Market update: NAFTA in review, and Uber makes a friend

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This week in the markets

  • The US and Mexico reached a compromise to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) but have yet to include Canada in the deal as of Thursday’s market close.
  • Toyota announced plans to invest $500 million in Uber and hopes to bring an on demand self-driving car service to the market.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts dropped Donuts from its name for newly opened stores in New York, Massachusetts, and parts of California as part of a broader rebranding effort.
  • US economic growth had best quarter in nearly four years.

The US and Mexico made a preliminary trade deal

President Trump and Mexican President Peña Nieto reached an agreement to change parts of NAFTA, which would last a total of 16 years and reviewed every six years. The agreement includes:

  • Requiring that 75% of car parts sold in North America be produced in the United States or Mexico.
  • Requiring that 40% to 45% of car parts sold in North America be made by workers earning at least $16 USD per hour.

Canada, the third country in NAFTA, has yet to agree to any changes (as of Thursday’s market close). Many economists have been concerned about how changing trade policies could hinder the US economy; however, the markets seemed to react positively to news of a deal between Mexico and the US this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed 260 points higher on Monday.

Uber finds a friend in Toyota

Toyota is partnering up with Uber in attempts to bring on demand driverless vehicles to a town near you. The Japanese automaker invested $500 million into the drive-hailing startup and now hopes to deploy Toyota Sienna Minivans equipped with Uber’s self-driving technology across its network.

Dunkin’ Donuts drops Donuts (from name)

Dunkin’ Donuts has decided to go by JUST Dunkin’, as part of a broader rebranding effort in new stores across New York, Massachusetts, and parts of California. Besides dropping Donuts (strictly from its name), other changes include a refocus on coffee and adding nitro cold brews to the menu. Yum! ?

The US economy had its best quarter in four years

The US economy grew at an annualized rate of 4.2% in the second quarter, which is the best such rate in nearly four years. If growth continues at this pace, we could see the strongest full-year increase in over a decade. Some economists attribute the recent jolt to the $1.4 trillion tax cut by the Trump administration. Many expect growth to slow throughout the rest of the year but still result in a solid 3% annual rate for 2018.

And now for your weekly ==Lionomics== wrap-up ?

Lionomics: Finance made easy

This week, we covered three types of investment accounts that help you save for the future. For your retirement needs, ==Roth IRAs and IRAs== can be a supplement to a 401(k), or a substitution if you’re not offered an employer-sponsored plan. For future education expenses, ==529 plans== help you grow your investments tax-free, and you may even get some state tax benefits. Lastly, ==UTMAs and UGMAs== allow an adult to give money to a minor in an investment account while maintaining control over it until the child becomes an adult. Find more helpful details about each option, read the week’s full ==Lionomics== posts.

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