Markets Decline as Pandemic's Grip Tightens: Live Business Briefing - Press "Enter" to skip to content

Markets Decline as Pandemic’s Grip Tightens: Live Business Briefing

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Mnuchin and Pelosi inch toward resuming stimulus talks as economy continues to struggle.

Top Democrats on Thursday were crafting a $2.4 trillion package — about $1 trillion less than the measure the House approved in May — that could either serve as a new basis for the Democratic position in negotiations or be voted on as a stand-alone package in the coming days, according to a senior Democratic aide.

A rise in new claims for state jobless benefits signals continuing layoffs.

About 825,000 Americans filed for state unemployment benefits last week. That is up from 796,000 a week earlier, though it is far below the more than six million people a week who were filing for benefits during the peak period of layoffs in the spring. By any measure, however, hundreds of thousands of Americans are losing their jobs each week, and millions more laid off earlier in the crisis are still relying on unemployed benefits to meet their basic expenses. Applications for benefits remain higher than at the peak of many past recessions, and after falling quickly in the spring, the number has declined only slowly in recent weeks.

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Tech stocks dragged stocks to their fifth decline in the last six sessions.

Stocks have been retreating since that Sept. 2 peak, as investors rotated out of the high-flying tech shares and concerns grew about the state of the economy. A key worry has been Washington’s inability to reach a deal on a new economic aid package, and the gridlock between Democrats and Republicans has only worsened since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week.

Disney delays the release of ‘Black Widow,’ ‘West Side Story’ and other films.

Movie theaters, already starved for new Hollywood films to show, were handed new setbacks on Wednesday: Walt Disney Studios said it would hold off releasing several major films, including “Black Widow,” a Marvel superhero spectacle, and Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story.”

Britain issues a U-turn for office workers, urging them to stay home.

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Companies that had been under pressure from British government ministers to get employees back to the office were scrambling to change their guidance for staff. Some had organized rotation systems to alternate different teams in the office to ensure social distancing. Others supplied personal protective equipment, created one-way systems to move around offices and reconfigured desk spaces. Both JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs were at about 30 percent capacity in their London offices.

Wall Street climbs, snapping a losing streak as tech rallies

The S&P 500 rose more than 1 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite climbed nearly 2 percent. Amazon and Twitter gained more than 6 percent to become the best performing stock in the S&P 500.

President Trump says China must cede control of TikTok or he ‘won’t make the deal.’

Asked about reports that TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, would still own 80 percent of the service after the deal, President Trump said that they would “have nothing to do with it, and if they do we just won’t make the deal.” He said Oracle and Walmart, which under the deal would take a 20 percent stake in the new company, TikTok Global, would control the service.

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Wall Street continues slide as virus cases rise and Washington gridlock worsens.

Shares of companies that are sensitive to the pandemic and the return of restrictions on travel in particular fared poorly on Monday. Delta Air Lines fell more than 9 percent, for example. Sectors of the market relatively immune to the ups and downs of the business cycle, including some large-cap technology companies fared better. Apple and Netflix climbed more than 3 percent. Countries around the world are reporting significant increases in coronavirus cases, just as cooler weather comes to the northern hemisphere, drawing more people inside.

Credit…Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

A top editor of The Miami Herald’s Spanish-language sister publication, El Nuevo Herald, has resigned and its publisher has been demoted after a racist and anti-Semitic column was published in a paid insert inside the newspaper this month.

Kristin Roberts, vice president of news at McClatchy, which publishes The Herald and El Nuevo Herald, announced the leadership shake-up on Thursday in an email to staff, which The New York Times obtained.

Ms. Roberts said Nancy San Martin, El Nuevo Herald’s managing editor, had resigned.

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Aminda Marqués González, the executive editor and publisher of The Herald and El Nuevo Herald, will no longer be publisher, a job she had held since April 2019, but will remain executive editor.

The column was published on Sept. 11 in Libre, a Friday supplement in El Nuevo Herald. The author, Roberto Luque-Escalona, took aim at American Jews who support Black Lives Matter.

“What kind of people are these Jews?” Mr. Luque-Escalona wrote. “They are always talking about the Holocaust, but have they now forgotten Kristallnacht, when Nazi thugs razed Jewish businesses throughout Germany? The same is being done by B.L.M. and Antifa, only the Nazis did not rob; they only destroyed.”

Ms. San Martin and Ms. Marqués apologized to readers several days after the column was published, saying: “The fact that no one in leadership, beginning with us, had previously read this advertising insert until this issue was surfaced by a reader is distressing.”

In a statement last week, McClatchy said an internal review had resulted in a termination of the company’s commercial relationship with Libre.

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Credit…Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images

Fox News won a legal victory on Thursday after a federal judge dismissed a defamation suit brought against its host Tucker Carlson by a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Donald J. Trump before he was president.

The suit, filed last year, stemmed from a 2018 episode of Mr. Carlson’s show in which he accused the model, Karen McDougal, of extorting Mr. Trump. She sold the rights to her story of an affair to The National Enquirer in 2016, which did not publish the story, a transaction that involved Mr. Trump’s former longtime lawyer, Michael D. Cohen.

Ms. McDougal said Mr. Carlson’s remarks harmed her reputation, but Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil, of United States District Court in Manhattan, said the host’s comments were protected by the First Amendment.

“The statements are rhetorical hyperbole and opinion commentary intended to frame a political debate, and, as such, are not actionable as defamation,” she wrote.

In reaching her decision, Judge Vyskocil relied in part on an argument made by Fox News lawyers: that the “general tenor” of Mr. Carlson’s program signals to viewers that the host is “engaging in ‘exaggeration’ and ‘nonliteral commentary.’” The judge added: “Given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer ‘arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism’” about the host’s on-air comments.

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In other words, Mr. Carlson’s viewers may not necessarily believe everything they hear.

A lawyer for Ms. McDougal, Eric R. Bernstein, said in an email on Thursday that the decision was “unfortunate” and that he and Ms. McDougal were considering their options.

Fox News said in a statement: “Karen McDougal’s lawsuit attempted to silence spirited opinion commentary on matters of public concern. The court today held that the First Amendment plainly prohibits such efforts to stifle free speech.”


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