The daily business briefing: April 25, 2016
Global stock prices sag, Apple reports revenue drop, and more
Global stocks, oil prices sag ahead of central bank meetings
Shares around the world fell Monday along with oil prices on news that a surplus of crude oil will persist. Investors are also likely to be cautious ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's rate decision on Wednesday and a Bank of Japan meeting Thursday. Whether Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will announce a rate hike will be a closely-watched decision, while Japan could move further into negative interest rate territory Thursday.
Analyst: Slowing iPhone demand to blame for Apple's forecasted lackluster earnings
Apple is expected to report a year-on-year revenue drop of more than 10 percent tomorrow as part of its first-quarter earnings report, and one well-regarded Apple analyst says slowing demand for the iPhone could be to blame for the company's lack of growth. Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in November, but KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the new models will do little to encourage customers to upgrade their phones, particularly if the new phones lack any distinctive new features, as he suspects. Kuo predicts iPhone sales could drop as much as 18.1 percent, from 230 million in 2015 to 190 million in 2016.
American CEOs rail against populist political moment
Chief executives at large U.S. corporations aren't feeling the Bern or enjoying Donald Trump's populist tirades, The Wall Street Journal reports, and "concerns are mounting in boardrooms and corner offices that antibusiness rhetoric may solidify even after the November election." Many corporate chiefs are giving up on the next president and instead trying to elect friendly candidates to Congress, WSJ says, and they "fault Democrats for ignoring tax treatment that puts U.S. firms at a disadvantage and chide Republicans for neglecting investments in education, infrastructure, and workforce training that could help workers who have been left behind in a globalized economy."
Solar plane completes Pacific flight without fuel
A solar-powered plane successfully touched down in California Sunday, completing a two-and-a-half-day flight without a single drop of fuel. The Solar Impulse 2, piloted by Swiss explorer Bertrand Piccard, took flight 62 hours earlier from Hawaii. The trip, which is being heralded as a major step in clean technology, is part of Piccard and his partner Andre Borschtberg's plan to pilot the plane across the world without any fuel. "It's a new era. It's not science fiction. It's today,” Piccard told CNN. "It exists and clean technologies can do the impossible."
Beyoncé's Lemonade reportedly coming to iTunes, Amazon
Tidal's period of exclusivity with part-owner Beyoncé's new album Lemonade is reportedly going to be quite short. The New York Times reports that the album, which was released Saturday in a splashy music video debut on HBO, will soon be available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon. The singer's sixth album, which touches on issues of love, infidelity, and black womanhood, features guest appearances from artists including Jack White, The Weeknd, James Blake, and Kendrick Lamar.