The daily business briefing: February 12, 2019

Harold Maass
The Capitol
Win McNamee/Getty Images
The daily business briefing newsletter
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Negotiators reach 'agreement in principle' on government shutdown

Republican and Democratic congressional negotiators late Monday agreed in principle to a border security deal that could avoid another partial government shutdown. With a Friday deadline looming, key House and Senate members settled on $1.375 billion for 55 miles of new bollard fencing, made with spaced steel posts, at the Mexican border, 10 miles less than Democrats agreed to before regaining control of the House, and a fraction of the $5.7 billion, 200-mile wall President Trump demanded through the recent government shutdown. The deal still must quickly pass the House and the Senate, and get Trump's signature, to keep all government agencies open. Negotiators also agreed to reduce the number of migrants who can be held in detention, although Democrats backed away from sharper limits that threatened to derail talks. [The New York Times, USA Today]


Stock futures jump after tentative shutdown deal announced

U.S. stock index futures surged early Tuesday after congressional negotiators reached a deal that could avert another government shutdown, and as the U.S. and China expressed optimism over their latest round of trade talks. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq were all up by about 0.8 percent ahead of the start of trading. The potential deal to prevent a shutdown came with days to go before a Friday deadline, which was set in the January agreement that ended a 35-day shutdown over President Trump's demand for a border wall. The optimism on trade came as the U.S. and China hold fresh talks to negotiate a deal before a truce in their battle of tit-fot-tat tariff hikes expires in early March. [CNBC]


Pompeo warns allies against using Huawei equipment

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday warned Western allies that using Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies' equipment in their countries could hurt their chances of partnering with the U.S. Washington is worried Huawei gear can be used for espionage by China. Pompeo made the comments as he started a trip that will take him to Hungary and Poland, two countries where Huawei, the worlds' biggest maker of telecommunication equipment, is seeking to expand. Huawei denies any involvement in spying for the Chinese government or any other. [Reuters]


FDA announces crackdown on dietary supplements

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday announced that it was cracking down on dietary supplements, which two out of three American adults take. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement that the agency had sent 12 warning letters and five advisory letters to supplement companies whose products "are being illegally marketed as unapproved new drugs" because they claim to "prevent, treat, or cure Alzheimer's disease, as well as health conditions like diabetes and cancer." Public health officials warn that some dietary supplements contain unapproved ingredients, and don't provide promised benefits. The FDA said one company claimed its supplements had "proven effectiveness against numerous deadly viruses," while another claimed to reduce symptoms of cognitive decline. [CBS News]


Vanguard warns of lower market returns ahead

Vanguard's chief investment officer, Greg Davis, said Monday that the mutual fund giant, which has $5.3 trillion in global assets under management, expects annual stock market returns to decrease in the coming decade. The S&P 500 has soared by 15 percent since its Christmas Eve closing low, and the major indexes have soared since the financial crisis bottom in 2009, but that's about to end. "If we look forward for the next 10 years, our expectations around U.S. equity markets is for about a 5 percent median annualized return," he told CNBC on Monday. "Five years ago, we'd have been somewhere in around 8 percent." Historically, the stock market has gained about 7 percent annually on average, accounting for inflation. [CNBC]