The daily business briefing: October 30, 2018

Trump considers tariffs on remaining Chinese imports, Sam's Club experiments with cashier-free shopping, and more 

A Sam's Club cart
(Image credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

1. Report: Trump preparing tariffs on remaining Chinese imports

The Trump administration plans to announce new tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports if November talks between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping fail to ease trade tensions, Bloomberg News reported on Monday, citing three people familiar with the matter. The product list, covering about $257 billion in Chinese imports left off previous lists, would be unveiled in early December, triggering a 60-day public comment period before the tariffs take effect. Discussions are underway for Trump and Xi to meet during the November Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, two anonymous sources told Bloomberg. "I think we will make a great deal with China," Trump told Fox News on Monday, "and it has to be great because they've drained our country."


2. Sam's Club to open Dallas store where customers can avoid cashiers

Sam's Club plans to open a store in Dallas where customers will be able to scan and pay for their groceries using an app, with no cashier or checkout line, according to Monday media reports. The innovation will help the Walmart-owned warehouse store compete with rivals such as Target, Kroger, and Amazon, which are among the retailers experimenting with cashier-free shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. Shoppers at the Sam's Dallas location will use a new "Sam's Club Now" app, a beefed up version of the existing "Shop and Go" app. The 32,000-square-foot store will be a scaled down version of Sam's Club, about a quarter the size of the traditional warehouse, with a focus on food.

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3. U.S. stocks give back gains after news of possible new tariffs

U.S. stocks gave up early gains and dropped again Monday on fears that the Trump administration will escalate its trade war with China by imposing new levies on the roughly $257 billion in Chinese imports not covered under previous rounds of tariffs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average made a dramatic swing from a 352-point gain to a 566-point loss before closing down 245 points or 1 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 1.6 percent. The S&P 500 index fell by 0.7 percent. It now has fallen by 9.4 percent in October, putting it on track for its worst monthly loss since February 2009, just before the market hit bottom during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. U.S. stock futures gained early Tuesday after President Trump said he was confident of a deal with Beijing to ease trade tensions.

The Associated Press MarketWatch

4. Higher oil prices boost BP's profits

British oil giant BP on Tuesday reported that its third-quarter profits more than doubled due to higher oil prices. The company said its quarterly profit reached $3.8 billion, its best in five years. BP's profits surged far above a net profit of $1.9 billion in the same period of 2017, and beat analysts' expectations of $3.4 billion in net profit. Earlier this year, BP announced that it was acquiring BHP's Billiton's shale assets for $10.5 billion, which it said would boost its U.S. business and its earnings per share. BP shares rose by 4.1 percent in pre-market trading.

The Street CNBC

5. Amazon shares suffer worst fall in four years

Amazon shares dropped by 6.3 percent on Monday, capping their worst two-day fall in more than four years. The shares have tumbled since the online retail giant posted a disappointing earnings report, forecasting slower than expected sales in the holiday quarter. The stock dropped by 7.8 percent on Friday. Amazon's fall contributed to a down day for the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, which closed down 1.6 percent on Monday. Netflix, another high-flying internet stock, also dropped, bringing its two-day losses to 9 percent.


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