The daily business briefing: July 24, 2019

Boris Johnson takes over as U.K. PM promising to deliver Brexit, DOJ opens an antitrust review of big tech firms, and more

Boris Johnson in London
(Image credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

1. Boris Johnson takes office promising to deliver on Brexit

Boris Johnson officially replaces Theresa May as Britain's prime minister on Wednesday following an audience with Queen Elizabeth II, who will formally ask him to form a government. After taking over, Johnson is expected to announce a series of key Cabinet appointments. Johnson, who has served as London mayor and foreign secretary, was a Brexit campaigner, and he will have just three months to deliver on his promise to lead the U.K. out of the European Union, with or without a divorce deal. Johnson beat out Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, winning the backing of 66 percent of the members of the ruling Conservative Party in the race to succeed May, who is leaving after failing to persuade lawmakers to accept her proposed Brexit deal.

BBC News The Associated Press

2. DOJ opens broad antitrust review of major tech firms

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it had opened an antitrust investigation into whether big technology companies use their online platforms to stifle competition. Tech giants have been facing rising criticism over privacy breaches. Lawmakers have been pushing for tougher regulations for leading tech companies, with some even calling for breaking them up. President Trump has accused companies such as Facebook and Google of treating him and other conservatives unfairly. The Justice Department did not identify the companies it is targeting. Industry leaders, including Amazon and Facebook, did not immediately comment on the news.

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The Associated Press

3. Deutsche Bank shares fall after worse-than-expected earnings report

Deutsche Bank shares fell by 5 percent in early trade Wednesday after the German lender reported a worse-than-expected quarterly loss. Deutsche Bank said it lost 3.15 billion euros ($3.51 billion) in the second quarter, compared to a net loss of 1.7 billion euros estimated by analysts polled by research firm Refinitiv. Deutsche Bank is pulling away from risky investment banking and slashing its staff as part of an effort to return to its German roots and become a stronger company. CEO Christian Sewing said on Wednesday that the job was underway, although in the short term the transformation has resulted in a financial drain. "Now we can look ahead with more optimism," Sewing said in a note to employees.

The New York Times CNBC

4. Stock futures retreat after Tuesday's gains

U.S. stock index futures lost ground early Wednesday in a sign of investor caution ahead of face-to-face trade talks between U.S. and Chinese negotiators next week. Investors also were watching a fresh batch of corporate earnings that included disappointing results posted by AT&T and Boeing before the bell. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down by 0.3 percent, while those of the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq fell by 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. All three of the main U.S. indexes gained by 0.6 percent or more on Tuesday following the announcement of the U.S.-China talks, the first direct negotiations in months to end their trade war. The markets also got a boost Tuesday from a flurry of better-expected earnings reports from Coca-Cola, United Technologies, and other companies.


5. Nissan reportedly plans to cut 10,000 jobs

Japanese automaker Nissan plans to more than double previously announced job cuts to more than 10,000 as part of an effort to turn around its business, according to Wednesday media reports. The Japanese automaker announced in May that it was slashing 4,800 jobs worldwide. Most of the reductions will come at overseas factories, Reuters reported, citing a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Nissan, which has 139,000 employees globally, has been struggling with a management shakeup that came after former chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested last year on charges of misusing company funds and underreporting his income, which he denies. The company also has predicted a 28 percent decline in profits this year after a decline in sales, including in the U.S.


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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.