Afternoon Coffee: Brexit Plan B Unveiled with Thud; IMF Forecasts Lower Global Expansion

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After British Prime Theresa May lost her Brexit vote last week, she had until Monday to come up with a Plan B. That new proposal seems a lot like the old one, the Associated Press reports.

Brexit supporters say it keeps the UK too tied to the European Union rules, and opponents of Brexit still dislike the idea of not having the same ease of doing business with Europe.

The Irish border issue also remains a sticking point, with no progress seeming to be made there either, the AP reports.

Downward Revision Again

The International Monetary Fund on Monday cut its forecast for global economic expansion, saying that the momentum of recent years is losing steam, CNBC reports.

It is the second time in three months that growth has been revised down, reports CNBC, which also had this:

“Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the IMF's Managing Director Christine Lagarde said: ‘After two years of solid expansion, the world economy is growing more slowly than expected and risks are rising. But even as the economy continues to move ahead ... it is facing significantly higher risks.’ "

J.C. Penney’s ‘Broken Business’

The retailer J.C. Penney faces a tough road ahead — a future that could have it following Sears to bankruptcy court, The Wall Street Journal reports. In addition to the retail market being tough, J.C. Penney has suffered churn at top positions or has not filled key posts, the Journal reports.

“Penney is a broken business,” Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia Business School, told the Journal. “They are looking at a very problematic 2019. It’s the mistakes of the past coming home to roost.”

IBM and Emerging Tech

IBM is expected to report a second straight quarter of revenue declines, but it is banking on emerging technology in the future, MarketWatch reports.

“IBM said its ‘strategic imperatives’ businesses — that is, cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security — generated $39.5 billion in revenue and represented 49% of total IBM revenue over the previous 12 months through the third quarter,” MarketWatch reports.

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