The daily business briefing: January 31, 2017
Stocks drop as uncertainty ends Trump honeymoon, Trump calls for slashing business regulations, and more
Stocks drop as Trump honeymoon cools
U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open on Tuesday, extending Monday losses that came as investors worried about potential fallout from President Trump's temporary ban on migrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations. Trump's rapid-fire executive orders also spooked some people, particularly after the confusion caused by the refugee ban. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 0.6 percent, dropping below the psychologically important 20,000 level it reached for the first time last week. The S&P 500 fell by 0.6 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped by 0.8 percent. It was the worst day yet for U.S. stocks in 2017.
Trump signs executive order to cut federal regulations
President Trump signed an executive order Monday that he said would deliver on his campaign promise to slash government regulations. "We'll be reducing [regulations] big league," Trump said. The order calls for eliminating two old regulations for every new regulation imposed on businesses. "The American dream is back," Trump said, "and we're going to create an environment for small business like we haven't had in many, many decades." Business groups applauded the move but policy experts shrugged. William Gale, a tax and fiscal policy expert at the Brookings Institution, said the order appeared to be a "totally nonsensical constraint," because it's not the number of regulations, but "how onerous regulations are" that matters.
Deutsche Bank to pay more than $600 million over Russian trades
Deutsche Bank AG has agreed to pay $425 million to New York's banking regulator, and $204 million to Britain's to settle investigations into trades that moved $10 billion out of Russia between 2011 and 2015, allegedly violating anti-money-laundering laws. The settlements were announced on Monday and Tuesday. The trades started in Moscow, where clients used rubles to buy stocks that were then quickly sold again through Deutsche Bank's London branch, the New York Department of Financial Services said Monday.
Tech companies step up opposition to Trump immigration order
Google employees walked out of the company's offices around the world on Monday to protest President Trump's immigration order. Trump's temporary ban on refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations appeared to have ended a post-election period of detente between Trump and big firms, many of which had sparred with Trump in the past. Tech companies like Microsoft and Amazon have been most vocal in opposition to the order, partly because many tech executives are immigrants, but other companies have spoken out, too. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on Sunday vowed to hire 10,000 refugees around the world over the next five years. Critics threatened a boycott, saying Starbucks should focus on creating jobs in the U.S.
Walmart ends Amazon Prime rival ShippingPass
Walmart is pulling the plug on its ShippingPass subscription program and testing a new way to compete with Amazon Prime. Instead of offering online customers two-day shipping for an annual fee, the world's largest retailer will offer free two-day shipping on more than two million items for purchases of at least $35. The company previously offered non-subscribers free three- to five-day shipping on purchases of $50 or more. ShippingPass subscribers will get refunds. "In this day and age, two-day shipping is really just table stakes," Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. eCommerce, said Monday.