Business Highlights: US economy grows, Apple posts profit

January 27, 2022 GMT

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US economy grew 5.7% in 2021 in rebound from 2020 recession

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew last year at the fastest pace since Ronald Reagan’s presidency, bouncing back with resilience from 2020′s brief but devastating coronavirus recession. The nation’s gross domestic product — its total output of goods and services — expanded 5.7% in 2021. It was the strongest calendar-year growth since a 7.2% surge in 1984 after a previous recession. The economy ended the year by growing at a solid 6.9% annual pace from October through December. Squeezed by inflation and still gripped by COVID-19 caseloads, the economy is expected to keep expanding this year, though at a slower pace.

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Stocks give up a rally and end lower as volatility continues

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks gave up an early rally and closed lower on Wall Street Thursday as a streak of market volatility continued. The S&P 500 index fell 0.5% after being up as much as 1.8%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was barely lower and the Nasdaq fell 1.4%. Markets are still processing the latest indications from the Federal Reserve a day earlier that the central bank is increasingly concerned about inflation and plans to raise interest rates and take other steps soon to fight it. Investors were encouraged to see that the U.S. economy grew last year at the fastest pace since 1984.

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Apple’s holiday iPhone sales surge despite supply shortages

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Apple shook off supply shortages that have curtailed production of iPhones and other popular devices to deliver its most profitable holiday season yet. The results announced Thursday for the final three months of 2021 help illustrate why Apple is looking even stronger at the tail end of the pandemic than when the crisis began two years ago. At that point, Apple’s iPhone sales had been flagging, but now the Cupertino, California, company can’t seem to keep up with the steadily surging demand for a device that has become even more crucial in the burgeoning era of remote work.

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Growth slows again for Robinhood; stock falls after earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — Growth keeps slowing for Robinhood Markets, the upstart company that upended the brokerage industry, and its stock keeps falling. The company whose easy-to-use trading app helped bring a new generation of investors to the market said Thursday that its revenue rose 14% in the fourth quarter from a year ago, less than half its growth rate in the summer months. The company also warned that revenue in the current first quarter could decline sharply compared to the year-ago quarter. Its shares, which dropped 6.4% in regular trading hours, fell 9.5% after the market closed to $10.51.

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McDonald’s ends 2021 strong, but rising costs ding profit

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CHICAGO (AP) — McDonald’s ended 2021 on a high note, with U.S. customers spending more and fewer restaurant closures in Europe. The burger giant said Thursday that global same-store sales rose 12.3% for the quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting a 10.5% increase. But McDonald’s was still stung by rising prices and higher labor costs, which cut into profits. The Chicago company reported adjusted earnings of $2.23 per share, 11 cents short of Wall Street expectations. McDonald’s says it expects higher costs for food and paper to persist in the first half of this year.

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Southwest, profitable again in Q4, expects slow 2022 start

DALLAS (AP) — Thanks to strong passenger traffic over the winter holidays, Southwest Airlines is reporting a $68 million profit for the fourth quarter. Southwest said Thursday it was the airline’s first profit without federal pandemic aid since late 2019. The airline is facing higher costs, however, from boosting wages and hiring more workers. Southwest says that adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter were 14 cents per share, beating Wall Street’s forecast of 7 cents per share. Revenue was also higher than analysts expected. JetBlue reported a loss of $129 million, while Alaska Airlines eked out an $18 million profit.

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Deutsche Bank sees biggest annual profit in a decade

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Deutsche Bank says it reaped its best annual profit in 10 years last year. Germany’s largest bank said it had put most of its wrenching, years-long restructuring behind it. The bank underlined its progress by announcing a dividend for 2021 and a 300 million-euro share buyback to return money to shareholders. Profit came in at 2.5 billion euros last year, four times the year before. CEO Christian Sewing said the bank was fulfilling promises made in July 2019 when it announced a sweeping restructuring plan that involved shedding thousands of jobs in an attempt to end years of uneven profits and large losses from run-ins with regulatory authorities.

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Growth slows again for Robinhood; stock falls after earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — Growth keeps slowing for Robinhood Markets, the upstart company that upended the brokerage industry, and its stock keeps falling. The company whose easy-to-use trading app helped bring a new generation of investors to the market said Thursday that its revenue rose 14% in the fourth quarter from a year ago, less than half its growth rate in the summer months. The company also warned that revenue in the current first quarter could decline sharply compared to the year-ago quarter. Its shares, which dropped 6.4% in regular trading hours, fell 9.5% after the market closed to $10.51.

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The S&P 500 fell 23.42 points, or 0.5%, to 4,326.51. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 7.31 points, or less than 0.1%, to 34,160.78. The Nasdaq dropped 189.34 points, or 1.4%, to 13,352.78. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 45.18 points, or 2.3%, to 1,931.29.