Business

Tech and Auto Earning Reports, and an EU Official Visits Trump

Posted July 22, 2018 3:47 p.m. EDT

Slew of Tech Earnings Scheduled to Be Reported

The tumult has continued for the U.S. tech giants, but this week they get to focus on their main strength: making money. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, announces its earnings on Monday after the closing bell. Then Facebook reports on Wednesday, Amazon on Thursday and Twitter on Friday. Alphabet’s earnings call comes less than a week after European regulators fined the company $5.1 billion for abusing its dominance in the smartphone industry, while Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, may have to handle questions about his company’s confusing policies on hate speech and misinformation.

— JACK NICAS

Hearing Planned on Tariffs on $16 Billion in Chinese Products

The U.S. trade representative is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday on the list of $16 billion in Chinese products that could be subject to additional tariffs as part of an escalating trade conflict between China and the United States. President Donald Trump has pledged to impose tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese products as a penalty for intellectual property theft, and the first tranche of tariffs on $34 billion of products went into effect July 6. Economic officials from Canada and Mexico are also scheduled to resume talks over the North American Free Trade Agreement, after a brief pause for the Mexican presidential elections.

— ANA SWANSON

European Commission President to Discuss Trade With Trump

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission and the European Union’s top executive, will meet on Wednesday with President Donald Trump in Washington in an effort to defuse trade tensions. The European Union has retaliated against Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, and the dispute will escalate if the president goes ahead with plans to impose heavy tariffs on European cars and car parts. But there may be room for compromise. The U.S. auto industry has condemned the proposed tariffs on imported vehicles, saying they could push up sticker prices by thousands of dollars. Faced with increasing political resistance, the White House has been hinting there could be some kind of deal.

— JACK EWING

Detroit Automakers to Report Q2 Earnings

General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor all report their second-quarter earnings on Wednesday, and while each is grappling with a softening in the U.S. market, the spotlight will be on any details the three automakers can shed on the impact of the Trump administration’s tariffs and trade policy. Each of the companies exports a significant number of vehicles from U.S. plants to Europe and China, which have retaliated with tariffs of their own on American-made cars and trucks. The Detroit three also import raw materials, parts and components from Mexico, Canada, China and elsewhere that are affected by the Trump import duties.

— NEAL E. BOUDETTE

Deutsche Bank Hopes Its Earnings Report Will Ease Skepticism

Deutsche Bank will report its earnings on Wednesday and try to convince skeptical investors that it can overcome a long list of problems, including management turnover and lack of a clear strategy. The bank said on July 16 that it would report earnings for the quarter of about 400 million euros, or $464 billion, more than twice what analysts had estimated. The report on Wednesday should provide more details on what led to the better-than-expected profit.

— JACK EWING

Ryanair Staff Members Expected to Strike

Ryanair cabin crews in Belgium, Portugal and Spain have planned strikes for Wednesday and Thursday that could affect as many as 300 flights and 50,000 passengers. The company said on Friday that more than 90 percent of those passengers have been given alternate flights or refunded. Ryanair has been trying for months to deal with unrest among employees who have been pushing for better working conditions. Pilots balked last year when the company bungled its vacation schedules and threatened to cut into their time off. This led to an outcry over working conditions that forced the company to recognize unions. Talks fell apart and the carrier was hit by its first strike in December last year. Ryanair signed agreements to recognize cabin crew unions in Italy and Germany before this week’s strike, but the company has also been grappling with a strike by pilots that it said led to the cancellation of flights for 4,000 Irish passengers.

— AMIE TSANG

European Central Bank Will Meet to Discuss Rates

The risk to the eurozone economy posed by an expanding trade war will be a main topic of discussion when the European Central Bank’s Governing Council meets Thursday in Frankfurt. The bank is not expected to make any changes to monetary policy so soon after June, when it presented a timetable for winding down emergency stimulus measures. But when Mario Draghi, the central bank’s president, holds a news conference after the meeting, reporters are most likely to press him for specifics about when the bank will begin raising interest rates from historic lows.

— JACK EWING

Strong Economic Report Expected, but May Not Be Temporary

Economic growth almost certainly gained steam in the second three months of the year. Economists surveyed by FactSet estimated data from the Commerce Department on Friday will show that gross domestic product grew at a 3.8 percent annual rate, up from 2 percent in the first quarter. Some economists are even more optimistic, forecasting growth of 4.5 percent or even 5 percent, which would make it one of the strongest quarters of the decadelong recovery. But do not expect the sharp acceleration to endure: Growth was most likely pumped up by the short-term effects of tax cuts, government spending increases and, counter-intuitively, the budding trade war between the United States and China, which has led some companies to stockpile products and accelerate exports to get ahead of expected tariffs. As a result, growth is expected to slow in the second half of the year.

— BEN CASSELMAN

Merger Between Disney and 21st Century Fox Comes Up for Votes

Rupert Murdoch will become $12 billion richer on Friday when shareholders of both 21st Century Fox and the Walt Disney Co. will vote on a $71.3 billion merger agreement. Bothmeetings will take place at the Hilton Hotel in New York at 10 a.m., after which Murdoch’s media empire will shrink to a group of businesses that includes Fox News and Fox Broadcasting. The bulk of his businesses — the 20th Century Fox film and TV studios, the FX and National Geographic cable channels, a 30-percent stake in Hulu and several international assets — will transfer to Disney. Up next: Comcast and Disney will battle for control of the European TV service Sky.

— EDMUND LEE