Lackluster Q4 Economic Growth, Chevron’s Downstream Segment Keeps the Company Afloat

The US economy grew 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014 - down from the 5% growth seen during the previous three-month period. While the growth rate was lower than expected, consumer spending during Q4 rose 4.3% - the fastest rate quarterly rise since early 2006.

While Chevron plans to cut capital spending in 2015 by 13%, the company’s refining segment has helped offset the falling oil prices. The downstream activity (refining oil into gasoline and diesel) also helped boost Chevron’s earnings to $1.52 billion during the fourth quarter of 2014.

Honda has reportedly cut its profit forecasts due to recall expenses linked to faulty airbags. The Japanese automaker cut its fiscal year (which ends in March) forecast by 3.5% to $4.6 billion.

McDonald’s has taken on a new CEO, Steve Easterbrook, who plans to get “back to basics” and put the focus of the fast food chain back on burgers.

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