The daily business briefing: January 28, 2019

Stock futures fall after Trump warns another shutdown is an option, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz mulls a presidential bid, and more

Starbucks' former CEO Howard Schultz
(Image credit: MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

1. Trump skepticism on shutdown deal weighs on stocks

U.S. stock-index futures fell early Monday in a sign of investor concern after President Trump said another government shutdown was "certainly an option" if congressional negotiators don't agree to provide the $5.7 billion he wants for a border wall. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq-100 were all down by 0.5 percent or a little more. Trump told The Wall Street Journal on Sunday that he thinks there's only a 50-50 chance lawmakers will reach a deal to fund a border wall, which Democrats oppose. The agreement reached Friday that ended the five-week shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, gave congressional negotiators three weeks to reach a spending and border security deal before funding runs out again.

CNBC The Wall Street Journal

2. Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz 'seriously considering' presidential run

Former Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz, a self-described "lifelong Democrat," announced on Twitter Sunday night that he is "seriously considering" running for president as a "centrist independent." In a series of tweets, Schultz, 65, said he wants to use Twitter to "share my truth, listen to yours, build trust, and focus on things that can make us better." Schultz said he is considering running because this "moment is like no other. Our two parties are more divided than ever." He invited people to visit his website so they can "discuss how we can come together to create opportunities for more people." Schultz stepped down from his roles at Starbucks last year.

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CBS News Howard Schultz

3. Trump's company fires undocumented workers

A human resource executive from Trump corporate headquarters last week fired a dozen longtime employees at Trump National Golf Club in Westchester, N.Y., because they were undocumented immigrants, The New York Times and The Washington Post reported Sunday, citing interviews with the workers and their attorney. Some of the workers had won employee-of-the-month awards, or were trusted enough to hold onto the keys to the weekend home of Eric Trump, one of Trump's sons now leading the family real-estate business. All of them were from Latin America, and they were told that the immigration documents they submitted years ago were fake. The New York Times had revealed in a report late last year that a Trump club in New Jersey had employed undocumented immigrants. They were subsequently fired, too.

The New York Times The Washington Post

4. Trump administration lifts sanctions on firms linked to Russian oligarch

The Trump administration on Sunday lifted sanctions on aluminum giant Rusal and other Russian firms linked to oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Democrats and some Republicans in Congress had pushed to maintain the sanctions, but President Trump and most of his fellow Republicans managed to overcome the opposition. The sanctions were imposed in April as punishment for Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea, meddling in U.S. elections, and support for Syria in its civil war. Lawmakers who wanted to keep the measures in place said Deripaska, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, still had too much control over the companies to justify easing the sanctions. The Treasury Department said the companies had reduced Deripaska's influence, and agreed to "unprecedented transparency."


5. Survey finds tax cuts had no major impact on corporate investment, hiring

The Trump administration's $1.5 trillion tax cut package had no major impact on most companies' capital investment and hiring, according to the National Association of Business Economics' quarterly business conditions poll published on Monday. Some companies reported that they had sped up their investments because of the tax cuts that took effect a year ago, but 84 percent of respondents said their plans hadn't changed. In October, 81 percent reported no changes. The tax overhaul, the biggest in 30 years, reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The White House predicted that would significantly boost business spending and hiring.


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