Business

Business News at a Glance

Posted December 2, 2018 9:31 p.m. EST

Trade Truce by China and U.S. Gives Both Sides Political Breathing Room

The agreement reached by President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping of China to effectively pause their trade war and work toward a pact appears to be aimed at giving the two leaders some political breathing room after an escalating fight has begun inflicting economic damage on both sides of the Pacific. The temporary truce, forged over a working dinner Saturday night in Buenos Aires, does little to resolve the deep differences between the two nations. Both sides immediately positioned the cease-fire as a domestic victory while staking out areas where they would not compromise.

Marketing Through Smart Speakers? Brands Don’t Need to Be Asked Twice

Businesses like movie studios and games whose product lives on screens, are trying to create a space for their brands in the world of voice. Google Home and Amazon Echo speakers do not run paid advertising, so brands have approached the devices in two ways. Some are trying to crack the code on search results and make sure that their products are mentioned first when users say they want to buy a specific item. Others are creating games that entertain people or tools that provide some sort of service in order to build loyalty or name recognition.

The Future Is Bright for the Video Games of Yesterday

The nostalgia for older video games is growing. Nintendo helped popularize the retro gaming trend with the 2016 release of the NES Classic. After that, other rivals, including Sony, started mining their vaults to resurface games and hardware, while smaller companies began remastering past titles. Now retailers are getting into the mix as well, with companies like Amazon and Target scrambling to provide space exclusively for classic video games and related merchandise. Sales of hardware, software and accessories in the United States reached $14.6 billion in 2017, an 11 percent increase over 2016, according to NPD, a market research company.

‘The Favourite’ Shines on a Quiet Box-Office Weekend

It has been a frustrating fall at the box office for films made with the Academy Awards in mind. But things seem to be clicking for “The Favourite,” a sharp-edged comedic drama directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and heralded by critics. “The Favourite” took in roughly $1.1 million from only 34 theaters over the weekend, for a per-screen average of $32,500. The biggest overall ticket-sellers between Friday and Sunday in North America were leftovers. “Ralph Breaks the Internet” (Disney) was No. 1, collecting about $25.8 million, for a two-week total of $119 million, according to comScore, which compiles box-office data.

New Popeye Videos Show What 90 Years of Spinach Can Do for a Guy

Popeye the Sailor is getting a reboot for a series of animated shorts that premiered Sunday on YouTube. The shorts and a new series of comic strips, which will begin in 2019, were created to celebrate the character’s 90th birthday next year. In the animated series, Popeye is being recast as a more youthful, environmentally resourceful fellow, who lives in a washed-ashore houseboat, collects rainwater and grows his own spinach. The animated series will also make other updates. A clean-shaven Bluto, for example, is interested in stealing Popeye’s spinach more than he is the heart of Olive Oyl.