Business Briefs – July 12, 2018

Trump DOJ Appealing Judge’s OK Of AT&T-Time Warner Merger

WASHINGTON (AP) – Stung by a federal judge’s dismissal of its objections to AT&T’s megamerger with Time Warner, the Trump Justice Department is challenging the decision with a legal appeal. The Justice Department said Thursday it is appealing the ruling last month by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, which blessed one of the biggest media deals ever following a landmark antitrust trial.

AT&T fell 1.3 percent in aftermarket trading after the Justice Department appealed a court ruling that allowed AT&T to buy Time Warner.

Fed Chair Powell Says Economy In ‘Good Place’ at Moment

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the economy is in a “good place” at the moment with low unemployment and inflation rising toward the Fed’s optimal range. But he says rising trade tensions and higher tariffs could end up being a drag on growth.

Strong 2Q at Delta, but Soaring Fuel Costs Dim 2018 Outlook

DALLAS (AP) – Delta Air Lines tops expectations for second-quarter profit, but rising fuel prices prompt a dimmer outlook for the full year. Delta is paying about 40 percent more for jet fuel than it did a year ago. The Atlanta-based carrier now expects full-year earnings of $5.35 to $5.70 per share, down $1 from its earlier forecast.

U.S. Budget Deficit Totals $74.9 Billion in June

WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal government recorded a $74.9 billion deficit in June, a month when the government often runs a surplus, as corporate taxes dropped sharply compared to a year ago. The Treasury Department reports that the June deficit pushed the imbalance for the entire year to $607.1 billion, 16.1 percent higher than the same period a year ago.

Image Issue: Papa John’s Still Tied to Founder Under Fire

NEW YORK (AP) – Papa John’s founder John Schnatter is no longer CEO or chairman, but his image is still in the center of the company’s logo and he owns nearly 30 percent of the company. Experts say the pizza chain may need to publicly distance itself further from John Schnatter, who has brought negative attention to the brand by complaining about sports player protests and reportedly using a racial slur.

Fast-Food Chains Agree to End ‘No-Poaching’ Policies

SEATTLE (AP) – Seven national fast-food chains have agreed to end policies that block workers from changing branches — limiting their wages and job opportunities — under the threat of legal action from the state of Washington. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced binding agreements with the companies — McDonald’s, Auntie Anne’s, Arby’s, Carl’s Jr., Jimmy John’s, Cinnabon and Buffalo Wild Wings — at a news conference Thursday. McDonald’s had previously announced plans to end the practice.

Cities Grappling With How To Deal With Electric Scooters

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Cities across the U.S. are grappling with how to deal with dockless electric scooters that have begun appearing along sidewalks overnight without any regulations. Lawsuits and cease-and-desist orders have sometimes followed the arrival of California-based companies Bird Rides Inc., LimeBike and Spin. Some cities say the scooters are illegal to operate on streets or sidewalks. Milwaukee will ask a judge Friday to order Bird to remove its scooters.

Average U.S. Mortgage Rates Edge Up; 30-Year at 4.53 Percent

WASHINGTON (AP) – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged higher this week, marking their first increase since early June. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages ticked up to 4.53 percent from 4.52 percent a week earlier. The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans rose to 4.02 percent from 3.99 percent last week.

Build-A-Bear Halts Too-Popular “Pay Your Age” Deal

NEW YORK (AP) – Build-A-Bear Workshop’s “Pay Your Age” promotion proved too popular. The chain known for its customizable teddy bears and other stuffed toys couldn’t handle the crowds Thursday and had to turn shoppers away. It wrote in a social media post it closed lines at its stores in Canada and the U.S. due to overwhelming crowds and safety concerns.

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