Business Briefs – October 28, 2019

U.S. Travel Industry to Chinese Tourists: What Trade War?

WASHINGTON (AP) – Washington, D.C., has dangled hotel discounts tied to the Chinese Lunar New Year. Arizona has promoted its outdoor attractions to draw visitors during another popular Chinese holiday. San Francisco has expanded its social media presence to market year-round travel to Chinese millennials. Across the country, the U.S. tourism industry is trying to counter one of the casualties of a trade war with China that’s still raging despite a temporary truce: A drop in the flow of affluent Chinese visitors.

Draghi Stepped in During Euro’s Darkest Hour

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – Mario Draghi is widely credited with rescuing one of the Europe Union’s most precious projects — its 20-year-old single currency — from disaster with a well-timed phrase and actions to back up his words. He bolstered the European Central Bank’s arsenal of crisis-fighting tools with unconventional policies that are credited with creating millions of jobs and easing a financial crisis. Yet his departure is accompanied by an unusually public dispute among ECB board members over the stimulus.

AT&T Makes Changes in Response To Activist Investor Push

NEW YORK (AP) – AT&T says it will review its portfolio for assets it can sell off, pay down debt related to its Time Warner acquisition and add two board members as part of a plan to boost results. The moves come after criticism from activist hedge fund manager Elliott Management. In September the firm disclosed a $3.2 billion investment in AT&T, roughly a 1% stake, and calling for changes at the company such as selling assets and paying down debt.

Google Falls Short on Third-Quarter Profit

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Google parent company Alphabet reported mixed third-quarter results Monday, beating analyst expectations for revenue but falling short on profits. The stock fell almost 3% immediately in after-hours trading, although it later made up roughly half of that drop.

The company reported a profit of $7.1 billion, or $10.12 per share — significantly below the $8.7 billion expected by analysts polled by FactSet.

Quarterly revenue rose 20% to $40.5 billion — slightly above the $40.3 billion expected by Wall Street.

CEO Will Tell Congress That Boeing Made Mistakes on Max Jet

Boeing’s CEO says the aircraft company knows it made mistakes and “got some things wrong” with its 737 Max jet. Dennis Muilenburg will tell a Senate committee on Tuesday that Boeing is throwing everything into fixing the plane so it can fly again. Tuesday is the anniversary of the first of two deadly crashes involving Max jets. In all, 346 people died, and Boeing now faces several investigations and many lawsuits.

Survey: U.S. Business Hiring Hits 7-Year Low as Sales Slow

WASHINGTON (AP) – A measure of hiring by U.S. companies has fallen to a seven-year low and fewer employers are raising pay, a business survey has found. Just one-fifth of the firms surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics said they have hired additional workers in the past three months as company profits and sales slow.

Rising Home Prices, Falling Sales Hurting Small Businesses

NEW YORK (AP) – Companies tied to the housing market are seeing a slowdown, one that’s forecast to continue into 2020. Reports on home sales and the remodeling industry show the spreading fallout from rising home prices. Sales of new and existing homes fell in September while the median price of an existing home rose 6% from a year ago. And Harvard researchers say remodeling activity has already slowed and will keep slowing into the third quarter of 2020. Sales of furniture and home furnishings are also down.