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U.S. Jobless Claims at a Four Decade Low

The fewest Americans in the past four decades filed last week for benefits of unemployment, continuing to lower the surge of early July that was likely tied to the mid-year shutdowns in factories and vacations at schools. Jobless claims plummeted to 255,000, a drop of 26,000 for the week ending July 18, the fewest claims since November of 1973, said a Labor Department report in Thursday. The forecast of economists was for 278,000. The volatility is typical during this part of the year as auto factories retool to prepare for the new models for the... 
 

Harley-Davidson Sales Stall Causing Earnings to Sputter

On Tuesday, Harley-Davidson said revenue and profit slid during the most recent quarter, although earnings were still better than what Wall Street had expected. Shares, which slid this year by 17%, were up Tuesday 3.6% in trading before the bell. The company, based in Milwaukee, said that worldwide dealer sales of its new motorcycles were lower by 1.4% during the quarter that ended during June, in comparison to the same period one year ago. Dealers in the U.S. sold 57,790 motorcycles, which was down from last year during the same period of 58,220,... 
 

IBM Reports Revenue Drop For 2Q (NYSE:IBM)

IBM’s overall profit and revenue declined in the second quarter of its fiscal year. IBM reported that its revenue fell 13 percent in the quarter. This was the 13th consecutive quarter of slipping revenue for the company. The second-quarter revenue fell short of the average estimate of Wall Street analysts of $20.9 billion, as compiled by Thomson Reuters. IBM reported a 17 percent decline in net income for the quarter, falling to $3.5 billion. It delivered earnings per share from continuing operations of $3.84 a share. That was above the consensus... 
 

T-Mobile Paying $17.5 Million for FCC Investigation

T-Mobile was ordered to pay a fine of $17.5 million after it did not comply with the FCC standards as well as not notifying the regulatory agency of two specific outages in August of 2014 of the mandatory service of 911. This in turn has caused the company to become under much scrutiny and facing mandates changes. On July 17, the Federal Communications Commission announced the $17.5 million T-Mobile fine for not addressing the two national outages that lasted close to three hours in duration on August 8 of 2014 that affected the response communications... 
 

Honeywell Profits Pass Estimates Thanks to Cost Controls

Honeywell International Inc has posted an increase that was better than had been expected for quarterly profit as the climate control systems and aircraft parts maker reined in its costs amidst declining sales. Shares of Honeywell were up 3% in trading on Friday after the company raised its low end of its forecast full-year earnings. The company, which has amongst its customers Bombardier and Boeing Co, has slashed jobs and sold or merged a number of businesses to lower costs. Honeywell’s expenses fell by 7% during the quarter, lifting its operating... 
 

Greek Pharmacists and Civil Servants Go on Strike

Pharmacists shuttered their businesses in Greece Wednesday, while civil servants walked off the job protesting against the new bailout agreement that saved Greece from going bankrupt but imposed strong reform in a nation already racked with crisis. Protesters were marching against the austerity measures in Athens on Wednesday holding banners that read “Cancel the Bailout” and “No to the EU, IMF and EU” policies. However, just a few thousand showed up for the early rallies. There were more marches planned for later Wednesday but opposition... 
 

Lego Bricks Finally Getting First Makeover in Decades

The ease of working with the interconnected bricks by Lego is the big reason the toymaker based in Denmark is one of the largest companies in the sector today. However, Lego is on a quest of 15 years in tinkering with such success. Lego has put together a team to find the bio-based alternative to its plastic that is petroleum based that it has been using for decades. The blocks have become a huge contributor to the carbon footprint of the company. The story was first told by a large national newspaper in the U.S. Lego in June committed more than... 
 

Microsoft Announces Another Round Of Layoffs (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft has announced that it would be undertaking another round of layoffs, cutting up to 7,800 jobs, mostly from the mobile phone business recently acquired from Nokia. Microsoft’s current chief executive, Satya Nadella, announced a broad rethinking of the company’s phone strategy on Wednesday. The company will also be writing off nearly all of the value of the Nokia acquisition. Microsoft said it would take a $7.6 billion accounting charge during its fourth fiscal quarter related to its acquisition of Nokia’s handset operations. Microsoft... 
 

PepsiCo Revenue and Profit Beat the Street

PepsiCo Inc has reported quarterly sales and profit that was better than had been expected. The soft drink beverage maker raised its forecast for adjusted earnings for the year as its higher prices have helped drive its revenue growth in the beverage business for the second time in close to four years. The shares at PepsiCo were up 3% in trading just after the bell on Thursday. PepsiCo like other makers of soft drinks has been battling dropping sales in soda in the U.S. with customers opting for drinks that are healthier and more ingredients that... 
 

Toshiba Markdown on Profit Nearly Doubles Its Prior Estimate

Toshiba Corp will likely mark down its operating profit from the past by as much as 100 billion yen or $814 million, which is nearly double its estimated restatement made earlier, due to accounting irregularities, said a person close to the situation. In what could be shaping up to be the biggest Japan corporate debacle since the Olympus Corp one in 2011, an independent Toshiba appointed panel has investigated the electronics giant’s infrastructure after a financial watchdog in Japan warned of possible irregularities in finances during February. Toshiba... 
 

Prices of Oil Fall on Shale Supply

Oil prices dropped on Friday over concerns of the resilient crude production in the U.S. and a deal between the West and Iran that would unlock millions of barrels of oil to the world market that is already oversupplied. The number of oil drilling rigs in the U.S. increased this week by 12 to reach 640 snapping a run of 29 consecutive weeks of declines. The rig count, which investors see as proxy for oil industry activity, has dropped sharply since the prices of oil headed downward in 2014. The oil output in the U.S. however has been strong and... 
 

Macy’s Cuts Ties With Donald Trump After Controversy (NYSE:M)

Macy’s has decided that the company would no longer do business with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump after he made controversial statements denigrating Mexicans and immigrants. Trump called Mexican immigrants rapists and drug runners in a speech in which he announced his intention to run for president. He then doubled down on those remarks on Twitter. Macy’s released a statement that said, “We are disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico. We do not believe the disparaging characterizations portray... 
 

Profit at General Mills Cut in Half by Impairment Charge

General Mills Inc, which makes Betty Crocker brownie and cake mixes and Cheerios cereal, said profit for the fourth quarter halved due to recording a charge of $260 million to write down its value of one of its canned and frozen vegetable businesses. An assessment of its brand Green Giant, showed the market value of the business was lower than it the carrying value, announced the company on Wednesday. General Mills put Green Giant up for sale in March, said people close to the matter. Shares at the company were up 0.5% to $56 in light trading early... 
 

Pending Home Sales in U.S. Reach Nine Year High

This is the latest sign that the housing market will gain traction following a shaky start to this year. An indicator that is forward looking of home sales was up to its highest level for the past 9 years during May. On Monday, the National Association of Realtors said its index for pending home sales was up 0.9%, its highest mark since April of 2006. This index tracks the signing of contracts, which usually will close within a two-month period. The index for April was revised downward by the NAR. Economists had estimated that the increase in May... 
 

Match.com Operator and Tinder Being Spun Off

IAC or InterActiveCorps the media conglomerate announced Thursday that it was planning an initial public offering for Match Group its online dating business. The offering of shares newly issued would spin off the different variety of dating websites and accompanying apps under the banner Match Group including OkCupid, Tinder and Match.com. Barry Diller the Senior Executive and chairman of IAC said the he has long felt as the entities grow into maturity it is healthy to have them separated and independent from the parent company. The IPO would consist... 
 

Whole Foods Accused Of Systemic Overcharging (NASDAQ:WFM)

Whole Foods Market is facing accusations from a New York City agency that the company has been systemically overcharging its customers for its goods. New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) reported that an ongoing investigation had found evidence of the overcharging at Whole Foods stores across the city. The investigation was first reported by the New York Daily News. Throughout the investigation, 80 different package types were tested and all were found to have mislabeled weights. The products tested included prepackaged meat, dairy,... 
 

Olive Garden: Sales Increase as Discounts and Gas Prices Fall

Olive Garden posted quarterly sales that increased by 3.4% at its established restaurants as customers spent more money at the Italian chain that has been struggling. Darden Restaurants, the parent company, has moved away from heavy discounting that the restaurant relied on to increase traffic. Included in those deep discounts were promotional entrees that cost $9.99 or $10.99. However, CEO Gene Lee said the Never Ending Pasta Bowl would remain. The chain was helped thanks to lower prices of gas. More people ordered appetizers and wine, said the... 
 

Altice the European Telecom Offers $11.4 Billion for Bouygues

Altice SA the telecommunications company based in Europe has offered approximately $11.4 billion to acquire Bouygues Telecom the mobile operator based in France. The deal could face some stiff hurdles from regulators in France, as it would lower the number of mobile operators in the country to 3 from its current 4. Altice, which is controlled by Patrick Drahi the French cable magnate, made the offer for Bouygues Telecom almost 10 days ago. It would include the merging of the unit with the French operations of Altice, known as Numericable-SFR. Bouygues... 
 

Shareholders at Office Depot Approve Deal with Staples

Shareholders with Office Depot overwhelmingly approved a proposal for competitor Staples to acquire the company, based in Boca Raton, Florida. The shareholders vote was in favor of the company’s acquisition during the annual meeting, according to the vote count. The final vote count is expected to be released on June 22 in a regulatory filing. In the agreement made between the two companies, Office Depot shareholders will get cash of $7.25 per share and 0.2188 of a share of Staples stock for each share of Office Depot owned. This transaction should... 
 

Starbucks Shuttering All La Boulange Bakery Locations (NASDAQ:SBUX)

Starbucks has announced that it would be closing all 23 of its La Boulange bakery locations over the next couple of months. The closures include 22 La Boulange retail outlets in San Francisco and one in Los Angeles. Starbucks is also closing two manufacturing plants serving the La Boulange bakery cafes. Pascal Rigo, the French baker who founded La Boulange, will be leaving Starbucks as well. In 2012, Starbucks paid $100 million to buy La Boulange’s owner, Bay Bread Group. The bakeries made products like blueberry scones, iced lemon pound cakes... 
 

Colt Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Seeks Quick Sale

Colt Defense LLC the iconic gun maker based in Connecticut filed late Sunday for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, allowing for the quicker sale of its operation in Canada and the U.S. In the filing, the company estimated its assets as well as liabilities to be between $100 million and $500 million. The company said it was able to secure financing in the amount of $20 million from its lenders and will continue its operations while under bankruptcy protection. The complete restructuring process should be completed in less than 90 days, of which afterwards... 
 

YouTube Launching Online Gamers Site and App

YouTube Gaming is to be a destination to find gaming videos, Internet personalities and live streams. YouTube wants to win over gamers. The video giant online announced its plans before the Electronic Entertainment Expo next week to launch a separate site and app specifically for video games fans. Alan Joyce the product manager for YouTube said through a prepared statement on Friday that the new site – YouTube Gaming – will be a new destination for users looking for gaming videos, Internet personalities and live streaming. The site and app will... 
 

Luxury Goods Industry Facing Inequality and Resentment

Johann Rupert the Richemont chairman that owns Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier gave the luxury goods industry a scare this week as he warned of the damage the industry is facing from the increasing inequality in wealth and the resentment amongst the have-nots for those flaunting luxury jewelry and watches. He told attendees at the FT Business of Luxury Summit held in Monaco that he is kept awake nights about how society will cope with envy and unemployment, class warfare and hatred. He discussed his fear there was an artificial intelligence that... 
 

Lululemon Increases Revenue and Profit for Full Year

Lululemon Athletica Inc increased its revenue and profit forecast for the full year, the most recent sign the yogawear retailer based in Canada is recovering from turmoil caused by the recall of yoga pants that caused great embarrassment due to being too sheer in 2013. The company reported as well a profit that was better than had been expected for the eighth consecutive quarter, which helped send its shares up more than 3% in Tuesday premarket trading. Lululemon is going through a turnaround that is improving quality, expanding its line of products... 
 

Ajay Singh Investing More in SpiceJet Fleet

With the fortunes of India based SpiceJet moving up again, its main supporter and chairman Ajay Singh will look into putting more money into an expansion of the fleet, even as he is exploring a number of options for investment. Singh is one of the original co-founders of the airline. Thus far, he has invested large sums of money into the no-frills carrier since he took back control in December of last year after a huge crisis hit the business. Under a plan to boost its fortunes, SpiceJet’s most important priority at this time is to regain the... 
 

Steam Machines Launched by Cyberpower and Alienware

The first two Steam Machines are now available for pre-order. Cyberpower and Alienware two makers of PCs have each announced they have new machine that will be sent to buyers during October. Both companies are offering the machine in the hope of bringing PC gaming, to much wider audience. Several different Steam Machines are set to become available later this year, an attempt by Valve the games publisher to compete with consoles like PlayStation and Xbox. Many analysts still are not yet convinced they will pose a threat to the well-established brands... 
 

Gannett Acquires Eleven News Organizations

Gannett Co, the largest newspaper business in the country announced on Monday that it had acquired 11 new organizations including the El Paso Times. The 11 are in Texas, Pennsylvania and New Mexico. In this deal, Gannett takes 59.35% of the Texas-New Mexico Newspaper Partnership that it did not already have, by assigning its own 19.49% to Digital First in the California Newspapers Partnership and cash. That gives Gannett ownership of 100% in the Texas-New Mexico business and no ownership in California. Sergio Salinas the CEO and President of the... 
 

Bristol-Myers Shares Hit Hard from Results on Cancer Drug

A new cancer drug from Bristol-Myers Squibb that works through unleashing the immune system of the body extended the survival rates for patients with lung cancer compared with chemotherapy during a clinical trial. However, the trial’s results were short of expectations on Wall Street and shares of Bristol-Myers tumbled on Friday. The pharmaceutical giant’s stock was down 6.6% after the results of the study for Opdivo had been released during the afternoon. Analysts said the survival benefit overall was smaller than was expected and that the... 
 

Apple Enhancing Mobile Payment Offerings (NASDAQ:AAPL)

According to sources close to the company, Apple will announce details about enhancing its Apple Pay mobile payments platform at its software conference next month. As more consumers show that they are willing to make purchases using smartphones, Apple and other companies are competing to establish dominance in the market. Forrester Research predicts mobile payments will continue to grow rapidly, rising in the United States to $142 billion by 2019 from $52 billion in 2014. Apple introduced Apple Pay last October, effectively increasing consumers’... 
 

Abercrombie & Fitch Miss Expectations With Results

On Thursday, struggling retailer Abercrombie & Fitch reported a drop in revenue and loss that was wider than had been expected during its first quarter, although the teen retailer said it is expecting to see sales trends improve during the year. Arthur Martinez the Executive Chairman said during a news release the results for the first quarter had been pressured by both external and internal factors, but that the company saw some sequential sales improvements, in particular within the Hollister brand. Martinez said sales at Abercrombie’s continued... 
 

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut Eliminating Artificial Ingredients

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut announced that they are eliminating the artificial flavors and colors, which makes them just the most recent big company in the fast food industry to put a distance between themselves and ingredients consumers might not find too appetizing. Instead of Taco Bell using ingredients that give a product “black pepper flavoring,” it will be using real black pepper for its beef, says the chains food officer. The chain that features Mexican-style food also announced that Yellow # 6 an artificial dye will no longer be used in... 
 

West Coast Port Workers Approve Contract

Dockworkers from 29 ports on the West Coast have voted to ratify a tentative agreement by an overwhelming majority for a new contract of five years with shipping companies that was reached back in February, said union leaders late last week. The workers voted 82% in favor of the new contract, which will be retroactive back to July of last year and expires on July 1, 2019. The vote ends formally, a drawn out labor dispute, which caused a very big backup in imports as well as exports at ports up and down the west coast. The backup has eased gradually... 
 

Gap Profit Lower in First Quarter by 8%

Gap Inc posted a decline in its profit for the first quarter of 8%, as results took a hit from currency fluctuations as well as sluggish sales at its Banana Republic and namesake stores. The company, based in San Francisco however kept its profit outlook for the year. Gap is amongst the companies that are struggling with a strong dollar impacting foreign sales. As with a number of retailers, the chain of retail stores has been hurt as well by the port slowdown on the West Coast and delayed merchandise shipments. However, the retailer has also grappled... 
 

Yahoo Tries to Calm Down Investors

Yahoo sought to keep investors calm after worries that the Internet giant would have to pay tax on its Alibaba spinoff stake, which sent Yahoo shares lower by close to 8%. The company said late Tuesday that any possible change to the Internal Revenue Service’s rules for spin off would not affect ruling request already filed. Yahoo announced that it already had filed a request for a letter ruling on plans to create a new company with the $33 billion stake in the e-commerce group based in China. The company based in Silicon Valley responded to the... 
 

Verizon Makes Deal To Buy AOL (NYSE:VZ)

Verizon Communications has announced that it has reached a deal to buy AOL for $4.4 billion. The acquisition is just the latest in a series of steps to transform Verizon into a competitive threat across the technology, telecommunications, and media industries. Verizon currently has a stock market value of $200 billion, more than 100 million wireless customers and nearly 20 million households subscribing to their FiOS Internet or video connections. At an industry conference, Verizon’s chief executive, Lowell McAdam, spoke about the AOL deal. The... 
 

Many Probiotics that are Labeled “Gluten Free” Contain Gluten

A number of probiotic supplements have small quantities of gluten. However, whether those traces can be harmful for those who cannot eat gluten remains unknown, said a recently released study. Researchers tested a total of 22 probiotics supplements of which most had on the label – “gluten free.” Over half of the products tested or 55% had levels of gluten that were detectable, said researchers. Probiotics are pills that contain what is called good bacteria, and have been touted as helping maintain a digestive system that is healthy. One of... 
 

Dairy Queen Removing Soda Form Kids Menu

Dairy Queen will start introducing children’s menus that have healthier choices in its different franchises. The decision of removing soft drinks from the menu list for children came from the alarming reports indicating the risk of diabetes and obesity that children today are facing. Parent groups as well as health advocacy groups have pushed for much healthier options in the giant fast food chains and little by little, they are succeeding in getting their wishes. Dairy Queen has more than 6,400 locations that are mainly operated by franchisees.... 
 

Nearly Three-Fourths Of Web Users Visited Facebook Last Month (NASDAQ:FB)

According to research from GlobalWebIndex, 73 percent of Internet users visited the Facebook website last month. The number of visits to the Facebook website has remained steady over the last eight quarters, according to the data. While the number of Web users visiting the site is impressive, some investors are worried about the downward trend in active users of the site. According to the study, 42 percent of the total Internet users surveyed actively used Facebook in the last month-long period. This was lower than the 53 percent of users actively... 
 

Instant Articles is Launched by Facebook

The long rumored Facebook new platform named Instant Articles launched on Thursday with news content from Blid, Spiegel, BBC News, The Guardian, The Atlantic, NBC, BuzzFeed, National Geographic and the New York Times. According to the social media site, content served through the Instant Articles will load at a rate of 10 times faster than other similar content on a standard Internet page. The company says the same technology that allows videos and photos to load quickly on its own mobile app is what powers the Instant Articles. This means articles... 
 

Capital Worries Pressure UniCredit

Core capital at the biggest bank in Italy by assets, UniCredit, moved higher during the 2015 first quarter, but not sufficient enough to suppress the jitters of investors, which sent shares lower. The net profit at the bank for the three months through March dropped 28% to 512 million euros or $575 million compared to the same period one year ago. Earnings were boosted by a rise of 82% in its trading income as well as higher fees. However, the bank took a charge of 91 million euros tied to its contribution in the Single Resolution Fund, which is... 
 

Digital is Behind Purchase of U-T by LA Times

Austin Beutner has a task of protecting his different print dinosaurs from becoming extinct while nurturing the newer businesses that could someday be there replacements. Beutner is the publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times, whose parent company based in Chicago, Tribune Publishing agreed to pay more than $85 million for U-T San Diego. If this deal closes as it is expected to in the upcoming weeks, he will run the two institutions in Southern California, which dominated the newsgathering in each of their markets. The combined company would... 
 

Intel Helps Chinese Company Create 3D Printed Robot (NASDAQ:INTC)

Intel surprised participants of the annual Intel Developer Forum by teaming up with a Chinese company to create a 3D printed robot based on its iconic mascot. The robot is 1 meter tall and has a host of activities it can complete, including telling stories, identifying animals, and interacting with humans. The robot got quite a reception at the forum, with many people posing for pictures with it. The Intel Developer Forum was held in Shenzhen, China this year. In Intel’s early years, the company aired commercials featuring clean-room workers... 
 

Yelp Stock Surges on Potential Sale Rumors

Rumors that Yelp the service that provides consumer reviews is exploring a possible sale, caused the stock of the company, based in San Francisco, to surge by over 23% on Thursday. A report by a national newspaper prompted analysts to check on a list of possible buyers including from Alibaba to Facebook to Google, for Yelp, the 10-year old company that turned profitable only this past August. Yet the sale of Yelp, which posts reviews written by consumers of hotels, restaurants and other types of businesses across the country, is not a sure thing. One... 
 

Motorola Solutions Results Top Forecasts

Motorola Solutions the maker of communications equipment reported profit on Tuesday for its first quarter that dropped from the same period last year despite better operating margins, reflecting a loss from its discontinued operations and a drop in sales. Both per share adjusted earnings and sales for the quarter topped expectations on Wall Street. The company provided weaker guidance for its second quarter and increased its forecast for earnings for all of 2015, while keeping the same outlook on revenue. Motorola Solutions, which is the maker of... 
 

McDonald’s Speeds Up Refranchising

McDonald’s will accelerate refranchising as well as realign markets in its bid to revive the struggling fortunes at the largest fast food chain in the world, said Steve Easterbrook the CEO on Monday. With only two months at the helm of struggling U.S. icon, the new CEO said McDonald’s would speed up refranchising to include 90% of the locations of the chain by 2018, which is up from the 81% currently. Speaking in a video produced by the company prior to the opening of Monday’s financial markets, Easterbrook said that 3,500 stores would be... 
 

Exxon Posts Quarterly Report that Beats Analyst Expectations

Exxon Mobil Corporation posted its largest surprise in earnings in over a decade as its output from its oil wells beat expectations and its margins in refining soared amidst lower prices of crude. Profit per share was higher by over 41% than Wall Street estimates, which was the largest margin since 2004. As plummeting prices of crude eroded profits in oil production, net income for the first quarter was down to $4.94 billion, equal to $1.17 per share. Net income last year during the same period was $9.1 billion equal to $2.10 per share, said company... 
 

Chipotle Delivery Coming To 67 Cities (NYSE:CMG)

Restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill has announced that it would begin food deliveries in 67 cities through a partnership with delivery startup Postmates. Chipotle has been seeking to gain more traction in the fast casual industry and believes adding the delivery service would help the company expand. However, many have pointed out that the cost of delivery may be too high considering the price of the restaurant’s food. The company has started delivering a wide variety of fresh and readymade food, including burritos, tacos, burrito bowls,... 
 

UPS Reports Increase in Earnings

United Parcel Services announced on Tuesday that its earnings for the first quarter were up 14% boosted by all new pricing initiatives and solid growth in its domestic sector. Earnings beat Wall Street expectations, although revenue was short of expectations due to lower surcharges for fuel and a stronger dollar. David Abney the CEO said UPS is now back on track to reach its financial targets over the long-term. For the complete year, UPS has reaffirmed guidance for earnings per share from $5.05 to $5.30. Separately, UPS said that Kurt Kuehn its... 
 

Second Quarter Earnings for Apple Will Be All About China

Apple will be posting its second quarter earnings on Monday April 27 after the close of the financial markets. The quarter is the second complete quarter since it highly popular iPhone 6 entered the market. While the second quarter has be subdued traditionally for the smartphone market worldwide, with limited new products launched hitting stores shelves and volume driven in part by replenishments in inventory following the holiday shopping season, the quarter should be quite interesting for Apple. Many analysts believe that sales of the iPhone in... 
 

Apple Watch with Low Key Debut

Apple Watch officially debuts today in England, but do not expect any fanfare or the long lines that stretch around a city block at the nearby Apple Store. Apple, which is well known for high profile as well as self-congratulatory launch days when early buyers were applauded by Apple staff when they left the stores after purchasing their new gadgets, the debut of the Watch is odd for a new gadget that carries such importance. Customers cannot walk into their local Apple Store, purchase the new wearable and promptly walk out wearing it until at least... 
 
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