Business Briefs – April 29, 2019

Alphabet Q1 Revenue Falls Short of Estimates

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Google parent Alphabet beat analyst earnings expectations but fell short on revenue, sending its stock down more than 7% in after-hours trading. Alphabet reported a first-quarter profit of $8.3 billion, down 6% from $8.9 billion in the year-earlier period.

Boeing CEO Defends Safety Record Amid 2 Deadly Crashes

CHICAGO (AP) – The CEO of Boeing defended the company’s safety record and declined to take any more than partial blame for two deadly crashes of its best-selling plane even while saying Monday that the company has nearly finished an update that “will make the airplane even safer.”

Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg took reporters’ questions for the first time since accidents involving the Boeing 737 Max in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people and plunged Boeing into its deepest crisis in years.

Muilenburg said that Boeing followed the same design and certification process it has always used to build safe planes, and he denied that the Max was rushed to market.

Fed Likely to Underscore a Message: No Rates Hikes in 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve this week will likely reinforce a theme that has cheered consumers and investors since the start of the year: No interest rates hikes are likely anytime soon. The prospect of continued low rates is keeping borrowing costs low for households and companies. It is helping drive record highs in the stock market. And it is supplying fuel for a U.S. economy that’s growing steadily but fairly modestly and until recently was seen as facing the risk of a recession.

Marriott to Expand Further Into Home-Sharing

NEW YORK (AP) – Marriott is pushing more heavily into home-sharing, confident that its combination of luxury properties and loyalty points can lure travelers away from rivals like Airbnb. The world’s biggest hotel company will soon start taking reservations through its website for 2,000 homes in 100 markets in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.

Survey Predicts Slower Pace Of Economic Growth

WASHINGTON (AP) – A survey of corporate economists says the economy will expand over the next year, although the pace of growth will decline and employers are facing pressure to raise wages, spend more on worker training and automate tasks because of the low unemployment rate. Just 53% of the economists polled for the National Association for Business Economics’ April survey, released Monday, expect the economy to grow by more than 2% this year, down from 67% who felt that way in January.

Streaming Service Spotify Hits 100 Million Paid User Mark

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Music streaming service Spotify says the number of its paying subscribers has hit 100 million for the first time, up 32% on the year and almost twice the latest figures for Apple Music. The Stockholm-based company called the figure, which was reached during the first three months of 2019, “an important milestone.”

Deal or No Deal? U.S. and Chinese Sides Resume Trade Talks

WASHINGTON (AP) – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he and other negotiators for the Trump administration should know this week or next whether they can reach a trade deal with China — or whether it’s time to “move on.”

Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are traveling to Beijing to resume talks Tuesday to try to end a yearlong trade war between the world’s two largest economies. A Chinese team is scheduled to visit Washington next week for another round of talks.

“We hope within the next two rounds of [talks] in China and in D.C. to be at the point where we can either recommend to the president we have a deal or make a recommendation we don’t,” Mnuchin told Fox Business Network on Monday. “There is a strong desire for both sides to see if we can wrap this up or move on.”