The bottom line
The U.S. trade deficit with China hit a record high in 2017. U.S. purchases of Chinese goods and services last year were $375 billion greater than Chinese orders from the U.S., up from a $347 billion difference in 2016. The overall U.S. trade deficit with the world widened 12.1 percent, to $566 billion, the largest gap since 2008. The Washington Post
The black unemployment rate is no longer at a record low, after jumping nearly a percentage point to 7.7 percent in January. The black unemployment rate had been sinking fairly steadily since its recession-era high of 16.8 percent in March 2010. CNN.com
Gun companies’ sales are slowing. Despite a successful Black Friday, during which just over 203,000 background checks were processed, gun sales have slowed this year, with 2,030,530 background checks logged in January, down from more than 2,043,000 in that month a year ago and nearly 2,546,000 in 2016. Bloomberg.com
Eight years after the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, British oil giant BP reported a $6.2 billion profit in 2017, more than double that of 2016. A surge in oil and gas production and the launch of seven new fields helped fuel the turnaround. Reuters.com
Apple is minting money on more than just hardware. The tech giant earned $31.2 billion in revenue last year from services such as music downloads, video sales, iCloud storage, and apps. Apple is on track to take in about $26 a year from each of its 1.3 billion active devices. For comparison, Facebook brings in about $25 a year in ad revenue for each of its more than 2 billion users. The Wall Street Journal
Lady Doritos? Not in the bag.
“Consider the Lady Dorito,” said Patrick LaForge in The New York Times. The internet went briefly haywire this week after the chief executive of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, suggested in an interview that the company was considering creating Doritos for women with “reduced crunch and less orange finger dust.” It was an “apparently off-the-cuff quote,” made as Nooyi explained that women do not eat Doritos the same way men do. Ladies “don’t like to crunch too loudly in public,” Nooyi said, or “lick their fingers generously.” As a result, PepsiCo was exploring snacks that are “designed and packaged differently,” because “women love to carry a snack in their purse,” she said. British tabloid The Sun “reported Lady Doritos as fact,” and from there, the “media hysteria began.” PepsiCo insisted “it was all a misunderstanding,” saying in a statement Doritos for women already exist: “They’re called Doritos.”