Business News

European stocks and U.S. futures are sporting solid gains after the Shanghai Composite managed to squeeze out a 2/10% advance in a volatile session overnight. The Q4 earnings season is underway after Alcoa last night reported mixed results. Still to come this week are Intel, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup, among others. (SA)
The China market may be short on cheerleaders these days, as global investors fret about a mainland economic slowdown, but Starbucks seems just as keen as ever to expand in the middle kingdom, announcing today that it would open 500 more stores in China this year.  That’s in line with the Seattle-based coffee chain’s longstanding plan to buck the economic slowdown spooking global stock markets, and keep expanding rapidly on the mainland throughout the current decade. (ft)
American Airlines has become the latest US company to take a substantial write down on its investments in Venezuela as the country’s economic woes and currency crisis worsen.  The airline said in a regulatory filing today that it will take a $592m one-off charge this quarter to write off the value of the Venezuelan currency it holds.  Major US companies with exposure to Venezuela – including Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo and AT&T – have been collectively forced to take billions of dollars of write downs in recent years as Venezuela’s currency problems accelerate.  (Filing)

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