The daily business briefing: July 30, 2019

Capital One says 100 million customers were affected by data breach, the U.S. and China resume trade talks, and more

The Capital One logo
(Image credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

1. 100 million customers affected by Capital One data breach

Capital One announced Monday that a hacker had accessed more than 100 million credit card applications and accounts. The breach exposed personal data, including the Social Security numbers of 140,000 people. The FBI arrested a woman from the Seattle area, Paige A. Thompson, and charged her with computer fraud and abuse. Capital One said the hack could cost the company up to $150 million in the near term. The data breach was one of the largest ever for the financial services industry. An arrest came quicker than usual, thanks partly to online boasts attributed to Thompson under the name "erratic." In one post, "erratic" said, "I've basically strapped myself with a bomb vest, [expletive] dropping capitol ones dox and admitting it."

The Washington Post CNN

2. U.S., China resume trade talks

The U.S. and China on Tuesday start a new round of trade negotiations, two months after talks on ending the tariff war between the world's two biggest economies broke down. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are scheduled to meet Tuesday and Wednesday with a Chinese delegation headed by Vice Premier Liu He in Shanghai. Expectations are low, as China is resisting U.S. demands for Beijing to stop forcing U.S. companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to Chinese markets, while the Trump administration is balking at China's insistence that any deal immediately lift all new U.S. tariffs. "The same issues that caused the talks to break down are still there," said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics.

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The Associated Press

3. British pound falls on rising talk of no-deal Brexit

The British pound dropped by 1.1 percent against the dollar to a 28-month low on Monday as the government of new Prime Minister Boris Johnson stepped up its vow to lead the country out of the European Union with or without a Brexit deal. Sterling dropped Monday to $1.2242, the lowest since it hit $1.2049 in January 2017, and then dropped another 0.5 percent early Tuesday. Johnson has said his predecessor Theresa May's withdrawal agreement is "dead" without the removal of the so-called Irish backstop intended to prevent the establishment of a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. A key Johnson aide has said the government is "working on the assumption" that the U.K. will leave the trading bloc without a divorce deal.

BBC News The Guardian

4. Stock futures point to lower open ahead of Fed meeting

U.S. stock index futures fell early Tuesday ahead of the start of a two-day Federal Reserve meeting expected to end with the central bank's first interest rate cut in a decade. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were down by 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively, and those of the Nasdaq fell by 0.7 percent. The three main U.S. indexes deepened earlier losses after President Trump tweeted fresh criticism of China just as new trade talks were set to begin. Investors also will be monitoring fresh incoming economic data, and another flurry of corporate earnings reports. Mastercard and Under Armour report before the bell, with Apple and Mondelez posting results after trading closes.


5. Huawei reports sales growth despite U.S. blacklisting

Chinese tech giant Huawei said Tuesday that its January-to-June sales grew by 24 percent over the same period last year, despite the Trump administration's attempt to blacklist the company over concerns its products could be used to spy for Beijing. "Neither production nor shipment has been interrupted, not for one single day," said Liang Hua, chair of Huawei's board. "No matter how many difficulties we might face, we remain confident in the company's future development." Still, the U.S. pressure took a toll. Huawei said its smartphone sales outside China fell sharply after the Trump administration limited the company's access to U.S. technology in May. Huawei expects to face ongoing challenges for the rest of the year, Liang said.

The New York Times

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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.