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IHOP: Yep, We ‘Faked’ Our Own Name Change

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IHOP has come clean. The pancake chain has acknowledged that a name change announced last month was just a publicity stunt to promote its hamburger menu. (Everyone pretty much knew that anyway.) The company best known for its breakfasts already had burgers on the menu but had started using the IHOb name on social media, its website, and for in-store promotions to draw attention to a new line of burgers made of Black Angus ground beef, per the AP. On Monday, it was back on social media, this time to promote a pancake deal tied to IHOP’s 60th birthday. On Twitter, the company said, “That’s right, IHOP! We’d never turn our back on pancakes (except for that time we faked it to promote our new burgers).“

Papa John’s Is Now Papaless

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Papa John’s says founder John Schnatter has resigned as chairman of the board. The company made the announcement late Wednesday, hours after Schnatter apologized for using a racial slur during a conference call in May, the AP reports. The apology came after Forbes cited an anonymous source saying the pizza chain’s marketing firm broke ties with the company afterward. Forbes said Schnatter used the N-word during a media training exercise. When asked how he would distance himself from racist groups, Schnatter reportedly complained that Colonel Sanders never faced a backlash for using the word. Schnatter stepped down as CEO last year, but remained chairman after blaming slowing sales growth on the outcry surrounding football players kneeling during the national anthem.

New Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, 2017

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Expenditures by foreign direct investors to acquire, establish, or expand U.S. businesses totaled $259.6 billion (preliminary) in 2017.

Expenditures were down 32 percent from $379.7 billion (revised) in 2016 and were below the annual average of $359.9 billion for 2014-2016.

As in previous years, acquisitions of existing businesses accounted for a large majority of total expenditures.

U.S. Market Weekly Summary – Week Ending 07.13.2018

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The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1.5% to the highest in more than four months this week as investors focused on strong gains in technology stocks and mostly ignored concerns about the escalating trade spat between the US and China.

The benchmark index ended the week at 2,801.31, up from last week’s close of 2,759.82.

Facebook (FB) shares rose to a record on Friday on a positive outlook for ad revenue, and Amazon (AMZN) jumped to the highest ever ahead of its annual Prime day when it discounts several items. Other retailers including Walmart (WMT) are offering discounts to battle the online retailer.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) on Friday reported second-quarter financials that topped expectations as profits reached new record highs. The bank reported earnings of $2.29 a share, up from $1.82 during the same quarter last year and consensus compiled by Capital IQ for $2.22 a share. Total revenue was reported at $27.75 billion, up from $25.73 billion in the same period a year ago and exceeded the Street projection of $27.28 billion.

Second-quarter profit was reported at $8.32 billion, an 18% increase, the highest ever for the company. Trading revenue jumped 13% to $5.4 billion, the company said. Loans were up 4% to $949 billion.

Earlier in the week, Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported second-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.77 per share, up from $1.59 a year earlier and estimates for $1.72. Sales were reported at $11.78 billion, up almost 10% from last year and topping forecasts for $11.73 billion.

It wasn’t all good news, though, as Wells Fargo & Company (WFC) reported declines in second-quarter earnings and revenue, with loans and deposits sliding as the lender continues to work to restore confidence after coming under fire over its sales practices.

Net income fell to $0.98 per diluted share compared with $1.08 a year earlier, missing the consensus from Capital IQ for $1.12. The second-quarter figure included a net discrete income tax expense of $0.10 per share. Revenue fell to $21.55 billion from $22.2 billion, just missing the Wall Street view for $21.64 billion.

Economic reports this week were mostly positive, also boosting the S&P, as the Consumer Price Index in June showed a 12-month gain of 2.9%, the largest year-on-year increase since February 2012. Food prices were up 1.4% annually and energy jumped 12%.

Jobless claims for the seven days that ended on July 7 were reported at 214,000, easily beating expectations for a decline to 225,000. Claims the prior week were revised higher to 232,000, according to the Labor Department.

The major indexes got a shock midweek when President Trump threatened to impose tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. China didn’t immediately respond, which some analysts said is a good sign, however, tempering bearishness in the markets.

In a report on Friday, China said its trade surplus with the US jumped to a record high in June. Many analysts, however, said it’s possible the increase was a one-off event as companies likely were scrambling to buy Chinese goods before tariffs were enacted on July 6.

The Asian country’s trade surplus with the US rose to almost $29 billion, up from $24.6 billion in May, according to China’s General Administration of Customs. That’s the highest since record-keeping started two decades ago.

Eight of the 11 S&P sectors were higher during the week, led by technology, industrials and consumer discretionary stocks.

Tech stocks were up 2.3% for the week on the back of strong performance by Facebook and Amazon, industrials gained 2.2% and consumer discretionary shares were up 2.1%.

The healthcare sector gained 1.6%, financials were up 1.2% on earnings from JPMorgan Chase and other large-cap banks, consumer staples added 1% and materials gained 0.3%. Energy stocks were up 0.6% for the week despite West Texas Intermediate crude prices dropping 4% to just over $70 a barrel.

Telecom led decliners, falling 1.6%, utilities were down 1.2% and the real estate sector declined 0.9%.

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