Business

Starbucks says Unicorn Frappuccino shows its digital savvy

NEW YORK (AP) -- Starbucks is pointing to the Unicorn Frappuccino as an example of its digital savvy, and ability to ride out of its sales slump. The coffee chain reported disappointing U.S. sales growth for the first three months of the year on Thursday as customer traffic stalled, and it tempered its profit forecast for the year. Its shares fell nearly 5 percent in after-hours trading.

5 reasons Amazon is experimenting with physical stores

NEW YORK (AP) -- Is the online giant of retail also looking to conquer physical stores? Amazon has been dabbling in physical retail since 2015, during which time it's opened a half-dozen bookstores that double as gadget emporia, a score of campus bookstores that don't sell books and a convenience store without cashiers. For now, its efforts seem largely experimental, though that may not be true for long.

Amazon beats Street 1Q forecasts

SEATTLE (AP) -- Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) on Thursday reported first-quarter profit of $724 million. The Seattle-based company said it had profit of $1.48 per share. The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.03 per share. The online retailer posted revenue of $35.71 billion in the period, also beating Street forecasts. Eleven analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $35.39 billion.

YouTube ad boycott could spell trouble for Alphabet's Google

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- YouTube's inability to keep big-brand ads off unsavory videos is threatening to transform a rising star in Google's digital family into a problem child. It's not yet clear whether a recent ad boycott of YouTube will be short-lived or the start of a long-term shift away from the video service -- one that could undercut Google's growth and that of its corporate parent, Alphabet Inc.

Starbucks meets 2Q profit forecasts

SEATTLE (AP) -- Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) on Thursday reported fiscal second-quarter profit of $652.8 million. The Seattle-based company said it had net income of 45 cents per share. The results matched Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was also for earnings of 45 cents per share. The coffee chain posted revenue of $5.29 billion in the period, missing Street forecasts. Nine analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $5.

Retailers and insurers get taxed more, tech less

NEW YORK (AP) -- To understand taxes, you have to think about geography. Don't worry, this will make sense eventually. The U.S. has high corporate taxes compared with other developed countries. That means companies that make most of their money inside the U.S. pay more in taxes than companies that do a lot of business overseas.

Passenger who was dragged off jetliner settles with United

CHICAGO (AP) -- The passenger who was dragged off a flight after refusing to give up his seat settled with United for an undisclosed sum Thursday in an apparent attempt by the airline to put the fiasco behind it as quickly as possible. David Dao's legal team said the agreement includes a provision that the amount will remain confidential. One his lawyers praised United CEO Oscar Munoz.

EPA chief to skip Republican gala after ethics complaint

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Environmental Protection Agency chief on Thursday pulled out of a Republican fundraiser after a Democratic senator raised ethics concerns. A spokesman for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced he would not be attending next week's Oklahoma Republican Party gala. Pruitt, who previously served as Oklahoma's elected attorney general, had been scheduled as the keynote speaker. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse filed an ethics complaint against Pruitt on Tuesday.

Disputes over abortion, financial rules slow spending bill

Political fights over abortion, financial regulations and Puerto Rico have slowed Republican and Democratic negotiators working on a sweeping, government-wide spending bill. President Donald Trump's tweetstorm lashing out at Democrats didn't help. Congress faces a midnight Friday deadline to avert a government shutdown on Trump's 100th day in office.

Trump orders investigation into aluminum imports

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump has signed a memo ordering an expedited investigation into whether aluminum imports are jeopardizing U.S. national security. Trump says aluminum is "critical" for national defense. He says the U.S. can't afford to become dependent on foreign imports in dangerous times. High-purity aluminum is used for a number of defense purposes, including in military planes and in the armor-plating of military vehicles.

AP FACT CHECK: Be wary of White House claims about tax plan

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Getting to the bottom of President Donald Trump's tax plan is difficult because it exists so far as bullet points on a single page, with no detail. Still, there are reasons to be wary about some of the claims coming out of the White House about it. CLAIM: TAX CUT IS BIGGEST EVER Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, in remarks Wednesday, channeled Trump's penchant for exaggeration.

Senate confirms Alex Acosta as Trump's secretary of labor

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate on Thursday confirmed Alex Acosta as Labor secretary, filling out President Donald Trump's Cabinet as he approaches his 100th day in office. The 60-38 vote confirms Acosta to the post. Once sworn as the nation's 27th Labor secretary, the son of Cuban immigrants will lead a sprawling agency that enforces more than 180 federal laws covering about 10 million employers and 125 million workers. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.

Southwest Airlines to end practice of overbooking flights

Southwest Airlines plans to stop overbooking flights -- an industry practice implicated in an ugly incident on a United Airlines flight that has damaged United's reputation with the flying public. Last year Southwest bumped 15,000 passengers off flights, more than any other U.S. airline. Carriers say they sometimes sell more tickets than there are seats because often a few passengers don't show up.

Toyota recalls 250K Tacoma pickups; rear wheels can lock up

DETROIT (AP) -- Toyota is recalling about 250,000 small pickup trucks mainly in North America because the rear wheels have the potential to lock up, causing drivers to lose control. The recall covers certain Tacoma trucks from the 2016 and 2017 model years. Toyota says oil can leak from the rear differential. That could damage components and cause the differential to lock up and stop the wheels from moving.

Trump finds that CEO-as-president isn't always a natural fit

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Donald Trump won the White House by arguing that what America needed was a president who had proved himself as a steely and successful corporate leader with no political baggage -- someone, say, like himself. If Abraham Lincoln relied on a team of rivals, Trump would command a team of "killer" CEOs.