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A roar of corporate earnings came out this week and last, and the information piling up from the backbone-of-American-buyers companies like Coca-Cola (KO), Mattel (MAT), GM (GM), Hilton, American Express ( AXP) offers a fuller picture of what’s going on in this country than we’ve had in the past.

Amid a nearly international consensus that America is headed for, or possibly already in, a recession, earnings of some of the top consumer and lifestyle companies continue to provide more than a smidgen of hope.

Then again, as comedian John Cleese once said, “it’s not the despair…I can stand the despair. It’s the hope.”

So here’s a look at the good news. To be sure, we’re cherry picking, but perhaps there just might be enough of it to keep the Fed from hiking interest rates a third of a percentage point on Nov. 2.

–Hilton Hotels this morning revised its fourth-quarter outlook up, citing “a pandemic recovery.”

– On Tuesday, GM announced quarterly earnings rebounded 48% as semiconductor supply chain issues began to resolve, and Coca-Cola reported net revenues jumped 10% to $1.1 billion in the third quarter.

– Mattel offered a reserved outlook for the holiday season but beat analysts’ forecasts. It bragged that toy car sales are zooming, as are Barbie-related entertainment partnerships.

–American Express last week reported its third-quarter revenue rose 24%, chiefly due to a return to travel.

The economic outlook is bleaker in Europe, of course, but the picture that these

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Small Business Owners in Battleground States Identify Economy as Key Issue Ahead of Midterms

DALLAS, October 26, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–National Write Your Congressman (NWYC), an organization that gives small businesses a voice in government, released its latest Quarterly Index which found 80 percent of small business owners citing they will vote for candidates in the midterm elections who propose policies that will improve the US economy and thus, their own business, and who support policies with fewer regulations. This includes small business members from the battleground states of Georgia, Ohio, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.

“Business owners plan to vote for candidates that build back the US economy and support their small businesses with less regulations, less spending, less government programs, and will work to get inflation and the US supply chain under control,” said Randy Ford, president and COO of National Write Your Congressman. “Our members are motivated to vote as they have seen rising costs due to inflation and less support for the fossil fuel industry.”

Ninety-nine percent of business owners plan to vote in the mid-term elections this year. Fifteen percent of business owners say they will vote based on their candidates’ support of small business regardless of party.

“I live in Pennsylvania and we need a major change. We need lower taxes, less tax on business, and energy policy reform,” said Shawn Hershey, owner, Hershey Excavating LLC in Manheim, Pennsylvania.

Fifty-two percent of small business owners say the outcome of the midterm elections will impact their business “a great deal” with only 10 percent noting the midterms would impact their business “a

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