Business briefing

The daily business briefing: April 2, 2019

U.K. lawmakers reject "soft" Brexit options, Lyft shares plunge on their second day of trading, and more

1

U.K. lawmakers reject 'soft' Brexit options

British Parliament on Monday rejected two "soft" Brexit proposals, continuing a string of votes against several alternatives for moving ahead with the U.K.'s planned exit from the European Union. Lawmakers also voted against a backing second referendum, or canceling Brexit. "I can't say with any confidence what will happen, and, in that respect, I think I'm frankly not in a minority," said House of Commons Speaker John Bercow. The House of Commons has failed to make progress since trying to seize control of the process from Prime Minister Theresa May, whose proposed Brexit deal has been rejected three times. Britain now has nine days before an EU deadline to accept a deal, or crash out of the trading bloc without one.

2

Lyft shares plunge in second day of trading

Shares of ride-hailing company Lyft on Monday sank by 11.8 percent to below their initial public offering price. Lyft's IPO price was $72 a share. The stock gained Friday in its debut but closed at $69.01 on Monday, its second day of trading, after touching a low of $67.78. Lyft has been watched as a possible indicator of the prospects of other startups' IPOs, including that of larger ride-hailing rival Uber, which plans to kick off its IPO in April. Lyft's rocky start mirrored the debut of Facebook seven years ago. Facebook's stock jumped by as much as 18 percent before falling and leaving underwriters defending the IPO price after its first day.

3

White House stands behind Fed nominee Stephen Moore

The White House on Monday stood by President Trump's proposed nomination of Stephen Moore to the Federal Reserve board in the wake of reports about Moore's financial problems, including his failure to pay more than $330,000 in spousal support. The Guardian newspaper reported over the weekend that Moore's divorce records indicated a court had held Moore in contempt for not paying the spousal support. An administration official said the information from the divorce would not change plans for the nomination of Moore, a Trump ally. A Virginia judge temporarily sealed the divorce records at the request of Moore's former wife, Allison Moore.

4

Stock futures struggle to extend gains fueled by strong factory data

U.S. stock futures struggled for traction early Tuesday despite strong manufacturing data from the U.S. and China. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq fluctuated between being unchanged and inching up by 0.03 percent or less in the hours before the start of trading. The three indexes all gained more than 1 percent on Monday after China data showed factory activity growing at its fastest pace in eight months, and U.S. data showed manufacturing activity expanding after hitting its lowest level since 2016. The Dow closed above 26,000 for the first time in more than a month.

5

Trump says GOP will vote on replacing ObamaCare after 2020 elections

President Trump said Monday night that Republicans would hold votes on their plan to replace ObamaCare after the 2020 elections. "Vote will be taken right after the Election when Republicans hold the Senate & win.. back the House," Trump tweeted. In a series of posts, Trump said the GOP plan would have "far lower premiums (cost) & deductibles than ObamaCare," but he offered no specifics. The tweets came days after Trump's Justice Department, over the objections of some Cabinet members, endorsed a federal court ruling to eliminate the Affordable Care Act altogether. Democrats see the attack on a program millions depend on for health coverage as a winning campaign issue for them. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) plans a vote this week to condemn the administration's decision against defending the health law in court.

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