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Tuesday, Jul 23rd

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US economy adds 206,000 June jobs as labor market cools slightly

Jerome PowellThe jobs figures, released on the first Friday of every month, have been closely watched by Wall Street, which is eager to see interest rates drop, and in Washington, where the strength of hiring has been one of the few bright spots for the Biden administration, which is struggling with poor polling on its economic policies.

Along with inflation figures, which come out later in the month, the Federal Reserve uses jobs figures to determine whether the economy is cooling and ready for interest rates to drop.

Last month, officials at the Fed kept rates at a two-decade high of around 5.3%, where it has been for nearly a year. The Fed has been trying to bring inflation down to 2%. In May, inflation sat at 3.4% – lower than its peak of 9.1% in June 2022, but still higher than the Fed’s target rate.

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‘Greed’: John Deere rolls out hundreds of US layoffs and sends work to Mexico

John Deere sends hundreds of jobs to Mexico

US workers at John Deere plants have accused the company of acting on “greed” as America’s most famous agricultural equipment company plans to shift more production to Mexico.

The company – famous for its green tractors and leaping deer logo – has announced layoffs of several hundred workers over the last several months with more layoffs planned for later this year.

“We get wind of more layoffs daily, it seems, and it’s causing uncertainty all over,” said a longtime John Deere worker at the Harvester Works plant in East Moline, Illinois, who requested to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. “The only reason for Deere to do this is greed.”

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The Dow Jones hits 40,000 for the first time. What to know about this major milestone

DJ hits 40,000 for the first time

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 40,000 points on Thursday for the first time ever, signaling a strong endorsement of the health of the U.S. economy.

The trigger that drove the market to a historic high was new data released Wednesday showing annual inflation easing after three consecutive months of higher-than-expected reports.

For investors the news of cooling inflation was a huge relief. Stubborn inflation has been one of the top challenges for an economy that otherwise is doing remarkably well.

The question now is whether these gains in the markets can be sustained. The Dow eventually gave up its earlier gains and ended down slightly at 39,869 points.

Here are three things to know about where things stand in stock markets.

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US corporations push to roll back Trump-era tax policies they once endorsed

US Corporations want to roll back Trup era tax breaks

US corporations and their supporters in Washington are pushing aggressively to roll back tax policies they once endorsed, in a move that could return hundreds of billions of dollars to some of America’s biggest companies.

As congressional negotiators attempt to keep the government funded past 19 January, an agreement is emerging that ties the corporate tax breaks to an increase in support for vulnerable American families – an effort to make the deal more palatable for Democrats.

Just six years ago the Business Roundtable, a lobbying group for CEOs of large US firms, described the Trump-era Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as “a remarkable, once-in-a-generation opportunity”. Now, the group is leading “a six-figure advocacy campaign” to roll back parts of it, according to Politico, and threatening that failing to secure new tax cuts will lead to “slower job creation, smaller wage increases and lower overall economic growth”.

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Crypto exchange FTX files for bankruptcy amid $8 billion shortfall

FTX files for bankruptsy

FTX Trading on Friday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, capping a sudden and startling downfall for one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

Founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried also resigned from the company, which appointed John J. Ray III as its new chief executive. Bankman-Fried plans to stay with FTX while it works through the bankruptcy process, according to a statement on Friday.

"The immediate relief of Chapter 11 is appropriate to provide the FTX Group the opportunity to assess its situation and develop a process to maximize recoveries for stakeholders," Ray said in the statement.

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How Fed's bigger, faster rate hikes will affect your credit card, mortgage, savings rates

Fed raises ratesThe Federal Reserve is expected Wednesday afternoon to announce its largest interest rate hike since 1994 — a bigger increase than it had previously signaled and a sign that the central bank is struggling to restrain stubbornly high inflation.

The central bank is considered likely to raise its benchmark short-term rate by three-quarters of a percentage point, far larger than the typical quarter-point increase, to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%. It will also likely forecast additional large rate hikes through the end of the year.

A series of sizeable increases would heighten borrowing costs for consumers and businesses, likely leading to an economic slowdown and raising the risk of a recession. The Fed's previous rate hikes have already had the effect of raising mortgage rates roughly 2 percentage points since the year began and have slowed home sales.

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Weak demand prompts Macy's to cut 3,900 jobs in push to save cash

Macy's New YorkMacy’s Inc (M.N) said on Thursday it would lay off about 3,900 employees in corporate and management positions as U.S. businesses try to save cash in the face of dwindling demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Macy’s had in May warned of nearly $1 billion in operating losses in its first quarter and said it would turn into a “smaller company”.

The job cuts come at a time when unemployment figures in the United States are already high. Rising coronavirus infections in many U.S. states including California, Texas and Florida are likely to hurt employment further as some people stay away from consumer-facing establishments.

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