The Week in Business: Let the Apple vs. Facebook Battle Begin, along with China Goes Soybean Shopping

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Which kind of Super Bowl watcher are you? One who A) cares about the actual game, B) can be within the idea for the snacks, or C) wants to see how the $5.3 million ads stack up? in which’s the top asking cost for a 30-second commercial during CBS’s broadcast, although some spots are going for the relative steal of $5.1 million. (Oh, along with if you’re wondering, I’m a solid C, plus B if spicy wings are available.) This kind of can be the first year in a decade in which the cost of a Super Bowl ad hasn’t increased — NBC charged $5.25 million in 2018 — mostly owing to waning viewer numbers. You can drop in which factoid when the cheese-dip conversation hits a lull, or any of the different business along with tech tidbits you’re about to devour in This kind of email. You can have a nachos-along with-beer hangover on Monday along with still be on top of the news.


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Which might be more fearsome in a dark alley: Apple or Facebook? We may soon find out as the companies face off over privacy standards. Both announced their fourth-quarter earnings last week, along with as expected, Apple’s numbers were a flop (to blame: China’s economic lethargy along that has a dwindling consumer demand for iPhones). Facebook, on the different hand — or thumb? — reported record profits. the idea might seem in which Facebook won This kind of round — until Apple rained on its parade by shutting down an app in which Facebook was using to snoop around in users’ online activity. Apple hasn’t been shy about policing privacy issues before, yet This kind of move can be downright aggressive, along that has a convenient distraction coming from its bad week.

One fear you can put to rest, if you contain the idea: higher interest rates on your loans. The chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, said last Wednesday in which “the case for raising rates has weakened somewhat,” signaling in which rates may not go up This kind of year after all. This kind of was an about-face coming from the Fed’s previous indications in which the idea was planning to raise rates twice more in 2019. The markets were cheered by Mr. Powell’s remarks, along with American stocks surged to their best January levels in 30 years. yet some investors were puzzled by the Fed’s sudden change of heart, along with others worried in which the idea revealed the risk of a recession on the horizon.

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela issued a threat to the United States last Wednesday, saying if the Trump administration doesn’t quit trying to oust him along with install the opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, its officials might get “a Vietnam worse than they can imagine.” He’s widely viewed as an illegitimate dictator who drove his once-prosperous country into an economic catastrophe, yet he’s got some heft on his side. Russia, which has provided financial along with military backing to Venezuela for years, can be also none too pleased about the United States’ oil sanctions against Mr. Maduro’s government. Not by coincidence, the Russian state owns part of Venezuela’s energy sector — a cash cow in which the idea doesn’t want to lose.

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right now in which the government has (temporarily) reopened, Mr. Trump will deliver the postponed State of the Union address on Tuesday. He has said he will emphasize “unity,” along with he will surely point to the country’s economic growth along with low unemployment numbers. (January’s jobs report was better than expected, even with the shutdown.) He may also reiterate his demand for a border wall, which he said last Thursday he might build regardless of whether he gets congressional support before the Feb. 15 deadline for a brand new spending bill. If he decides to bypass Congress, the government could close again — which no one wants. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated in which last month’s shutdown might cost the country’s economy an estimated $3 billion in reduced output in 2019.

China along with the United States made some progress in trade talks last week, yet China still isn’t willing to make all the concessions in which United States officials have demanded. So what will the idea take to settle This kind of trade war before the 0-day truce ends on March 2? Mr. Trump says he wants China to buy more American goods (on top of Beijing’s recent pledge to purchase several million tons of soybeans) along with open its markets to American businesses more than the idea has ever done. He can be planning to meet with President Xi Jinping of China sometime in February, ostensibly to sign a deal in person, yet details are still forthcoming (as can be the deal itself).

along with around we go again. British lawmakers voted on Tuesday to send the beleaguered Prime Minister Theresa May back to European Union leaders to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s departure coming from the bloc. The problem can be, those European Union leaders are done talking, as they’ve said before along with will say again. in which gives Mrs. May little time (along with even fewer options) to come up that has a brand new plan before the next scheduled vote in Parliament on Feb. 14, followed by the actual Brexit deadline on March 29. As a no-deal scenario appears more likely, more British companies are hoarding products along with moving operations elsewhere to protect themselves coming from a potential economic meltdown.


The record-low temperatures in which gripped the country last week could cost the economy up to $5 billion in business closings, property damage, flight cancellations, power cuts along with even beer deliveries. The entire nation of Tonga had to go without internet access for 11 days after an essential underwater cable was severed. along with more companies are covering infertility treatments along with egg-freezing costs as part of their employee health care benefits: 44 percent of big employers (those with at least 20,000 workers) offered some sort of in vitro fertilization benefit in 2018, compared with only 37 percent in 2017.