The daily business briefing: September 1, 2023

Disney pulls its channels from Charter Spectrum over a fee dispute, stock futures gain ahead of the August jobs report, and more

A view of Wall Street in New York City.
Wall Street bankers eagerly anticipated the release of the August jobs report.
(Image credit: Gabby Jones / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

1. Disney channels go dark on Charter Spectrum in fee dispute

Disney pulled its channels, including ESPN and ABC local stations, from Charter Communications' Spectrum service on Thursday after the companies failed to resolve a dispute over distribution fees. The blackout came as ESPN's networks were broadcasting the U.S. Open tennis tournament and a college football game between Utah and the University of Florida. Disney said it had reached "successful deals" with other pay TV providers, and it urged Charter to "work with us to minimize the disruption to their customers." Charter, which has 14.7 million Spectrum subscribers, said Disney is "trying to force our customers to pay for their very expensive programming, even those customers who don't want it or worse, can't afford it."

The Wall Street Journal The Hollywood Reporter

2. Stock futures gain ahead of August jobs report

Stock futures rose earlier Friday ahead of the August jobs report due out at 8:30 a.m. ET. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively, at 7 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were up 0.1%. The three major averages were mixed on Thursday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 falling 0.5% and 0.2%, respectively, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rising 0.1%. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected the employment report to indicate the economy added 170,000 jobs in August, down from 187,000 in July. Traders say any number adding to evidence that economic growth is slowing could boost markets by giving the Federal Reserve justification to pause its interest-rate hikes intended to bring down inflation.

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3. White House calls for short-term spending deal to avert shutdown

The White House on Thursday called for Congress to pass short-term funding to prevent a government shutdown on Sept. 30. The Office of Management and Budget also pushed for additional money for programs that have run short of cash. One of the Biden administration's requests was for $1.4 billion to avoid the possible interruption of nutritional aid to low-income families, The Washington Post reported. Democrats and Republicans have been trying to negotiate appropriations bills for the 2024 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, but Republicans want deep spending cuts Democrats won't consider.

The Washington Post

4. UAW files unfair labor practice complaint against Stellantis, GM

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain said Thursday the union filed unfair labor practice charges against Stellantis and General Motors. Fain said the automakers the filing with the National Labor Relations Board accused the automakers of failing to respond with counteroffers to economic proposals that union negotiators made a month ago. "GM and Stellantis' willful refusal to bargain in good faith is not only insulting and counterproductive, it's also illegal," Fain said. GM and Stellantis denied Fain's allegations, saying the Thursday filing took them by surprise. "We believe it has no merit and is an insult to the bargaining committees," Gerald Johnson, GM's head of global manufacturing, said in a statement. He said GM was "hyper-focused" on negotiating fairly and was "making progress."

The Detroit News The Washington Post

5. China increases stimulus as economy struggles

China on Friday intensified measures aiming to stimulate its struggling economy as a debt crisis in the crucial real-estate sector rattles markets. The People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, said it would reduce foreign currency reserve requirements on banks for the first time this year. The announcement came hours after Beijing announced additional stimulus for the property sector and expanded tax breaks for child and parental care, and education. The measures are part of an ongoing government push to "shore up confidence in the world's second-largest economy, which is sagging under the weight of the persistent housing crisis, waning global demand, and rising unemployment," Bloomberg reported.

Bloomberg Reuters

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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.