Business Briefs – April 27, 2018

U.S. Business Spending on Equipment Cooling; Labor Market Strong

WASHINGTON& (Reuters) – New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods fell in March, weighed down by the biggest decline in demand for machinery in nearly two years; and a drop in shipments cemented expectations that business spending on equipment slowed in the first quarter.

But other data on Thursday showed that the economy remains on a strong footing. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in more than 48 years last week, and the goods trade deficit narrowed sharply in March amid strong export growth.

“The U.S. economy is still moving higher,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. “The pullback in goods orders from companies is not a red flag for the economic outlook yet, even if the caution light should be left on.”

Microsoft Windows Adapts as Its Business Importance Declines

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) – Microsoft’s latest earnings report shows that Windows is no longer a core business so much as a complement to the company’s other offerings. The company still makes money from Windows, but its share of the business has shrunk. On Thursday, Microsoft reported third-quarter revenue of $26.8 billion, an increase of 16 percent over the previous year. By contrast, Windows licensing revenue grew by just 4 percent.

Amazon Profit More Than Doubles; Shares Soar

NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon’s first-quarter profit more than doubled from a year ago and blew past Wall Street expectations. Its stock soared 6 percent in after-hours trading. The Seattle-based company reported net income of $1.63 billion, or $3.27 per share, in the three months ending March 31. Its earnings per share were almost triple the $1.24 per share analysts expected, according to FactSet.