report solid holiday sales and end 2016 on a high note. Lululemon’s executives blamed the first-quarter miss on a spring collection that lacked depth and color—critical for a store that asks customers to shell out $100 or more on a pair of leggings. The speciality retailer’s shares tend to be volatile, soaring or falling on its latest design hits or misses. The company has said it will introduce more colorful leggings, tops and sports bras and increase online sales by making the company’s mobile and web sites more user-friendly.

 

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