6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Corporate profits surged last quarter. According to The Wall Street Journal:

U.S. corporate profits boomed in the second quarter, boosted by large tax cuts and stronger economic growth than initially reported.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that its broadest measure of after-tax profits across the U.S. rose 16.1% in the quarter ended June 30 from a year earlier, the largest year-over-year gain in six years.

Tariffs are hurting profits for Jack Daniel’s owner. According to The Wall Street Journal:

The maker of Jack Daniel’s is feeling the sting of U.S. trade disputes and retaliatory tariffs on American whiskeys.

Brown-Forman Corp., whose brands include Old Forester and Woodford Reserve bourbon, warned that profits for its current fiscal year would miss its prior forecasts because of the uncertainty and added costs created by recently enacted European tariffs.

Trade negotiations between the United States and Canada accelerated. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Trade ties between the U.S. and Canada took a sudden optimistic turn on Wednesday as the two countries signaled they were on track to meet a tight Friday deadline to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“Canada very much wants to make the deal,” President Trump said at the White House Wednesday. He added a deal would be “very good” for Canada and talks are “on track” to conclude by Friday

Moody’s downgraded Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F). According to the credit rating agency:

Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the senior unsecured rating of Ford Motor Company (Ford), and its supported subsidiaries and affiliates to Baa3 from Baa2. The outlook is negative.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) continued its acquisition of small companies. According to Reuters:

Apple has acquired a start-up focused on making lenses for augmented reality glasses, the company confirmed on Wednesday, a signal Apple has ambitions to make a wearable device that would superimpose digital information on the real world.

Apple confirmed it acquired Longmont, Colorado-based Akonia Holographics. “Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don’t discuss our purpose or plans,” the iPhone maker said in a statement.

Papa John’s International Inc. (NASDAQ: PAPA) responded to an attack by its founder. According to CNBC:

Papa John’s has issued a scorching condemnation of its founder.

A special committee of the company’s board of directors accused founder John Schnatter of disobeying the board and undermining CEO Steve Ritchie, including by going off script during a conference call last fall when he blamed the NFL for poor pizza sales.

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