The daily business briefing: August 6, 2020

Harold Maass
Facebook's site
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

1.

Facebook removes Trump post, citing coronavirus misinformation

Facebook on Wednesday for the first time removed a video clip posted by President Trump because the social network determined that it contained "false claims." The clip said children are "almost immune" to COVID-19. The post was "a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation," Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said. The Trump campaign accused Facebook of "flagrant bias." Facebook, where false information spread widely during the 2016 presidential campaign, has faced pressure to moderate its site more aggressively as Russia and other international actors allegedly mount efforts to influence this year's election. Twitter removed a tweet containing the video posted by a Trump campaign account. YouTube also took down the video, saying it violated its coronavirus misinformation policy. [The Washington Post, The Hill]

2.

Private-sector hiring slows more than expected

The pace of U.S. private sector hiring slowed more than expected in July, according to a Wednesday report from Automatic Data Processing. Companies added 167,000 jobs during the month, far short of the 1.9 million predicted by economists surveyed by Econoday. ADP data showed gains of 4.3 million jobs in June and 3.3 million in May, following the loss of 19.4 million jobs in April due to coronavirus shutdowns. The report supported signs that the rebound that came after businesses started reopening had sputtered as COVID-19 cases spiked across the South and West. Economists polled by MarketWatch expect the federal employment report being released Friday to show that the economy added 1.75 million non-farm jobs last month, down from a gain of 4.8 million in June. [MarketWatch]

3.

Fed leaders say coronavirus surge stalled recovery

The new spike in coronavirus cases has slowed the economic rebound and raised the threat of a longer crisis than once expected, three Federal Reserve leaders said Wednesday. "The issue with the resurgence in the virus is it slowed down or somewhat muted the recovery we've been expecting," Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan told CNN. The U.S. economy made gains in May and June after plunging in March, but the recovery stalled in July as infections surged. Kaplan said jobless Americans need more help, but lawmakers are still deadlocked in talks about renewing $600 in extra weekly jobless benefits that expired Friday. State and local governments also badly need added aid that is part of proposals for a new round of coronavirus relief. [Reuters]

4.

Stocks flat after Nasdaq posts its 31st record of 2020

U.S. stock index futures were flat early Thursday after Wednesday's solid gains. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 fluctuated between small gains and losses. Those of the tech-heavy Nasdaq edged lower several hours before the opening bell. Futures got a boost from a report that President Trump had expressed support for stepping up federal aid to airlines devastated by plunging travel demand due to the coronavirus crisis. The Nasdaq closed at its 31st record high of the year, gaining 0.5 percent in the wake of unexpectedly strong quarterly reports by several tech giants. The Dow rose by 1.4 percent on Wednesday and the S&P gained 0.6 percent despite a weaker than expected private payrolls report. [CNBC]

5.

Report: Deutsche Bank complied with N.Y. subpoena over Trump's finances

The Manhattan district attorney's office, which is seeking President Trump's tax records, last year subpoenaed Trump's biggest lender, Deutsche Bank, for his financial records, The New York Times reported Wednesday, citing four people familiar with the matter. Deutsche Bank complied, according to the Times. The news added to indications that the New York prosecutors' criminal investigation into Trump's business practices is broader than initially believed. The investigation long appeared to center on hush-money payments made in 2016 to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump. A court filing this week suggested that the prosecutors were investigating Trump and his company for possible bank and insurance fraud. The filing cited "public reports of possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization." [The New York Times]