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Week in review: More trick than treat

This week we saw some tricks (and not many treats) from quarterly reporting, spooky trade negotiations between Canada and the EU, and a Halloween treat from the Golden Arches.

Technology companies have been getting into the Halloween spirit this reporting season. Tech giant Apple was flattered by some trickery in its third-quarter results, having released the new iPhone seven days earlier than normal this year. Unfortunately, the move didn’t seem to provide much of a boost to earnings, and the company reported a dip in sales and revenues. The real hocus pocus takes place next quarter. The smartphone provider has announced it will be extending the fourth quarter by seven days, boosting its reportable revenue by almost 3% if forecasts are to be believed.

Tricks may be aplenty in Apple’s quarterly report, and there’s also little in the way of treats in store for rival Samsung. The South Korean electronics giant’s spontaneously combusting smartphones managed to burn a hole in its profits, leading to a 30% fall in quarterly profits.

Bad moon rising

After seven years of negotiations, the trade deal between Canada and the European Union (EU) almost came to a ghastly end. The spat arose close to midnight after Belgium’s government failed to resolve objections from Members of Parliament (MPs) in the region of Wallonia. As they approached the witching hour, tensions grew, causing Canada’s trade minister to walk out of negotiations without a resolution. In the light of day the following morning, an agreement was met. All was well. Perhaps it was just the effects of the full moon.

GDP data fails to spook investors

Investors were peering between their fingers when data showing UK economic growth was released at the end of the week. However, the figures showed that the UK economy actually fared well in the aftermath of the EU referendum. Growth was stronger than expected, at 0.5% in the three months between July and September. Sentiment appears to have bounced back after the initial shock of the result, though there is still much more to come.

And finally …

Big Mac or Whopper? McChicken Sandwich or Chicken Sandwich? Which to choose? Such questions likely haunt the minds of burger buffs around the world. After all, fast food foes Burger King and McDonald’s are the very embodiment of competition and rivalry.

A New York branch of the former turned up the heat on their Burger Wars this week by dressing up its entire building for Halloween. Following in the age-old tradition of cutting some eye holes in an old bedsheet and running around shouting “wooooooooooooo”, the brazen brasserie draped itself in huge tarpaulins designed to look like the ghost of McDonald’s iconic golden arches. We await the latter’s response, but let’s hope it keeps in the spirit of Halloween fun.

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