6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Auto tariffs might go into place soon. According to The Wall Street Journal:

President Donald Trump stood by his threats to levy sweeping tariffs on automobile imports as a way to extract concessions from trading partners, despite opposition from the industry and discontent in Congress with the White House’s proposal.

Resistance to the tariffs is strong and growing. A coalition of foreign and domestic auto companies, along with auto dealers and auto-parts makers, released a letter on Wednesday urging Mr. Trump to refrain from the tariffs.

The founder of Papa John’s International Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) had buyout talks with Wendy’s Co. (NASDAQ: WEN). According to The Wall Street Journal:

Papa John’s International Inc. founder and recently ousted Chairman John Schnatter held talks to merge the pizza company with Wendy’s Co., people familiar with the matter said.

The talks between Wendy’s officials and Mr. Schnatter, who still sits on the board and owns 29% of Papa John’s, were preliminary and began before he stepped down as chairman last week over the use of a racial slur, the people said. The talks, which Papa John’s board was aware of, have cooled since the incident, one of the people said.


International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) posted better than expected earnings. According to The Wall Street Journal:

International Business Machines Corp. said it generated more than half of its quarterly revenue from newer services such as cloud and artificial intelligence, a first for the venerable tech giant as it shifts away from equipment sales and other legacy businesses.

It was the third consecutive quarter in which IBM’s revenue rose from the previous year, a feat that gives Chief Executive Ginny Rometty breathing room to execute a turnaround after a nearly six-year stretch of shrinking quarterly sales under her leadership.

Revenue in the second quarter rose 3.7% from a year earlier to $20 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected $19.9 billion in revenue.

The U.S. budget deficit could hit $1 trillion next year. According to The Wall Street Journal:

The Trump administration expects annual budget deficits to rise nearly $100 billion more than previously forecast in each of the next three years, pushing the federal deficit above $1 trillion starting next year.

The revisions, which went largely unnoticed when the White House submitted its annual update to Congress last week, reflect the cost of federal spending increases agreed to earlier this year and higher interest payments.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) will take down some content at its site that it says it says could be false. According to The New York Times:

Facebook, facing growing criticism for posts that have incited violence in some countries, said Wednesday that it would begin removing misinformation that could lead to people being physically harmed.

The policy expands Facebook’s rules about what type of false information it will remove, and is largely a response to episodes in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India in which rumors that spread on Facebook led to real-world attacks on ethnic minorities.

Shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-B) spiked on comments it may buy back some of its own stock. According to CNNMoney:

Big US companies have been binging on their own stock. But Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway hasn’t been taking part in the bonanza. That soon may change.

Berkshire Hathaway announced late Tuesday that the company loosened an old company rule and can now buy back stock whenever Buffett and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger “believe that the repurchase price is below Berkshire’s intrinsic value, conservatively determined.”

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