European stocks slip ahead of U.S. jobless claims data as stimulus doubts mount


European stocks failed to get off the ground on Thursday but the U.S. decision not to raise tariffs on EU products, including Airbus aircraft, may have prevented a selloff.


pascal rossignol/Reuters

European stocks edged lower on Thursday, as trade disputes were thrown back into the spotlight and investors awaited U.S. jobless claims data.

The pan-European Stoxx 600
SXXP,
-0.24%

slipped 0.3% in early trading, while the German DAX
DAX,
-0.07%

was 0.1% lower and the French CAC
PX1,
-0.11%

was 0.2% down.

The FTSE 100
UKX,
-0.93%
,
which surged 2% on Wednesday despite the U.K. economy’s record plunge in the second quarter, was 1% down. U.S. stock futures
YM00,
-0.03%

ES00,
-0.04%

NQ00,
-0.03%

also pointed lower after yesterday’s Wall Street rally.

Read: Why the S&P 500 is knocking on the door of its first record close in 6 months

After solid gains in yesterday’s session, markets were seemingly taking a pause ahead of the U.S. jobless claims data set to be released later on Thursday. The deadlock over another round of U.S. stimulus also weighed on sentiment, as President Donald Trump said a deal is “not going to happen.”

With the U.S.-China tensions bubbling in the background and officials from both countries due to meet on Saturday to review their trade deal, the U.S. turned its attention to Europe.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said tariffs on European Union products, including whiskey and Airbus
AIR,
-1.44%

aircraft, will remain unchanged, despite efforts by the plane maker to comply with a World Trade Organization decision over state aid.

The U.S. raised tariffs on €7.5 billion of EU products last year as retaliation for subsidies provided to Airbus. American officials had also threatened to raise tariffs or add new products this summer. Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said the fact it “failed to escalate the situation with fresh tariffs on vodka, gin and beer” prevented a market selloff.

Stocks in focus

Tui
TUI,
-4.35%

shares fell 4%, after the travel operator swung to a €1.4 billion loss in the third quarter as the coronavirus pandemic continued to hit the company. The hotel, airline and cruise operator said dividend payments and share buybacks will be restricted to the term of the €1.2 billion stabilization package announced on Wednesday with the German government.

Carlsberg
CARL.A,
-1.43%

stock slipped 4.8%, as the Danish brewer said it expected operating profit to fall 10% to 15% this year. It also warned demand would remain under pressure in China in the second half and that European sales wouldn’t return to normal this year.



Original source link

Facebook, Twitter remove Trump posts for making ‘false claims’ about coronavirus


President Donald Trump answers a question during a press conference in the White House on Wednesday.


AFP/Getty Images

Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. on Wednesday removed posts by President Donald Trump that violated their coronavirus misinformation policies.

The identical posts were a video clip from a Fox News interview with Trump about reopening schools, in which he wrongly claimed children are “virtually immune” to COVID-19.

While children appear to be generally less affected by the coronavirus, they are not “virtually immune,” and a number have died. The state of California, for example, has recorded more than 48,000 cases of COVID-19 in patients 17 and younger.

A Facebook
FB,
-0.28%

spokesperson said in an email: “This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation.” 

However, that message was not included on Facebook’s site. The post was replaced by a message reading “This content isn’t available right now,” which does not explain why it was removed or that its content was inaccurate.

It was the first time Facebook has taken down a Trump post for violating its coronavirus rules. In June, Facebook took down Trump campaign ads that included a Nazi symbol, and in March took down Trump campaign ads that were misleading about the census.

Trump’s official campaign account — which Trump retweeted — posted the same video on Twitter, which has been more active than Facebook at taking down presidential posts that violate guidelines. It was up for at least five hours before being taken down, with a note reading: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules.”

A Twitter
TWTR,
+1.21%

spokesperson confirmed the tweet was removed for being in violation of the company’s rules on COVID-19 misinformation. Twitter added that the Trump campaign’s official account will be blocked from posting again until the video is removed.

Trump has harshly criticized social-media companies for fact-checking and removing his posts, and in July the Trump administration asked the FCC to reinterpret a 1996 law that gives broad latitude to how tech companies police content on their sites.





Original source link

U.S. judge denies claims Uber won price-fixing suit because arbitrator was scared By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An Uber pick-up location is pictured in San Diego, California

By Tina Bellon

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Monday denied a request by an Uber Technologies Inc (N:) customer to overturn an arbitration win for the company in a price-fixing case over claims the arbitrator only ruled in Uber’s favor because he was scared.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said the claim was without merit, with the arbitrator, Les Weinstein, simply joking when he said he dismissed the lawsuit in February and said he acted out of fear.

“After carefully reviewing the full record, the court finds that the arbitrator’s concluding remarks, rather than a sincere confession of fear, were simply an attempt at humor – one of many made by the arbitrator throughout the hearing,” Rakoff wrote on Monday.

Spencer Meyer initiated the high-profile 2015 antitrust lawsuit alleging Uber engaged in an illegal conspiracy with its drivers to coordinate high “surge pricing” fares during periods of heavy demand by agreeing to charge prices set by an algorithm in the Uber ride-hailing app.

The lawsuit sought a nationwide ban against surge pricing. A ruling against the company would have threatened Uber’s business, which takes a cut from drivers’ earnings.

The company argues its drivers are independent contractors and that its app is merely a technology platform connecting drivers with passengers.

After going through several courts, the lawsuit was sent into arbitration in 2019 in accordance with Uber’s terms of service. Weinstein, the arbitrator, dismissed Spencer’s lawsuit on Feb. 22.

According to court transcripts, he concluded his ruling by saying: “I must say I act out of fear. My fear is if I ruled Uber illegal, I would need security. I wouldn’t be able to walk the streets at night. People would be after me.”

Spencer in May asked Rakoff to overturn the ruling, arguing Weinstein had displayed “evident partiality.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





Original source link

Job trouble? Wave of rehiring after economy reopened to fade in July after viral spiral


The engine of the U.S. economy may have gotten clogged again — no thanks to the recent acceleration in coronavirus cases. That’s bad news for Americans hoping to return to their old jobs.

Just how much damage has been done will become more evident this week, especially from the U.S. employment report for July due next Friday. The number of jobs regained last month is unlikely to match the huge increases in May and June that totaled a combined 7.5 million.

Wall Street
DJIA,
+0.43%

economists predict the U.S. added about 1.5 million jobs in July.

Even that estimate may be inflated though by seasonal changes in educational employment at the state and local level, Morgan Stanley contends. Private-sector jobs could increase by less than one million, the investment bank calculated.

See: MarketWatch Economic Calendar

Whatever the case, a much smaller increase in hiring or rehiring in July would bode ill for the U.S. recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The government last week reported that gross domestic product sank a whopping 32.9% in the second quarter on an annualized basis, the biggest decline since World War Two.

Read: Economy suffers titanic 32.9% plunge in 2nd quarter, points to drawn-out recovery

Also:‘A massive welfare economy’ – federal aid prevents even steeper GDP collapse

“The big question hovering over next week’s employment report is whether the two-month surge in job gains stopped in July,” says David Donabedian, chief investment officer of CIBC Private Wealth Management. He thinks that’s exactly what happened.

It will be hard for the economy to make up a lot of lost ground in the third quarter unless hiring snaps back even faster.

See:MarketWatch Coronavirus Recovery Tracker

The U.S. lost a record 22 million jobs in March and April, according to Labor Department data. So far the economy has recovered less than one-third of those jobs.

The weekly tally of jobless claims, meanwhile, showed an even higher 30 million unemployed people were collecting benefits as of mid-July, representing about one in five Americans who said they were working before the pandemic, according to a Labor Department survey of households.

Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, said many people who expect to return to work are going to find they have no jobs or businesses to which they can return, a “grim reminder” of how much long-term damage the pandemic has caused.

“In the long run we are going to see a sobering slowdown in job growth,” he said.

The still-high level of unemployment, the viral spiral, and the uncertainty over whether Washington will provide more financial aid has understandably made Americans feel less confidence. On Friday Congressional lawmakers were still at odds on the next relief package with many benefits set to expire at the end of July.

A variety of measures that monitor consumer attitudes show a clear deterioration in July that’s likely to bleed over into August. That will make a recovery even harder.

Read:Consumer confidence wanes in July and points to rockier economic recovery

And:Consumer sentiment falls as coronavirus cases rise and federal aid set to expire

The news might not all be negative next week, however.

Manufacturers — auto makers in particular — have shown more resilience than the service side of the economy. The closely followed ISM manufacturing survey could show improvement for the third straight month.

The housing industry has also snapped back faster than expected amid a surge in home sales. Prospective buyers with secure jobs are taking advantage of record-low interest rates to buy new homes, a trend that may have been fueled by people fleeing the closed spaces of cities with a high number of coronavirus cases.

Even that potential bit of good news, however, has been overshadowed by the broader damage to the economy from the latest spike in coronavirus cases in many American states.

A full recovery can’t take root and blossom, economists say, until the disease is brought under control.

See: Pandemic will continue for some time, experts tell Congress as U.S. case tally nears 4.5 million



Original source link

AstraZeneca to be exempt from coronavirus vaccine liability claims in most countries By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The company logo for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is displayed on a screen on the floor at the NYSE in New York

By Ludwig Burger and Pushkala Aripaka

(Reuters) – AstraZeneca (L:) has been granted protection from future product liability claims related to its COVID-19 vaccine hopeful by most of the countries with which it has struck supply agreements, a senior executive told Reuters.

With 25 companies testing their vaccine candidates on humans and getting ready to immunise hundred millions of people once the products are shown to work, the question of who pays for any claims for damages in case of side effects has been a tricky point in supply negotiations.

“This is a unique situation where we as a company simply cannot take the risk if in … four years the vaccine is showing side effects,” Ruud Dobber, a member of Astra’s senior executive team, told Reuters.

“In the contracts we have in place, we are asking for indemnification. For most countries it is acceptable to take that risk on their shoulders because it is in their national interest,” he said, adding that Astra and regulators were making safety and tolerability a top priority.

Dobber would not name the countries.

EU officials told Reuters this week product liability was among contentious points in European efforts to secure supply deals for potential COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer (N:), Sanofi (PA:) and Johnson & Johnson (N:).

The United States, however, already has a law to exclude tort claims from products that help control a public-health crises in the form of the 2005 Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness, or PREP Act.

AstraZeneca, Britain’s second-largest drugmaker, has pledged to supply a total of more than 2 billion doses at no profit in agreements with the United States, Britain and European countries, among other nations and organisations.

Astra’s deals differ from most rivals because it has secured government backing for production and development efforts, while competitors such as GlaxoSmithKline (L:) are looking to negotiate a price for a finished product, contingent on approval.

To back its claim to forgo profits from the $1.2 billion collaboration in the United States, Astra has even granted the government access to financial accounts related to the venture, according to Dobber.

“There are very clear milestones before they are going to pay. Because we made the promise to manufacture the vaccine at no profit, auditors of the U.S. administration will get free access to our accounting books,” he said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





Original source link