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Billionaire Carl Icahn, who first disclosed his stake in Apple Inc. almost three years ago, has sold out of his position because of concerns about the company’s relationship with China, the activist said Thursday. “We no longer have a position in Apple,” Icahn told CNBC. Icahn sold most of his remaining stake in February, he said. “I got out because I’m worried about China.” Icahn perceives a risk in Apple’s relationship with China and that made his already profitable investment in the company no longer a “no-brainer,” he said. China shut down Apple’s iTunes Movies and iBooks services recently, showing that the company isn’t immune to the reach of Beijing regulators. “You worry a little bit, and maybe more than a little, about China’s attitude,” Icahn said. Apple has a good relationship with China, providing vast employment there, but also relies on the country for lots of sales, he said.
The rate of real economic growth is the single greatest determinate of both America’s strength as a nation and the well-being of the American people.On Thursday the Commerce Department announced that the US economy expanded at the slowest pace in two years. GDP growth rose at an anemic 0.5% rate after a paltry 1.4% fourth quarter advance.Ronald Reagan brought forth an annual real GDP growth of 3.5%.Barack Obama will be lucky to average a 1.55% GDP growth rate.This ranks Obama as the fourth worst presidency on record.
The rate that Americans own their homes fell in the first quarter to the third lowest on record, another indication that worsening finances as well as changing preferences since the Great Recession are altering behavior. The Commerce Department reported that the ownership rate fell a tenth to a seasonally adjusted 63.6% in the first quarter, marking the third lowest figure since the 63.5% low in the second quarter of 2015. The ownership rate was 67.8% in the quarter when the U.S. entered recession. The diminished interest, or ability, to own a home comes at a time when mortgage rates are low but house prices are climbing.
Suicide at Cupertino: Apple employee is found dead in company HQ conference room next to a gun after committing suicide the day after shock sales slump | Daily Mail Online
An Apple employee has committed suicide at the company’s Cupertino headquarters. The staff member was found dead in a conference room next to a gun at the California campus on Wednesday morning. A Santa Clara County Fire Department spokesman told Daily Mail Online they were called to the scene after a Hispanic male suffered a wound to the head – but they could not elaborate on what caused the injury. He is yet to be identified by the coroner who has taken over the case.
The American economy edged further into the slow lane last quarter, as consumers took their foot off the gas and businesses pulled back. The 0.5 percent growth rate in the first three months of 2016, which the Commerce Department reported on Thursday, underscores a downshift that began late last year. While consumers eased up slightly on spending, business investment fell sharply, stung by lower outlays on equipment and infrastructure like factories and drilling rigs. The business pullback, driven in large part by the ongoing woes in the oil industry, shaved more than half a percentage point off the growth rate. Additional bumps in the road came from a weaker trade picture and the slow movement of big inventories accumulated last year.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The U.S. economy sputtered in the first quarter, expanding at the slowest pace in two years as business slashed investment by the steepest amount since the Great Recession. Gross domestic product, the sum of a nation’s economy, slowed to a 0.5% annual growth rate in the first three months of 2016, the government said Thursday. The U.S. had grown 1.4%, 2% and 3.9% in the prior three quarters.
The U.S. economy expanded in the first quarter at the slowest pace in two years as American consumers reined in spending and companies tightened their belts in response to weak global financial conditions and a plunge in oil prices. Gross domestic product rose at a 0.5 percent annualized rate after a 1.4 percent fourth-quarter advance, Commerce Department data showed Thursday. The increase was less than the 0.7 percent median projection in a Bloomberg survey and marked the third straight disappointing start to a year. Shaky global markets and oil’s tumble resulted in the biggest business-investment slump in almost seven years, and household purchases climbed the least since early 2015, the data showed. While Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday acknowledged the softness, they also indicated strong hiring and income gains have the potential to reignite consumer spending and propel economic growth.
Apple Inc.’s streak of 51 consecutive quarters of uninterrupted sales growth is over — and its expansion may not resume until late this year. A boom in demand for smartphones, music players and other electronic devices propelled Apple’s annual revenue by $227 billion in the 13 years since the last quarterly drop, resulting in a skyrocketing stock price that made Apple the world’s most valuable company. QUICKTAKE Apple That era of untrammeled expansion hit a wall in the quarter that ended in March as fewer people upgraded to the latest iPhones, and the company is predicting another decline in the current period.
Apple Reports First Year-Over-Year Revenue Decline Since 2003: $10.5B Profit on $50.6B in Revenue – Mac Rumors
Apple today announced financial results for the second fiscal quarter (first calendar quarter) of 2016. For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $50.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $10.5 billion, or $1.90 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $58 billion and net quarterly profit of $13.6 billion, or $2.33 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. As expected, the year-over-year decline in quarterly revenue was the first for Apple since 2003. Gross margin for the quarter was 39.4 percent compared to 40.8 percent in the year-ago quarter, with international sales accounting for 67 percent of revenue. Apple also declared an increased quarterly dividend payment of $0.57 per share, up from $0.52. The dividend is payable on May 12 to shareholders of record as of May 9. The company currently holds $233 billion in cash and marketable securities, partially offset by $77 billion in long-term debt. In addition to the increase in the dividend payment, Apple says it will once again expand its share repurchase authorization by an additional $35 billion to $175 billion and the company says it expects to spend over $250 billion in cash under its capital return program by the end of March 2018.
Apple Inc. posted its first quarterly revenue drop in more than a decade and forecast another decline in the current period, dragged down by waning demand for the iPhone. Shares fell as much as 5.4 percent in extended trading. Sales in the third quarter, which ends in June, will be $41 billion to $43 billion, the Cupertino, California-based company said Tuesday in a statement. On average, analysts estimated revenue of $47.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg survey. Second-quarter sales slid 13 percent and IPhone shipments fell 16 percent.
Caracas (AFP) – Fridges zapped off in kitchens across Venezuela as the government turned off the electricity supply to help ease a power shortage that is worsening the country’s economic crisis. It is the latest drastic measure by the government in a crisis that already has Venezuelans queuing for hours to buy scarce supplies in shops.
Standard and Poor’s downgraded ExxonMobil’s credit rating from AAA to AA+ on Tuesday because of expectations of continuing low oil prices. The move leaves only Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson with AAA ratings from S&P. Shares of ExxonMobil were flat after the announcement. In its announcement, S&P said that it expects Exxon’s “credit measures, including free operating cash flow (FOCF) to debt and discretionary cash flow (DCF) to debt, will remain below [its] expectations for the ‘AAA’ rating through 2018.” The ratings agency added that its outlook on Exxon is stable. S&P added that the “company’s debt level has more than doubled in recent years, reflecting high capital spending on major projects in a high commodity price environment and dividends and share repurchases that substantially exceeded internally generated cash flow.”
Middle-aged people laid off and unable to find work are taking another way out. They’re killing themselves.Suicide rates are soaring, according to federal data released last week. Especially in economically depressed states and job-starved upstate New York. People in need of work are twice as likely to take their own lives as employed people, and people fired in their 40s and 50s find it hardest to get hired again.That makes boosting economic growth a life-or-death issue for many. But you wouldn’t know it listening to President Obama and Hillary Clinton. President Obama whitewashes reality, claiming the “American economy is pretty darn good right now.”
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