The daily business briefing: October 7, 2016

The economy adds 156,000 jobs in September, potential Snapchat IPO could value the company at $25 billion, and more

The Snapchat logo
(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. Economy adds a healthy but lower-than-expected 156,000 jobs

A "now hiring" sign at a storefront

(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Labor Department reported Friday that the economy added 156,000 jobs in September, falling slightly below expectations but adding to recent evidence that the jobs market is solid. Economists had predicted payrolls to increase by about 172,000, just under the 2016 average of 180,000 per month. Unemployment ticked up to 5 percent — analysts had expected it to stay put at 4.9 percent — as more Americans returned to the labor market. The news came a day after the Labor Department said U.S. jobless claims fell last week to nearly their lowest level since 1973. In the week of Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, 249,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time, fewer than expected and down 5,000 from the previous week. Together, the reports were not expected to alter expectations that the Federal Reserve will decide the economy is healthy enough to raise interest rates soon.

MarketWatch Bloomberg

2. Snapchat IPO in the works would value company at $25 billion

Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. is preparing an initial public offering of stock that would value the popular disappearing-message service at $25 billion or more. That would amount to a significant step up from its valuation of $17.8 billion in its last funding round in May. If it pans out, Snap will be the biggest company to go public on a U.S. exchange since 2014. The company hopes to sell shares as early as late March, although there is no guarantee it will meet that timeline.

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The Wall Street Journal Barron's

3. British pound plunges, then partially recovers, on rising Brexit fears

The British pound briefly plunged by nearly 10 percent early Friday before recovering most of its losses, which came as fears of a hard Brexit intensified. Sterling dropped from $1.2600 to $1.1378 in a flash crash in Asia in a wave of selling that pushed it under key support levels. "I initially doubted what I saw on my screen," said Mizuho Securities foreign exchange strategist Kenji Yoshii. The currency quickly regained ground, but remained down by about 3 percent against the dollar late morning in Britain at the end of an already bad week. "This was even a bigger move than what we saw after the Brexit vote," said a trader at a European bank in Tokyo.

Reuters The Wall Street Journal

4. Mars buys Warren Buffett's stake in Wrigley, taking full control

Mars, maker of M&Ms and Snickers bars, on Thursday decided to buy the 20 percent stake in Wrigley owned by billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. The deal will give Mars full control so it can turn Wrigley into a subsidiary. Berkshire acquired its stake in Wrigley for $2.1 billion in 2008 when it helped Mars pull off its $23 billion takeover of the chewing gum manufacturer. Buffett's company also lent Mars $4.4 billion, which has been repaid.

The Washington Post

5. Samsung memory-chip sales offset Galaxy Note 7 recall costs

Samsung Electronics shares rose early Friday after the South Korean company posted quarterly operating profit that beat analysts' expectations. Operating income rose by 5.5 percent to 7.8 trillion won ($7 billion), beating estimates of 7.58 trillion won. The company's strong numbers came as demand for its high-margin memory chips and displays offset the impact of a massive recall of Samsung's new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. "The recall-related costs have surely taken its toll on its mobile business in the quarter but its other businesses, particularly semiconductors, have fared extraordinarily well," said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at IBK Securities Co. in Seoul.


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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.