Business Briefs – September 2, 2018

Gas Prices Stable Going Into Holiday Weekend

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – Gas prices around the nation were stable going into the Labor Day weekend and the end of the summer driving season.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says the national average price of regular gas Friday was $2.84 a gallon, unchanged from the previous week. The national average a year ago was $2.45 a gallon.

The average price in New Jersey was $2.86, also unchanged from the previous week. Motorists were paying $2.46 for gas in New Jersey at this time last year.

Tariffs Stirring Fear at Many U.S. Points of Entry for Imports

To understand why the impact of President Donald Trump’s tariffs could be felt throughout the United States, consider this: From the West Coast to the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico, at least 10 percent of imports at many ports could be hit by new tariffs if Trump’s proposals take full effect, according to an exclusive analysis of government data by The Associated Press.

Caffeine Hit for Coca-Cola as It Buys Costa Coffee Chain

LONDON (AP) – Coca-Cola is hoping to give itself another caffeine-fueled boost by buying the Costa coffee brand from British firm Whitbread for $5.1 billion in cash. The deal plugs a big hole in Coca-Cola’s portfolio, giving it a presence in one of the few beverage markets it doesn’t currently contend in. Costa has over 2,400 coffee shops in the U.K. and 1,400 others in more than 30 international markets.

Coca-Cola already owns the Georgia and Gold Peak coffee brands, which make bottled and canned drinks, but the purchase of Costa might be a step toward competing with Starbucks. In the last few years Coke has also acquired a minority stake in sports drink company BodyArmor.

Coca-Cola fell 0.8 percent to $44.57.

Eurozone Unemployment Falls To Decade Low of 8.2 Percent

LONDON (AP) – Unemployment across the 19-country eurozone has fallen to its lowest level since the most acute phase of the global financial crisis a decade ago. Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, has revealed that the unemployment rate in July was 8.2 percent.

Papa John’s Founder Seeks Court Help in Battle With Company

NEW YORK (AP) – The founder of Papa John’s has filed a lawsuit against the company, its board of directors and CEO in the latest twist in the drama surrounding the pizza chain. John Schnatter filed the lawsuit in Delaware’s Court of Chancery asking the court to stop what he sees as irreparable harm being done to the company. Papa John’s says Schnatter’s lawsuit is without merit.

Linkedin Says It’s Working to Combat Chinese Spy Accounts

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — LinkedIn says it’s working to combat Chinese espionage activity targeting U.S. users of the online career network. The Microsoft-owned service said Friday it’s partnering with U.S. law enforcement agencies after uncovering fake LinkedIn profiles and other fraudulent activity.