Mar 28, 2017

Red Hat CEO says businesses remain confident under Trump

While it saw a brief delay in some government spending late last year, Red Hat says that business has resumed and corporations are continuing to invest heavily.

"There's right now a sense of business confidence that is driving the stock market but also investment plans by companies," CEO James Whitehurst told Axios on Monday. "If anything, it's more positive than its been in years."

Whitehurst's comments came in a phone conversation following the open source software company's better-than-expected quarterly earnings report.

When it comes to when to join tech companies in speaking out against the Trump Administration and other political topics, Whitehurst said he and North Carolina-based Red Hat are trying to strike a tough balance. Whitehurst has been personally outspoken against the travel ban and North Carolina's anti-LGBTQ HB2, aka the "bathroom bill," while the company has been more measured.

As for HB2, which has cost the state billions, Whitehurst said it hasn't hurt Red Hat, but has led some employees to choose to work at other company locations. "I do think it has hurt North Carolina," he said.

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Stocks fall 4% as sell-off worsens

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks fell more than 4% on Thursday, extending the market’s worst week since the financial crisis in 2008 following a spike in coronavirus cases around the world.

The big picture: All three indices are in correction, down over 10% from recent record-highs, amid a global market rout. It's the S&P 500's quickest decline into correction territory in the index's history, per Deutsche Bank.

Coronavirus updates: California monitors 8,400 potential cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Watchdog opens probe into VA secretary over handling of sexual assault claim

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on Fox Business Network’s "The Evening Edit" on Jan. 7. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

The Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael Missal said Thursday he had opened an investigation into VA Secretary Robert Wilkie after lawmakers demanded an inquiry into his handling of a sexual misconduct report, the Washington Post reports.

Context: Wilkie allegedly "worked to discredit" the credibility of Democratic aide and veteran Andrea Goldstein after she reported last fall "that a man groped and propositioned her in the main lobby of the agency's D.C. Medical Center," a senior VA official told the Post.