JP Morgan Chase reports a decline in profits, and the Commerce Department says retail sales did not do as well as expected. But Carnival Cruise lines are going to serve craft beer. More interesting news for today's investor.
World Cup Sets Social Media Records
Facebook reports the final World Cup match between Germany and Argentina was the single biggest event ever for the social media site. The company reports that 88 million people had more than 280 million interactions about the game Sunday, way above the previous record set by the 2013 Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Twitter reports that it had 618,725 tweets per minutes during the game, breaking the record set when Germany beat Brazil in the semifinals. Facebook says 350 million people participated in conversations about the World Cup during the month-long event. The No. 1 talked about player was Brazil’s Neymar, and 55 million people in Brazil talked about the World cup on Facebook from June 12 to July 13.
Carnival Cruise Adds Craft Beer
Carnival Cruise Line ships this week will begin serving craft beer from Tampa-based Cigar City Brewing, which will provide two different beers to the ships, marking the first partnership between a craft brewery and a major cruise line, according to Cigar City. “Carnival continues to see high-quality brands to enhance our guests’ experience, and Cigar City Brewing has been rated among the top craft breweries in the world,’’ said Carnival in a statement. Carnival also offers its own private-label draft beer, ThirstyFrog Red, which also available through its fleet. Carnival has 13 Florida-based ships sailing from five ports to the Caribbean, Mexico and the Bahamas, carrying an estimated two million guests annually.
Reynolds American Will Buy Lorillard
Reynolds American Tuesday announced it will acquire Lorillard in a deal the company says is worth $27.4 billion. Under the deal, Reynolds agreed to pay $68.88 a share in cash and stock, presenting a premium of 2.5 percent to Lorillard’s Monday closing. Reynolds also said it would sell its Kool, Salem, Winston, Maverick and blue Cigs brands and other assets to Imperial Tobacco Group for $7.1 billion in cash. Reynolds also owns Camel and is the second-largest U.S. tobacco company by sales after Marlboro parent Altria. After combining with Lorillard, which makes menthol-flavored Newport cigarettes, Reynolds will be slightly smaller than Altria.
JP Morgan Chase Reports Decline in Profits
JP Morgan Chase, the nation’s largest U.S. bank based on assets, reported an 8 percent decline in profit in the second quarter as a pullback in trading of bonds and currencies by big institutions hit revenue in its securities trading business. Net income fell to $5.99 billion, or $1.46 per share, from $6.5 billion, or $1.60 per share in the same quarter of 2013. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected earnings of $1.29 per share. “Toward the end of the second quarter, we saw encouraging signs across our businesses, including an uptick in wholesale utilization, strengthening pipelines in our commercial and business banking segments, and some improvements in market activity,’’ said JP Morgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon in a released statement. Revenue from fixed-income and equity markets fell 15 percent to $3.5 billion in the quarter ending June 30 compared with the previous quarter.
U.S. Retail Sales Up But Less Than Expected
The Commerce Department Tuesday said U.S. retail sales increased less than expected in June and blamed automobile dealership receipts for the numbers. Still, the numbers suggest the economy remains on solid footing at the end of the second quarter. The report said retail sales rose 0.2 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.5 percent advance in May. Economists polled by Reuters expected an 0.6 rise in retails sales after a previously reported 0.3 percent gain in May. Core sales, which do not include automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, rose a solid 0.6 percent in June.
Microsoft Job Cuts Coming
A Bloomberg report indicates that Microsoft plans its largest round of job cuts in five years as a part of the company’s integration of Nokia Oyj’s handset unit. The reductions are expected to be announced later this week and could be in the Nokia unit and the parts of the Microsoft company that overlap with that business. Other cuts could come in marketing and engineering, according to Bloomberg. Since the deal that included Nokia under the Microsoft umbrella, the company now has 127,000 employees, far more than Apple or Google. These would be Microsoft’s first major layoffs since 2009.