The daily business briefing: July 24, 2020

Jobless claims rise for the first time since March, Hearst magazines president resigns after report on sexist remarks, and more

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1. New jobless claims rise for 1st time since March

The Labor Department reported Thursday that 1.42 million Americans filed new applications for unemployment benefits last week, marking the first increase since March. A week earlier, 1.3 million people filed new jobless claims. Last week's increase was larger than expected, suggesting that the hiring recovery was weakening as coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths surged, prompting states to slow or reverse the reopening of their economies. The number of new jobless claims had been gradually decreasing every week, although they remained twice as high as in the worst week of the Great Recession. Last week's increase came as the additional $600 a week in unemployment benefits that Congress passed is about to expire, and Republicans in the Senate continue to discuss a possible extension.

Bloomberg CBS News

2. Hearst magazines president resigns after Times report on sexist remarks

The president of Hearst's magazine division, Troy Young, resigned on Thursday following a New York Times report on his alleged history of inappropriate workplace behavior. The Times reported Wednesday that Young had made lewd and sexist remarks at work, including suggestive comments about sex toys. He also allegedly emailed pornography to a senior editor. Young, 52, apologized in an email to staff Thursday but said the Times report misrepresented "the culture that we have built at Hearst Magazines." He said he was committed to learning from "this moment" and remained "committed to the work I need to do here." Hearst President and CEO Steve Swartz later announced Young's departure on Hearst's website, saying he and Young agreed he should resign, effective immediately.

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3. Stock futures point to more losses as tech stocks struggle

U.S. stock index futures fell early Friday following Thursday losses fueled by broad declines for big tech companies. With U.S.-China tensions rising, futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were down by just over 0.4 percent, while those of the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell by more than 1.1 percent several hours before the opening bell on Wall Street. On Thursday, the Dow and the S&P 500 fell by more than 1 percent. The Nasdaq plunged by more than 3 percent as Apple and Microsoft shares fell by more than 4 percent, and Amazon and Facebook dropped by more than 3 percent. The big tech names have buoyed a market shaken by the coronavirus crisis in recent months. "Concerns of another technology bubble are rising," said Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at Truist/SunTrust Advisory, in a note.


4. Mnuchin: Next coronavirus relief bill won't include payroll tax cut

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday that the next coronavirus relief bill will not include the payroll tax cut President Trump has pushed. The Trump administration was pushing for the cut as recently as this week, but seemed to abandon the idea after Republicans vehemently opposed it in a lunch with administration officials. Senate Republican leaders scrapped a plan to roll out their $1 trillion proposal at the last minute on Thursday after failing to come up with an agreement due to fierce lingering divisions within the GOP over the details. House Democrats approved their $3 trillion package in May. It includes new stimulus checks to individuals, and aid to struggling cities and states.

CNBC The Washington Post

5. Mall owner Simon teams up with Authentic Brands in bid for Brooks Brothers

Sparc, a venture created by mall-owner Simon Property Group and apparel-licensing company Authentic Brands Group, has made a $305 million offer for Brooks Brothers, according to a Thursday court filing. The iconic clothier filed for bankruptcy on July 8. Simon and ABG are proposing keeping at least 125 Brooks Brothers stores open, down from the 250 locations the retailer had at the beginning of the month. The "stalking horse" offer sets a minimum for other bidders to beat. Brooks Brothers has agreed to the deal, but Sparc's bid still must win out against any other offers and meet court approval. A court hearing on Sparc's offer is scheduled for Aug. 3, with competing bids due by Aug. 5.

The Wall Street Journal Reuters

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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.