Avie Schneider

Updated at 3:19 p.m. ET

The Federal Reserve got a rare piece of advice from the president Thursday. The central bank is an independent agency and presidents usually don't comment directly on Fed policy.

The days of plastic straws are drawing shorter.

Marriott International on Wednesday became the latest big company to announce it will stop using plastic straws, saying it would remove them from its more than 6,500 properties by next July. The giant hotel chain said it will stop offering plastic stirrers, too.

Updated at 5:02 p.m. ET

The power plays for Hollywood's biggest studios are coming fast and furious.

Comcast on Wednesday made a $65 billion offer for some of the biggest Hollywood holdings of 21st Century Fox, the global television and entertainment conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his family. The deal would not include Fox News.

Updated at 12:18 p.m. ET

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday announced a deal with Chinese telecommunications company ZTE that includes a $1 billion fine — a move that may indicate progress in high-stakes trade talks between the U.S. and China.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is known for being outspoken and unscripted. But he took that to a new level in a remarkably blunt and contentious call with Wall Street analysts Wednesday after the automaker reported a record loss of more than $700 million last quarter.

"Excuse me. Next, next," an irritated Musk said on the conference call with analysts who follow the company. "Boring, bonehead questions are not cool. Next?"

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