The daily business briefing: September 6, 2019

The U.S. economy added fewer jobs than expected in August, CVS and Walgreens join calls for customers not to openly carry guns, and more

Walgreens in Florida
(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

1. U.S. economy added 130,000 jobs in August, missing expectations

The Labor Department reported Friday that U.S. employers added 130,000 jobs in August, falling short of the 150,000 to 170,000 new jobs economists predicted. August gains often miss forecasts because many vacationing employers don't return surveys on time. July's gain was revised to 159,000 from 164,000, and June's was reduced to 178,000 from 193,000. The unemployment rate remained near a 50-year low at 3.7 percent. Average wages rose by 0.4 percent to $28.11 per hour, with 12-month wage gains slipping to 3.2 percent from 3.3 percent. The softening of the labor market in August was expected to keep the pressure on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates to give the economy a boost.


2. CVS, Walgreens join chains urging customers not to openly carry guns

Walgreens and CVS on Thursday joined Walmart and Kroger in asking customers not to openly carry guns in their stores. The only exception is for shoppers who are also authorized law enforcement officers. "We support the efforts of individuals and groups working to prevent gun violence, and continually review our policies and procedures to ensure our stores remain a safe environment," CVS said in a statement. "We join a growing chorus of businesses in requesting that our customers, other than authorized law enforcement personnel, do not bring firearms into our stores." Walmart and Kroger made the same request earlier in the week. The move comes after two deadly shootings in Walmart stores over the summer.

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3. Boris Johnson vows to resist Brexit delay despite setbacks

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday continued to push lawmakers for snap elections following a string of bitter defeats in Parliament, which is pushing through a proposal that would block a no-deal Brexit as Johnson vows to lead the U.K. out of the European Union in late October with or without an agreement. Johnson said he would "rather be dead in a ditch" than allow any more Brexit delays. With Johnson's effort to crash out of the EU shaky, even his younger brother, Jo Johnson, turned away, resigning as a member of Parliament and government minister to end weeks of being "torn between family loyalty and the national interest." Jo Johnson has long disagreed with his brother on leaving the EU, and he voted against Brexit in the 2016 referendum.

The Washington Post

4. Stock futures rise further after Thursday's gains

U.S. stock index futures trimmed early gains on Friday after the Labor Department released a weaker-than-expected August jobs report. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up by about 0.3 percent, while those of the Nasdaq rose by 0.2 percent. The markets remained focused on developments in the U.S.-China trade war. The three main U.S. indexes closed sharply higher on Thursday after reports that China's top trade negotiator, Liu He, had spoken by phone with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and that they had agreed to hold a fresh round of trade negotiations in October. The Dow closed up by 1.4 percent, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq gained 1.3 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.


5. Tyson Foods pushes into plant-based seafood

Tyson Foods announced Thursday that it was pushing its foray into plant-based meats in a new direction, investing in San Francisco-based startup New Wave Foods ahead of its introduction of plant-based shrimp next year. "I was introduced to New Wave by a venture capital friend of mine, and I flew out and had the product prepared for me by a chef, and I didn't even know it wasn't shrimp," said Tom Mastrobuoni, chief financial officer of Tyson Ventures. Tyson, the world's second-largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, got in on the market for meat substitutes early with its purchase of a 6.52 percent stake in Beyond Meat before getting out and announcing its own rival brand, Raised & Rooted.

The Washington Post

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