Starbucks (SBUX) all-important U.S. business continues to be in need of a jolt. On Thursday, the coffee king said comparable store sales in the U.S. rose a scant 3% for the three months ended April 2, 2017, mimicking its first-quarter showing. Analysts surveyed at Factset were looking for same-store sales growth of at least 3.7%. In China, comparable store sales climbed 7%. New Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, who took over from longtime leader Howard Schultz earlier this month, predicted stronger revenue growth in the U.S. for the second half of 2017. He contended that the U.S. business is accelerating and performance in China is vigorous. Earnings of 45 cents a share only came in line with analysts'
The Trump administration’s proposal to lower the corporate tax rate to 15% has revived hopes that big U.S. companies will soon be motivated to bring back massive overseas cash piles. While the administration has not yet determined a rate at which those funds could be repatriated, Trump’s proposal unveiled Wednesday promises a “one-time tax on trillions of dollars held overseas.” U.S. companies had about $1.3 trillion in cash held in overseas accounts at the end of 2016, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Read: How Apple could bring overseas cash home to help fix America’s crumbling infrastructure Also: Trump paid $31 million in alternative minimum tax in 2005 — and now he plans to repeal
People like famed physicist Stephen Hawking and Tesla's Elon Musk have issued dark warnings of a world where computers become so sophisticated, so quickly, that humanity loses control of them—and its own destiny as a result. Yet Peter Norvig, a leading artificial intelligence scientist and a director of research at Google, thinks that's far-fetched. "I don't buy into the killer robot [theory]," he told CNBC this week. The real worry is how to prepare for the mass elimination of jobs that is surely coming, he said. "I certainly see that there will be disruptions in employment … we've already seen a lot of change, that's going to continue," Norvig said in an interview, before a lecture on machine