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France’s Senate has approved a tax on the revenues of tech giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, defying a warning from President Donald Trump's administration that it “unfairly targets American companies.” The administration has launched an investigation into the 3 per cent digital services tax, which is to be imposed on digital businesses with revenues exceeding €750m globally and €25m in France. The unilateral move by Paris could result in tariffs on French wine or cars though both sides would likely seek a negotiated settlement first.  The US has lobbied aggressively to block taxes on tech companies’ revenues. But France and other EU countries have pursued national-level duties after a pan-Europe effort stalled earlier this year. (FT)
 
The last Volkswagen Beetle has rolled off the assembly line in Mexico's central Puebla state, serenaded by a mariachi band and surrounded by proud factory workers. It marks the end of the road for an iconic car that began in Germany in the 1940s through the hippie counterculture in the 1960s, but failed to navigate a current swerve in consumer tastes toward SUVs. The Puebla factory, which already produces VW's Tiguan SUV, will make the Tarek SUV in place of the "bug" starting in late 2020. (SA)
 
U.S. underlying consumer prices increased by the most in nearly 1-1/2 years in June amid solid gains in the costs of a range of goods and services, but will probably not change expectations the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this month.  The Labor Department said on Thursday its consumer price index excluding the volatile food and energy components rose 0.3% last month.  There were also increases in the cost of healthcare and rents. In the 12 months through June, the core CPI climbed 2.1%
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.

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