Trump Says GDP Growth ‘Could Be in the 5s’ Next Quarter

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he thinks gross domestic product growth in the next quarter “could be in the 5s” — that is, higher than 5 percent.

Trump made the bold prediction Tuesday evening before a dinner at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf resort with leaders from FedEx, Mastercard, Boeing, PepsiCo and other companies.

Trump also hailed his own economic and trade policies, saying he is “taking our economy to incredible new heights” in spite of fears of damage from the escalating trade disputes he has provoked.

“You’re gonna see some really super growth,” he promised.

He acknowledged, “We’re in a little bit of a fight with China” over tariffs, but predicted a “fantastic trading relationship” eventually.

The government reported last month that the economy grew at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter, the fastest pace in nearly four years.

At the end of his remarks, Trump asked the business leaders to introduce themselves. A number of them, including Fiat Chrysler CEO Michael Manley and Boston Beer founder Jim Koch, touted the president’s economic policies, including his tax cut.

The introductions began to resemble the scene at many of Trump’s Cabinet meetings, in which the president’s appointees take turns praising him. Trump jokingly noted that everyone at the dinner appeared to like him.

Park, Load, Go: Amazon Brings Grocery Pickup to Whole Foods

Amazon, known for bringing items to shoppers’ homes, is adding a curbside pickup option at Whole Foods for Prime members.

Shoppers will be able to order eggs, milk and other groceries on the Prime Now app and park in reserved spaces for workers will place the items in their cars.

Curbside grocery pickup is a feature that Walmart, Kroger and other grocers have been expanding to make shopping more convenient and boost sales. At Walmart, for example, the service has been a major driver of its online sales growth.

The Whole Foods move announced Wednesday is the latest by Seattle-based Inc. since it took control of the grocery chain a year ago. Many of the changes have been for its Prime members, who pay $119 a year or $12.99 a month. Prime members can get special discounts at Whole Foods or order two-hour deliveries through Prime Now at certain stores.

The service will start Wednesday at its stores in Sacramento, California, and Virginia Beach, Virginia. It will expand to more cities this year. Orders of $35 and up are free if pickup is in an hour. There’s a fee of $4.99 for those who want to pick up within 30 minutes of ordering. Shoppers must use the Prime Now app to let Whole Foods know they are on their way or in the parking lot.

Michael Kors Holdings Post Fiscal 1Q Earnings of $186.4M

Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (KORS) on Wednesday reported fiscal first-quarter net income of $186.4 million.

On a per-share basis, the London-based company said it had profit of $1.22. Earnings, adjusted for restructuring costs and asset impairment costs, came to $1.32 per share.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 94 cents per share.

The luxury retailer posted revenue of $1.2 billion in the period, which also topped Street forecasts. Eight analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.14 billion.

Michael Kors Holdings expects full-year earnings in the range of $4.90 to $5 per share.

Michael Kors Holdings shares have climbed 4 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has climbed roughly 7 percent. The stock has climbed 76 percent in the last 12 months.

SeaWorld Eliminating 125 Positions, Despite Attendance Jump

SeaWorld Entertainment is eliminating 125 positions, despite recent increases in attendance and revenue.

The theme park company announced the cuts Tuesday.

Interim CEO John Reilly noted in the company’s earnings report Monday that the company had identified $50 million of “additional cost reductions.”

SeaWorld spokesman Travis Claytor says the restructuring affects all of the company’s theme parks as well as corporate offices in Orlando, Florida.

Besides SeaWorld parks, the company has Sesame Place and Busch Gardens parks.

SeaWorld said affected workers would get severance benefits.

The company cut 350 positions last fall.

SeaWorld attendance fell for years after the 2013 documentary “Blackfish,” argued against keeping orcas in captivity. The company later announced it would no longer breed killer whales and would stop using them in shows.

Attendance and revenue are up by 8 percent this year.

Snap 2Q Earnings Top $353M

Snap Inc. (SNAP) on Tuesday reported a loss of $353.3 million in its second quarter.

The Venice, California-based company said it had a loss of 27 cents per share. Losses, adjusted for stock option expense and amortization costs, came to 14 cents per share.

The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 17 cents per share.

The company behind Snapchat posted revenue of $262.3 million in the period, also topping Street forecasts. Ten analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $247.2 million.

For the current quarter ending in October, Snap said it expects revenue in the range of $265 million to $290 million.

Snap shares have dropped 10 percent since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Tuesday, shares hit $13.12, a fall of 2 percent in the last 12 months.

Settlement Reached Over Leak at California Storage Field

A tentative settlement has been reached in litigation stemming from a leak at a Los Angeles storage field where a massive methane release forced thousands from their homes three years ago.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti are among the officials expected at a 10 a.m. Wednesday news conference announcing the agreement with Southern California Gas Co. No details about the settlement were immediately available.

An October 2015 well leak at Aliso Canyon lasted nearly four months and prompted many health complaints. It was the largest single release of methane in U.S. history.

Operations at the facility resumed in July 2017. SoCalGas said it had met the state’s safety requirements, and it needed to increase its inventory at the storage field to avoid an energy shortage.

Kroger Mulls Possible Sale of Turkey Hill Business Unit

Kroger says it is exploring the possible sale of a business unit that produces ice cream and beverages.

The Cincinnati-based company says it has hired Goldman Sachs to evaluate a “potential sale” of the Turkey Hill business unit, which employs almost 800 people. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Turkey Hill produces a variety of ice creams, milk and fruit drinks at its facility in Conestoga, Pennsylvania.

The Kroger Co. owns 38 food manufacturing plants — including 19 dairies — which produce the supermarket company’s portfolio of house brands.

The potential divestiture comes after Kroger announced last year that it planned to sell off its convenience store business.

Kroger Manufacturing official Erin Sharp says Turkey Hill’s products “have the potential for greater growth outside of our company.”

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