Business briefing

The daily business briefing: July 27, 2017

Foxconn says it will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin, Samsung reports record profit despite recent troubles, and more

1

Apple supplier Foxconn to build $10 billion factory in Wisconsin

Apple supplier Foxconn announced Wednesday that it planned to build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin. Republicans touted the news as a win for President Trump, who has made creating U.S. jobs a priority, as well as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and House Speaker Paul Ryan, in whose district the plant will be located. Walker said the factory, which will make flat-screen displays, will create 13,000 jobs, with average pay of $53,000 plus benefits. He said the state would offer $3 billion in economic incentives to pave the way for the deal. Democrats criticized the high cost of the plan.

2

Samsung sets quarterly profit record despite recent troubles

Samsung on Thursday reported record quarterly profit and sales, shaking off a tumultuous year that saw the tech giant's de facto chief jailed in a corruption scandal and the flagship Note 7 smartphone yanked in a massive and embarrassing recall. Samsung reported a sales jump that could help it overtake Intel as the leading maker of semiconductors. It also may have beaten Apple in quarterly earnings for the first time thanks to rising demand for computer chips as the use of mobile devices soars. Samsung said net profit, boosted by strong sales of the Galaxy S8 smartphone, jumped to 11.05 trillion South Korean won ($9.9 billion), up 89 percent from the same period last year.

3

Fed holds interest rate steady

The Federal Reserve left its key interest rate unchanged, as expected, on Wednesday after its two-day July policy meeting. The Fed signaled that as long as the economy continues showing improvement it would start "relatively soon" to gradually reduce the bond holdings it acquired as part of its efforts to stimulate the economy after the Great Recession. Fed leaders have said they plan to move carefully, as the job market strengthens but inflation falls farther from the U.S. central bank's 2 percent target rate.

4

Analysts raise price target for Facebook stock after strong quarterly report

Facebook shares rose by as much as 4 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday after the social networking company reported quarterly earnings that beat Wall Street's expectations. The strong earnings report encouraged analysts to raise their price targets for Facebook stock, with KeyBanc Capital Markets upping its target from $155 to $200 a share, 20 percent higher than Wednesday's closing price of $165.61, just shy of a record. "We believe Facebook's transition to video-centricity is helping drive incremental demand that can sustain pricing growth for the foreseeable future," said analyst Andy Hargreaves and the team at KeyBanc.

5

Trump adminstration urges court to reject LGBT job bias case

The Trump administration on Wednesday urged a federal appeals court to rule that civil rights law does not bar workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians. The Justice Department urged the judges to reject a lawsuit filed by a former skydiving instructor who says he was fired for being gay. Civil rights groups say the instructor and other workers should be protected under the law against discrimination over their sexual orientation. The Justice Department argues that laws against gender bias don't apply to LGBT workers, because companies that would fire them would do so whether they are male or female. The administration's move came as President Trump banned transgender people from serving in the military, sparking sharp criticism from LGBT groups and veterans.

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