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United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams said the union is working with General Motors (GM) to avoid layoffs as U.S. auto sales slump, AutoBlog reported. GM is considering producing more trucks and SUVs while killing off six slow-selling models produced at underused car plants such as Hamtramck in Michigan and Lordstown in Ohio. It's unclear if the plants will start producing newer, more popular models. GM has cut shifts at several of its U.S. plants as inventories of small and midsized cars grow. If GM stopped producing the six models under consideration, it wouldn't happen until 2020. The models at risk are the Chevrolet Volt, Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CT6, Cadillac XTS, Chevrolet Impala
If you listen to Starbucks (SBUX) execs, then everything at the coffee giant is amazing. Do some work in Microsoft (MSFT) Excel (as the analysts at Credit Suisse did below on Wednesday), and a glaring issue comes to light. That is, for all its digital leadership and ability to crank out new, more expensive drinks, Starbucks sales are on a long-term downtrend. Seeing as employee hourly wages and benefit costs are on the rise, as are costs to open new locations, a stubborn downtrend in sales is very unwelcome. It's especially unwelcome as most on Wall Street remain obsessed with Starbucks' growth prospects -- they could be in for some unfortunate surprises on the bottom line over the next year
A small group of companies and individuals are looking to register racially charged words and symbols for their products, including the N-word and a swastika, based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision on trademarks last month. At least nine such applications have been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) since the unanimous June 19 ruling throwing out a federal law prohibiting disparaging trademarks. Federally registered trademarks, though not required to sell goods in the marketplace, can protect businesses against unauthorized uses of their brands.