Business Briefs – November 1, 2018

Apple’s Fiscal 4Q Results Disappoint Amid Tech Jitters

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Apple’s faithful customers aren’t snapping up iPhones quite as enthusiastically as anticipated heading into the crucial year-end shopping season. But the latest models costing $1,000 and higher are popular enough to keep propelling profits ever higher for the world’s most prosperous company. The mixed bag emerged in quarterly results that Apple released Thursday amid jitters about how the company and the rest of the technology industry will fare while facing several threats to future growth.

Malaysian Financier Charged In Multibillion-Dollar Scheme

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department has charged a fugitive Malaysian financier in a money laundering and bribery scheme that pilfered billions of dollars from a Malaysian investment fund created to promote economic development in that country. An indictment issued Thursday charges Jho Low with misappropriating money from the fund and using it for bribes and kickbacks, to pay for luxury real estate, art and jewelry, and to help finance film projects.

With Employers Eager to Fill Jobs, Hiring Could Stay Strong

WASHINGTON (AP) – Against the backdrop of next week’s midterm elections, the U.S. job market is the healthiest it’s been in at least two decades. And with another strong hiring report expected Friday, some barometers of the job market suggest that it has room to strengthen further. Businesses, hungry for workers, are advertising a record number of openings. Companies in October added the most jobs in eight months, a private survey found. Pay has been picking up.

As Stock Prices Go on Discount, Their Biggest Buyers Return

NEW YORK (AP) – More than any other group, companies themselves are the largest purchasers of their own shares. But they were notably absent from the market the last few weeks, just as stock prices were tumbling. Businesses were holding back because they were in one of their “blackout” periods for buybacks leading up to the release of quarterly results. Now that most companies have given their third-quarter reports, blackouts are lifting, and analysts say the return of those buyers should help support stocks.

Starbucks Beats Fiscal 4Q Forecasts on Higher Sales

SEATTLE (AP) – A jump in U.S. sales helped Starbucks end its fiscal year on a high note. Starbucks Corp. said same-store sales — a critical measure for retailers — rose 4 percent in the U.S. in its fiscal fourth quarter. That helped global same-store sales rise 3 percent, ahead of analysts’ expectations, according to FactSet.