The daily business briefing: December 2, 2022
Senate passes bill to avert rail strike, Supreme Court says it will hear arguments on Biden's blocked student-loan relief plan, and more
Senate passes bill to avert holiday season rail strike
The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved legislation to impose a contract on freight railroads and rail-worker unions to prevent a potentially devastating Dec. 9 strike. The 80-15 vote sends the bill to President Biden for his signature. Biden had called on Congress to step in to avert a walkout, which could have disrupted food, water, and fuel distribution. Under the agreement, brokered by the Biden administration but rejected by four of the 12 railway workers' unions, employees would get pay raises of about 24 percent by 2024 and increased flexibility when they need time off. A second measure, seeking the paid sick leave union members were holding out for, fell short of the 60 votes needed to get past a Republican filibuster.
Supreme Court to hear Biden's appeal of ruling blocking his student-debt relief plan
The Supreme Court said Thursday it would hear President Biden's appeal to overturn a lower-court ruling blocking his student-loan forgiveness program. The high court, however, said the program would remain blocked while the appeal is pending. Oral arguments are set for February, with a decision expected by June. Biden's plan would provide up to $10,000 of student-debt relief to people making less than $125,000 per year, with up to $10,000 more in forgiveness for recipients of Pell grants. Two weeks ago the Biden administration started notifying applicants who had been approved. About 26 million applied for the program before an appeals court froze it in November, reversing a district court ruling against a group of states that challenged it.
Parler, Kanye West scrap deal for rapper to buy social media site
Parler announced Thursday it had "mutually agreed" with Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, to terminate the rapper's deal to buy the social media company. West recently lost partnerships with Gap, Adidas, and other companies after he made antisemitic social media posts and public comments. Parler had announced in October that Ye would acquire the social media site, which is popular with supporters of former President Donald Trump, for an undisclosed amount. A spokesperson for Parlement Technologies, Parler's parent company, told The Washington Post in an email that the deal was terminated "mainly due to his recent and well-publicized business difficulties." Twitter on Thursday suspended Ye's account after he posted an image of a Jewish Star of David merged with a swastika.
Stock futures fall slightly ahead of November jobs report
U.S. stock futures edged lower early Friday ahead of the release of the federal government's November jobs report. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were down 0.1 percent at 6:30 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were down 0.2 percent. The Dow and the S&P 500 fell 0.6 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively, on Thursday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.1 percent. Economists expect the Labor Department to report that U.S. employers added 200,000 jobs in November, down from 261,000 in October and a monthly average of 423,000 in the first nine months of 2022, but still stronger than the average of 164,000 in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.
Report: Goldman Sachs slashing year-end bonuses despite strong revenue
Goldman Sachs expects to post its best revenue in a decade but is warning its traders that it will be cutting their year-end bonuses due to cost concerns, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing people with knowledge of the situation. The investment bank this week warned executives in the firm's global markets division that the company would trim their compensation pool by a low double-digit percentage, according to Bloomberg's sources. Analysts project that Goldman's annual trading revenue will exceed last year's by 15 percent, topping $25 billion, but many in the industry favor austerity due to the uncertain outlook for 2023. The compensation discussions are ongoing, and could change. Goldman declined to comment.