Business Briefs – January 31, 2017

Apple Snaps Out of iPhone Slump, But What’s Next?

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple has snapped out of the first sales slump in the iPhone’s decade-long history, but the upturn doesn’t mean the company has broken out of its innovation funk. If anything, the numbers released Tuesday in Apple’s fiscal first-quarter report served as the latest reminder of the company’s growing dependence on the iPhone while fruitlessly trying to come up with another breakthrough product since its chief visionary, Steve Jobs, died in 2011.

At a Moment of Uncertainty, Fed Likely to Leave Rates Alone

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is all but sure to leave interest rates alone when it ends a policy meeting Wednesday at a time of steady gains for the U.S. economy but also heightened uncertainty surrounding the new Trump administration.

The Fed will likely signal that it wants further time to monitor the progress of the economy and that it still envisions a gradual pace of rate increases ahead.

The Fed’s two-day meeting will end with a policy statement that will be studied for any signals of its outlook or intentions. At the moment, most economists foresee no rate increase even at the Fed’s next meeting in March, especially given the unknowns about how President Donald Trump’s ambitious agenda will fare or whether his drive to cancel or rewrite trade deals will slow the economy or unsettle investors.