The daily business briefing: July 28, 2023

U.S. economic growth surges past expectations, Anheuser-Busch lays off hundreds after conservative boycott hits Bud Light sales, and more

Graph showing arrow going up
Economic growth was fueled by a surge of investment by businesses including factories and equipment
(Image credit: Javier Ghersi / Getty Images)

1. US economic growth surges in latest sign of resilience

U.S. economic growth accelerated to a 2.4% annual rate in the second quarter, up from 2% growth in the first quarter in the latest sign of resilience despite the Federal Reserve's aggressive interest rate hikes to bring down inflation. The expansion, reported Thursday by the Commerce Department, outpaced the 1.5% growth in gross domestic product, a measure of total goods and services output, that economists had predicted. The growth was fueled by a surge of investment by businesses in such things as factories and equipment. Consumer spending, the economy's main engine, remained solid but slowed to a 1.6% annual rate from 4.2% the previous quarter.

The Associated Press

2. Anheuser-Busch lays off hundreds after boycott hurts sales

Anheuser-Busch is laying off about 350 corporate employees as if faces a boycott by conservatives months after a product endorsement by transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. "Today we took the very difficult but necessary decision to eliminate a number of positions across our corporate organization," , Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth said in a statement. "While we never take these decisions lightly, we want to ensure that our organization continues to be set for future long-term success." The layoffs affect less than 2% of the brewing company's U.S. workers. Bud Light sales have been falling for six weeks, causing it to lose its crown as America's top-selling beer to Modelo Especial.

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Axios The Wall Street Journal

3. Ford reports strong quarterly earnings and raises full-year guidance

Ford shares gained in overnight trading after the automaker reported strong second-quarter earnings on Thursday and raised its full-year profit forecast to a range of between $11 billion and $12 billion, up from its previous $9 billion and $11 billion projection. Ford reported earnings per share of 72 cents, beating expectations of 55 cents, according to Refinitiv. Automotive revenue came in at $42.43 billion, surpassing expectations of $40.38 billion. Ford did say that it anticipated steeper annual losses in its electric vehicle division than previously expected. The results came after rival General Motors also reported strong earnings and raised its full-year profit guidance.

The Detroit News Yahoo Finance

4. Dow snaps its 2nd-longest winning streak on record

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.7% on Thursday, snapping a 13-day winning streak that was the longest since 1987 and the second-longest on record. One more day of gains would have tied the blue-chip index's longest run of gains ever. The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively. The losses came as the Commerce Department reported stronger-than-expected second-quarter economic growth and a day after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates another quarter percentage point to fight inflation. U.S. stock futures rose early Friday. Futures tied to the Dow and the S&P 500 were up 0.2% and 0.4%, respectively, at 7 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were up 0.9%. Intel and Roku shares jumped overnight after strong earnings reports.

The Wall Street Journal CNBC

5. Fox delays Emmy ceremony due to strikes by writers, actors

Fox is postponing the 75th Emmy Awards, originally scheduled to air Sept. 18, due to the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes. The network has notified vendors for the ceremony of the delay, Variety reported. The news was expected, because the strikes have shut down Hollywood production. The event probably will be rescheduled for January, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a person familiar with the plans. An announcement is expected soon, although the new date will be contingent on a resolution of contract disputes between the guilds and studios. The Writers Guild of America went on strike May 2. Actors represented by SAG-AFTRA followed this month. The unions want better residual payments for streaming and protections against the use of artificial intelligence.

Variety Los Angeles Times

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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.