Jan. 8 Business Briefs

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Jackson Contractor Group  supports Holy Rosary Foundation

The Holy Rosary Foundation announced in a news release that Jackson Contractor Group gave $26,000 to the Foundation to support health care projects that support high-quality care close to home.

Rylan Oakland, division manager for Jackson Contractor Group, said in the release that “the work that Holy Rosary does is important to Miles City and the entire region. We are very pleased to help and look forward to touching many local lives through this gift.”

Erika Swanson, director of Holy Rosary Foundation, said “Jackson Contractor Group is a first-class organization, and we value the quality work Jackson has done at Holy Rosary in recent years to support our growth. This gift honors the valued partnership between Jackson and Holy Rosary Healthcare.”

Jackson Contractor Group has a regional office in Miles City. Holy Rosary Healthcare is the largest health care provider in eastern Montana and serves the health care needs of people living in a 10-county region around Miles City.

PG&E shares get hammered

NEW YORK (AP) — California's largest power company was battered on Wall Street Monday following reports that it's considering filing for bankruptcy protection in the face of potentially crippling liability damages from a spate of wildfires.

Officials are investigating whether PG&E's equipment started the Camp wildfire in northern California that leveled the town of Paradise, killed at least 86 people and destroyed close to 15,000 homes.

Reuters, citing anonymous sources, reported that the company has considered seeking financial shelter in bankruptcy court with potential liabilities reaching into the tens of billions. PG&E Corp. declined comment.

Shares of San Francisco-based PG&E lost $5.45, or 22.3 percent, to close Monday at $18.95, the latest severe sell-off for the company since November and the outbreak of the state's deadliest recorded wildfires. The company's stock has lost 60 percent of its value in the past three months.

Amazon emerges from market turmoil as most valuable US firm

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Amazon has eclipsed Microsoft as the most valuable publicly traded company in the U.S. as a see-sawing stock market continues to reshuffle corporate America’s pecking order.

The shift occurred Monday after Amazon’s shares rose 3 percent to close at $1,629.51 and lifted the e-commerce leader’s market value to $797 billion. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s stock edged up by less than 1 percent to finish at $102.06, leaving the computer software maker’s value at $784 billion.

It marks the first time Amazon has held the top spot and ends Microsoft’s brief return to the pinnacle after it surpassed Apple in late November .

The repositioning has been triggered by mounting concerns that the Trump administration’s trade war with China and rising interest rates will bog down the worldwide economy. If that were to happen, it’s likely to slow the growth of companies in technology and other industries that generate a substantial chunk of their revenue outside the U.S.

That’s one reason most technology stocks are well off their peaks. Amazon, for instance, remains 21 percent below its high reached in September when the company’s stock value stood above $1 trillion.

Apple was worth even more back then, but its stock has plunged by 37 percent since early October to erase about $400 billion of its market value.

Apple confirmed some of investors’ worst fears last week when it warned that disappointing demand for iPhones, especially in China, caused its revenue for its most recent quarter to fall well below the projections of its management and industry analysts.

Plant mothballed, cutting  grid’s summer power capacity

HOUSTON (AP) — A Central Texas coal-fired electric generating plant is being shut down this summer, cutting the state’s biggest electric power grid’s reserve capacity for meeting summer demand.

The Houston Chronicle reports the Texas Municipal Power Agency has notified the Electric Reliability Council of Texas that it won’t operate its Gibbons Creek Generating Station this summer. That comes after three coal-fired plants owned by Irving-based Vistra Energy were shut down last year.

The loss of the Gibbons Creek plant would cut the projected margin of reserve power this summer to 7.4 percent, almost half of ERCOT’s goal of a 13.7 percent margin of reserve power to meet unexpected surges in demand. That increases the risk of power supply shortages, surging prices, and at worst, blackouts and brownouts.