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Last Week: Review -- Barron's

1 Apr 2017 10:00 am

Climate Reversal

President Trump signed an order to reverse Obama-era rules aimed at having utilities shift from coal plants to cleaner fuels. The order begins a formal review of Obama's Clean Power Plan, which sought to have utilities reduce power-plant carbon-dioxide emissions to 32% lower than 2005 levels by 2030.

A Bullish Start

The Dow Jones average marked the end of the first quarter that saw a 4.6% gain to 20,663.22 -- the sixth straight quarter of gains. The Standard & Poor's 500 index ended up 5.5% to 2,362.72 and the Nasdaq surged some 9.8% to 5,911.74.

Spy Games

Former national security adviser Mike Flynn said he would testify about ties to Russia in exchange for immunity from prosecution. The media reported the names of three

White House officials who allegedly helped House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes access U.S. intelligence reports mentioning President Trump and his staff. Nunes has resisted demands that he recuse himself. Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee about a December meeting with a Russian bank chief.

GM Targeted for Change

General Motors is being pressured by investor David Einhorn to split its common stock into two classes -- one that pays dividends and the other that would entitle holders to all earnings. A GM spokeswoman said the proposals "aren't in the best interest" of its shareholders.

Brexit Is Triggered

Prime Minister Theresa May began formal proceedings for the United Kingdom to divorce itself from the European Union, where it has been a member since 1973.

Sanctuary Cities Crackdown

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the administration would withhold federal criminal-justice grants from cities, counties, and states that don't fully cooperate with immigration authorities.

Protests in Russia

Thousands of people marched against the government in Russia, spurred by a film produced by

prominent political challenger Alexei Navalny that alleges corruption involving Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Navalny was arrested. A spokesman for Medvedev declined to comment.

A New Phone at Last

Samsung Electronics unveiled the Galaxy S8, its flagship phone, in an attempt to recover from problems it had with another model. It has a curved screen and encrypted facial recognition, among other features.

Tesla's New Investor

Tencent Holdings , China's most valuable company, bought a 5% stake in Tesla , making it one of the largest owners of the electric-car maker. The Internet giant paid about $1.8 billion for the stake.

Friends Again?

Pacific Investment Management Co. reportedly settled a breach-of-contract lawsuit by founder and former star manager Bill Gross for $81 million. Gross said, "Pimco has always been like family to me."

In Brief

-- The European Union blocked the proposed merger of Deutsche Börse and the London Stock Exchange .

-- Toshiba's Westinghouse Electric filed for bankruptcy-law protection.

He Said:

"All those things are fictional, illusory, and provocations, lies. All these are used for domestic American political agendas."

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Russian election hacking

The Numbers

It will take some doing to bring the coal industry back to its former glory, according to Statista:

50,500: number of coal-mining employees in the U.S. in 2015

173,700: number of such employees in 1985

96%: share of coal-generated electricity in West Virginia in 2014

92%: share of such electricity in Kentucky in 2014

87%: share in Wyoming in 2014

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 01, 2017 06:00 ET (10:00 GMT)

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