The daily business briefing: November 6, 2018

Image
Harold Maass
The Amazon logo in Washington
David Ryder/Getty Images

1.

Report: Amazon will split HQ2 between 2 cities

Amazon's long-anticipated HQ2 may actually be split between two cities, a person familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal on Monday. Cities have spent the past year competing to house the tech giant's second headquarters and gain an estimated 50,000 new jobs. With two new campuses, Amazon would reportedly create two HQ2 locations with 25,000 employees each. Amazon still hasn't decided on its final location or locations, but Crystal City, Virginia; Dallas, Texas; and New York City are reportedly among the top choices. A final decision could be announced as soon as this week. [The Wall Street Journal, USA Today]

2.

Rouhani says Iran will 'proudly break' renewed U.S. oil sanctions

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was defiant as oil sanctions reimposed by the U.S. took effect on Monday. "We will proudly break the sanctions," he said, vowing to "continue selling oil." The Trump administration is restoring sanctions lifted under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, after accusing Iran of violating the deal's terms and ditching it. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iran would have to "act like a normal country, or see its economy crumble." He said more than 20 countries already have cut Iranian oil purchases, reducing the Islamic Republic's oil exports by a million barrels per day. The Trump administration has granted waivers to Iran's eight biggest customers, allowing them to continue to import Iranian oil without penalty for at least 180 days. [BBC News, NBC News]

3.

Investors cautious as midterm elections get underway

U.S. stock futures edged down early Tuesday, pointing to a lower open on Wall Street in a sign of caution as voters head to the polls in tense, close midterm elections. The last polls before the vote gave Democrats a strong chance to take control of the House from Republicans, while the GOP is favored to keep and even broaden its majority in the Senate. Such a split historically has been good for stocks, which typically gain when there is government gridlock. In the latest in a string of strong corporate earnings reports, drug-store chain CVS reported quarterly earnings and sales that beat expectations, sending its stock climbing by 2.6 percent in pre-market trading early Tuesday. [CNBC, MarketWatch]

4.

China grants 18 Trump-linked trademarks

Over the last two months, China granted 18 trademarks to companies linked to President Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump, The Associated Press reported Tuesday, citing Chinese public records. Last month, China's Trademark Office provisionally approved trademarks to Ivanka Trump Marks LLC covering Ivanka-branded fashion accessories, as well as beauty services and voting machines. The approvals came three months after Ivanka Trump discontinued her brand to focus on her work as a senior aide in the Trump White House. China also granted two "Trump" trademarks on restaurant, bar, and hotel services, as well as clothing and shoes, to DTTM Operations LLC, based at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The trademark applications were submitted in 2016. Critics worry China could use the Trump trademarks for political leverage. [The Associated Press]

5.

NBC, Fox News yank Trump campaign's anti-immigrant ad

NBC and Fox News on Monday pulled the Trump campaign's 30-second anti-immigrant ad, which has been widely slammed as racist fear-mongering. NBC announced its decision first, after facing harsh criticism for letting the ad air during Sunday Night Football, which gets some of the best ratings in TV. "After further review, we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible," NBC said. Fox, which aired the ad about a dozen times on Fox News and Fox Business, made its announcement shortly after NBC. Facebook also faced a backlash for letting the Trump campaign run the ad on its platform, and responded Monday by saying the ad "violates Facebook's advertising policy against sensational content so we are rejecting it." [CNN]