Amazon grows to No. 2 valued firm in world

Amazon has become the second most valuable publicly traded company in the world.

The retailer Tuesday topped Google parent Alphabet, landing for the first time in the No. 2 spot by the stock market's reckoning, behind only Apple.

Amazon shares climbed $41.58, or 2.7 percent, to $1,586.51, giving the company a market capitalization of about $768 billion. Alphabet, after falling $2.11, or 0.2 percent, to $1,097.71 a share, stood at $762.9 billion. Apple was valued at $889 billion.

Amazon's move past the Mountain View, Calif.-based search giant is the latest sign of the company's rapid ascension in the last few years from an online retailer to a sprawling conglomerate with interests from cloud computing to groceries and logistics. Three years ago, Amazon was ranked 34th by market capitalization, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.


BMW offices raided in emissions probe

Prosecutors in Munich searched BMW's headquarters Tuesday as part of their continuing investigation into an emissions-cheating scandal that has badly damaged other German carmakers.

BMW, which is known for its sporty luxury cars, had until recently been relatively unscathed by the matter, which has cost Volkswagen billions of dollars, prompted investigations of the luxury carmaker Daimler and depressed sales of profitable diesel models across Europe.

The raids on Tuesday, in which about 100 investigators targeted BMW offices in Munich and an engine factory in Austria, suggested that all of Germany's top domestic automakers may have evaded emissions rules, although perhaps not to the same degree as Volkswagen.

If so, the risk to Germany's car industry, and to the nation's broader economy, would increase sharply. Motor vehicles are the country's largest export, and BMW, Daimler's Mercedes-Benz division, and Volkswagen's Audi and Porsche units dominate the global market for luxury cars, where brand image is a crucial ingredient.


Most homes subscribe to streaming service

In yet another sign of streaming media's growing dominance in the entertainment industry, the majority of U.S. households now subscribe to at least one digital video streaming service such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, with a surge of original content driving consumer adoption, according to a new survey released Tuesday by Deloitte.

Deloitte's 12th annual digital media trends survey shows streaming video adoption passed the halfway mark in 2017 with 55 percent of U.S. households now subscribing to paid services.

In less than a decade, the percentage of U.S. households subscribing to a paid streaming video service surged 450 percent — from just 10 percent in 2009 to 55 percent in 2017.

The survey found 54 percent of streaming video subscribers said they had signed up to watch original content they can't find anywhere else. Other factors include the ability to watch movies and shows at anytime, as well as commercial-free content.


Nordstrom ends buyout negotiations

Nordstrom said it has ended buyout talks with family members of the company's founder, saying it couldn't get the group to raise its price.

Earlier this month, the department store operator rejected an offer from the Nordstrom family members to pay $50 in cash for each share, in a deal that would have taken the company private.

The family members include co-presidents Blake, Peter and Erik Nordstrom, who are descendants of John W. Nordstrom. Together, they have a stake of about 30 percent in the company, according to FactSet.

Taking the company private would have paved the way for the Seattle-based chain to manage its reinvention without the watch of the public markets.