The daily business briefing: November 16, 2023

Senators approve a stopgap bill to avert a shutdown, the FAA approves SpaceX's second Starship test flight, and more

SpaceX's Starship launches in April
SpaceX's Starship launches in April
(Image credit: Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images)

1. Senate approves bill to avert a shutdown

The Senate on Wednesday passed a stopgap spending bill to provide several more months of funding for federal agencies and avert a government shutdown ahead of a weekend deadline. The 87-11 vote ended Congress' third fiscal standoff of the calendar year and sent the bill to President Joe Biden for his signature. The last temporary spending deal, passed in early October, sparked a revolt by a handful of far-right House Republicans who then ousted then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). McCarthy's successor, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), proposed the current measure to extend funding for some agencies until Jan. 19 and others until Feb. 2. Conservatives on Wednesday torpedoed a procedural vote on advancing an appropriations bill, signaling ongoing GOP infighting over spending. Reuters, The Washington Post

2. FAA approves second test flight for SpaceX's Starship rocket

The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday gave SpaceX approval for the second launch of its Starship rocket. The spacecraft could blast off as soon as Friday. The FAA said two months ago that Elon Musk's space company would have to make dozens of fixes before the next test flight of the reusable rocket, after the first launch from Boca Chica, Texas, failed earlier this year, blasting a crater into the launch pad. The issuing of the new launch license meant the FAA had determined that SpaceX met all safety, environmental and financial requirements to go ahead with another mission. Axios

3. Amazon stops sales of eye drops that lack FDA approval

Amazon announced Wednesday it was halting sales of seven eye-drop products that the Food and Drug Administration warned had not been approved. The FDA told Amazon CEO Andrew Jassy in a Nov. 13 letter that the products were "especially concerning" because they are applied to the eyes, so they can bypass natural defenses as they enter the body. Amazon said it was investigating and removing the products from its site. "Safety is a top priority at Amazon," the company said. "We require all products offered in our store to comply with applicable laws and regulations." The Washington Post

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4. Stock futures flat after cooling inflation sparks rally

U.S. stock futures were little changed early Thursday after a rally sparked by better-than-expected inflation data. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were flat at 7 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were down 0.2%. The Dow and the S&P 500 gained 0.5% and 0.2%, respectively, on Wednesday as October's producer price index, which tracks wholesale prices, fell 0.5%, its biggest monthly decline since April 2020. The benchmark indexes made even bigger gains a day earlier after the latest consumer price index came in flat for October, boosting hopes that the Federal Reserve might not raise interest rates again to bring down inflation. CNBC

5. Workers supporting unionizing to strike at 200 Starbucks stores

Thousands of workers plan to participate in a one-day strike at more than 200 Starbucks stores across the United States on Thursday. The walkout is expected to be the biggest yet in two years of efforts to unionize the coffee giant's stores. The Workers United union scheduled the strike for Starbucks' annual Red Cup Day, one of the company's busiest days, to maximize impact. The union said it expected more than 5,000 employees seeking better pay and protesting understaffing to participate in its "Red Cup Rebellion." Starbucks downplayed the potential impact, saying the affected stores represented a "small subset" of its 9,600 company-owned U.S. stores. The Associated Press

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