Higher Rock Education - Economics Blog

Monday, February 03, 2020

Economics in the News – Jan. 27-Feb. 2

Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of the top storylines from this past week in economic news.

  • The coronavirus outbreak has caused companies to scale back operations in China. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, airlines are taking precautions. American Airlines has suspended all flights from Los Angeles to Shanghai and Beijing. British Airways is no longer flying to mainland China. Other companies, like Starbucks and McDonalds, have also temporarily closed stores in China.

  • The United States economy grew at a 2.1% clip in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the Commerce Department as reported in the USA Today. Growth slowed from the 2.9% rate in the third quarter, largely because consumer spending decreased from 3.8% to 1.8%.
  • You may know about the late-Kobe Bryant’s stardom on the basketball court where he was an 18-time NBA All-Star for the Los Angeles Lakers. However, his budding business career after his retirement from the NBA is less known. Bryant, who died tragically last Sunday morning alongside his daughter Gianna and nine others in a helicopter crash near Malibu, used the same work ethic from his basketball career to build a successful private investment fund. USA Today chronicles how Bryant Stibel & Co. managed  $2 billion in capital  which backed media, tech and data companies across the world.

  • The United Kingdom officially left the European Union after 47 years of membership. It became official at midnight in Brussels on Friday, Jan. 31. The BBC reports on the next stages of Brexit, including the beginning of 11-month transitional phase between the EU and UK.

  • The Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV Sunday night, coming from behind to defeat the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20. Many of us were more interested in the ads than we were the game itself. Business Insider reports how the cost to run a Super Bowl ad has increased over the years, with the average cost for a 30-second ad this season being $5.6 million.  

  • Amazon briefly joined the $1 trillion dollar club, as shares jumped more than 7% Friday following the company’s 4th quarter earnings. Amazon closed Friday at 2,055.72, eight cents short of its first close above the $1 trillion valuation, according to The Wall Street Journal. Amazon looks to join Apple, Google’s parent Alphabet and Microsoft as the only companies to close a session with a $1 trillion market capitalization.

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