The daily business briefing: July 14, 2016

Bank of England unexpectedly holds off on rate cut, Amazon Prime Day sales set record, and more

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(Image credit: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)

1. Bank of England unexpectedly holds off on rate cut

Asian stocks hit eight-month highs on Thursday as investors bet on an interest rate cut by the Bank of England, although the U.K. central bank unexpectedly announced it was keeping rates unchanged at 0.5 percent. Analysts had predicted a cut as the U.K. seeks ways to prevent the country's economy from falling into recession following last month's vote to leave the European Union. U.S. stocks have rebounded to record highs after falling sharply right after the June 23 Brexit referendum, and futures jumped by more than 100 points ahead of the U.K. rate decision.

MarketWatch Reuters

2. Amazon says Prime Day was its biggest sale day ever

Amazon announced Wednesday that its Prime Day sale a day earlier produced its biggest sales day ever. The online retail giant said that worldwide sales were up by 60 percent over last year's inaugural Prime Day, with U.S. sales up 50 percent. "The numbers blew me away," said Morningstar consumer strategist R.J. Hottovy. The company created the event last year to mark its 20th birthday, and lure in new subscribers to the Prime service, which offers free two-day shipping, streaming video, and other services.

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3. Tesla ends guaranteed buyback program

Tesla has quietly ended its guaranteed buyback program for its Model S sedans, effective July 1, the electric car maker confirmed Wednesday. The program protected resale values for customers who financed their Model S through Tesla financing partners and programs, promising to buy back the vehicles after three years on preset terms — often more than 50 percent of the original base price.


4. London home-price sentiment hits seven-year low over Brexit

Home-price sentiment in London has fallen to a seven-year low due to fears over the economic fallout from the U.K.'s exit from the European Union. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors index dropped to minus 46 in June from minus 35 in May, indicating that real estate agents are reporting more declining prices than rising prices in the British capital. Another report, from Acadata Ltd. and LSL Property Services, showed that London home prices fell by 1.4 percent in May ahead of the June Brexit referendum.


5. JPMorgan profits beat expectations

JPMorgan got bank earnings reports going early Thursday, reporting quarterly profits that beat estimates. The bank's shares rose by 2.4 percent before the market opened. JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, reported $6.2 billion in profit, or $1.55 per share. Analysts had forecast $1.43 per share. The company also reported an unexpected increase in revenue to $25.21 billion. The news provided the first glimpse of how banks fared in a quarter that ended with fear of potential Brexit fallout for financial institutions.


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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.