6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Profits at large companies continue to rise. According to The Wall Street Journal:

America’s biggest companies are reporting some of the strongest earnings growth since the recession, boosted by lowered tax rates and a robust U.S. economy that is fueling demand across industries.

Profits at S&P 500 companies jumped an estimated 23.5% in the three months through June, according to data from Thomson Reuters, more than 21/2 times revenue growth in the same period.

Bankruptcy among older Americans has risen. According to The New York Times:

For a rapidly growing share of older Americans, traditional ideas about life in retirement are being upended by a dismal reality: bankruptcy.

The signs of potential trouble — vanishing pensions, soaring medical expenses, inadequate savings — have been building for years. Now, new research sheds light on the scope of the problem: The rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991, the study found, and the same group accounts for a far greater share of all filers.


China made a new statement about its trade battle with the United States. According to Bloomberg:

After a weekend of claims by U.S. President Donald Trump that he has the upper hand in the trade war with China, Beijing responded through state media by saying the nation is ready to endure the economic fallout.

China is prepared for a “protracted war” and doesn’t fear sacrificing short-term economic interests, according to an editorial in the nationalist Global Times on Sunday evening. “Considering the unreasonable U.S. demands, a trade war is an act that aims to crush China’s economic sovereignty, trying to force China to be a U.S. economic vassal.”

The head of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) warned that interest rates could spike higher. According to Bloomberg:

Not content with a previous warning investors should brace for U.S. yields of 4 percent, Jamie Dimon went one further at the weekend, suggesting 5 percent was a distinct possibility.

The JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief executive officer said Saturday people should be prepared to deal with the benchmark 10-year bond yield at 5 percent or higher.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) may have a problem with a company that supplies iPhone parts. According to CNBC:

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), which makes chips for Apple’s iPhones, suffered a computer virus outbreak and warned it could cause shipment delays as well as hit revenue.

The issue, which occurred on August 3, was publicly disclosed Saturday and affected a number of computer systems and so-called fab tools that are required in the chip-making process. TSMC said that there could be delays to product shipments, adding that it would reduce third quarter revenue by 3 percent, or $255 million, from its previous guidance.

One analyst thinks geopolitical problems could move oil to $90 a barrel. According to CNBC:

U.S. sanctions on Iranian crude could soon push oil prices above $90 a barrel, one oil analyst told CNBC Monday, amid heightened energy market fears of a looming supply shock.

“As we go more towards (the fourth quarter) … that’s when we really see the risk of prices going well into the 80s and potentially even into the 90s but very critical is how much Iranian production we lose,” Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Monday.