Employment: Weak jobs numbers spur worry
The economy added just 75,000 jobs last month, falling well short of expectations, said Jeff Cox in CNBC.com. It was the second time in four months that payrolls increased by fewer than 100,000, “as the labor market continues to show signs of weakening.” Economists also revised estimates for prior months downward—the third straight month of such revisions. While the unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent, the Labor Department report last week “amounted to another dark spot amid fears of a larger sputtering in growth.”
Shipping: FedEx loosens Amazon ties
FedEx announced it is cutting its domestic air services business with Amazon, said Max Garland in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, a sign the shipping company may soon be “getting out of the Amazon business” entirely. FedEx currently brings in about $840 million a year from Amazon orders, and its air delivery, FedEx Express, accounts for some $150 million. But the e-commerce giant “has bolstered its own delivery network in recent years,” and its shipping volume through FedEx has been declining. In a rare retreat this week, Amazon also ended its four-year experiment in food delivery, bowing to stiff competition.
Trade: U.S. and China edge toward new talks
“China and the U.S. held their first high-level meeting on trade since negotiations fell apart a month ago,” said Chao Deng in The Wall Street Journal. That could set the stage for a face-to-face between President Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping at the G-20 Summit later this month—“a chance to put negotiations back on track after talks hit an impasse” when the U.S. accused China of backtracking. Since then, Trump has announced plans to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on $300 billion in Chinese imports, and Beijing has said it may restrict exports of rare earths used in many tech products.
Telecom: Sprint–T-Mobile merger faces lawsuits
Ten state attorneys general this week filed a lawsuit to stop the merger of wireless carriers T-Mobile and Sprint, said Tiffany Hsu and Matthew Goldstein in The New York Times. The suit, led by New York and California, argues that “prices consumers paid for phone plans would rise as the number of major wireless carriers dropped to three from four” and that “lower-income and minority communities would be hit especially hard.” The companies dispute the states’ analysis, and claim they will bring “high-speed internet access to rural areas neglected by cable services.”