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This Week In Business: Southwest, Samsung, and More


Southwest Shares Drop As Labor Disputes Increase

Southwest Airlines shares fell 6 percent on Wednesday. This comes after reports of mechanical labor disputes. Southwest said they are investigating whether the disputes influenced the recent increase of flight cancellations. Southwest cancelled hundreds of flights in the last month because of bad weather and unexpected labor issues.

As a result, Southwest’s shares were down to $54.70 coming off an earlier low at $54.19. They reported the recent government shutdown as the problem, saying that it caused a $60M sales hit. That is four times higher than their previous estimate. In addition, a recent mechanics strike over labor costs also impacted their shares. The next round of talks is scheduled for March 12th.

Samsung Unveils $2000 Folding Phone

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled a $2,000 folding smartphone on Wednesday. This comes as an attempt top their rivals and restart consumer interest. The Galaxy Fold will start sales on April 26. They also plan to take advantage of new and faster 5G mobile networks.

The phone looks similar to a conventional smartphone, but it opens like a book to a display the size of a small tablet. The phone begins at $1,980. Experts say that the new phone could help keep Samsung on the market. Patrick Moorhead, founder of Moor Insights & Strategy, said, “I think this is Samsung’s chance to take back the innovation crown.”

Oil Rises As Global Stocks Rise

Global stocks are rising as hopes of a deal between China and the U.S. trade disputes come closer to fruition. They hit their four month high as supportive banks pushed assets higher. In addition, crude fixtures hit their first high of the year due to output cuts from top producers. The high began in Asia as it pushed the MSCI to it’s highest since October.

Canada Will Release Federal Budget

The Canadian government plans to unveil their budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year on March 19. Currently, the budget is the last before the next federal election. The current Liberal government pledged to boost spending to invigorate an economy hit by low oil prices. They also predicted the 2018-19 deficit to be $13.76Bn USD, smaller than original February 2018 budget.

Walmart’s Quarter Sales Jump

Walmart reported their holiday quarter sales as the highest in a decade. High e-commerce sales and grocery sales pushed the quarter to its high. Walmart said they found no signs of U.S. consumer spending tanking. Online sales reported a 43% jump, while Walmart’s shares grew 2.2%.

“We still feel pretty good about the consumer. We haven’t seen much of a change,” Walmart CFO Brett Biggs said. “The data we are seeing still looks pretty healthy. Gas prices are down year over year, which helps.”