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Jan 4, 2019

What't News: House Passes Spending Bills; December Jobs Report on Tap; New Cancer-Drug Powerhouse

The Wall Street Journal.
What’s News
Sun icon. Good Morning
Here’s what we’re watching as the U.S. business day gets under way:
Growth fears hit stocks after Apple's sales warning. Downbeat news in the U.S. and around the world sent stocks falling and pushed bond yields to their lowest level in nearly a year on Thursday. Global stocks regained ground on Friday after China confirmed trade talks with the U.S.
  • Chinese consumers' pullback in spending takes a global toll. Buyers are deferring major purchases and limiting their discretionary spending, which is threatening to deepen an economic slowdown that is rattling global markets.
  • The Labor Department is set to publish its December jobs report. Weak economic data has heightened focus on the report, which could provide key insights at a time of market volatility.
House passes spending bills in bid to reopen the government. But President Trump rejected the Democrats' approach, making it likely that the measure will stall in the Republican-controlled Senate.
  • To separate the border-wall feud, the House also passed a stopgap spending bill funding the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the wall, through Feb. 8.
  • The moves came on House Democrats' first day in power, opening a new era of divided government in Washington that will give re-elected speaker Nancy Pelosi and her party a platform to challenge Mr. Trump. 
Bristol-Myers Squibb agrees to buy Celgene for $74 billion. The deal would create a cancer-drug powerhouse, but shareholders of both companies must approve the tie-up—and Bristol-Myers's have concerns.
Carlos Ghosn will get his first public hearing. The former Nissan chairman is likely to get his first chance to make his case in public on Tuesday after his lawyer made the unusual demand that the Tokyo District Court justify his detention.
Facebook juggles expansion and security. The social-media giant is trying to balance the two priorities as growth flags in its key markets and government scrutiny of the company is expected to increase.

What's Trending

Mississippi River neighbors battle over levee heights. Groups in Missouri are urging FEMA to force an Illinois district to lower its levees, fearing nearby areas will be more vulnerable to increased flooding.
Delta cuts its revenue forecast. The airline said it raised fares at a slower pace during the holidays, fanning concerns that major carriers will struggle to maintain profits as customers expect cheaper flights.
Wall Street's big landlords build houses amid shortage. These companies are racing to meet rental demand from young families too saddled with student debt to purchase their own homes.
Russia charges an American detained there with espionage. Paul Whelan, who also holds British citizenship, can be held for two months and could face 20 years in jail if convicted. A lawyer for Mr. Whelan asked a court to free his client on bail.
Marijuana is more dangerous than you think. More Americans are becoming heavy users of cannabis as legalization spreads, despite the drug's links to violence and mental illness, author Alex Berenson writes.
Former Credit Suisse bankers arrested for ties to $2 billion fraud scheme. The U.S. charged three bankers and their alleged co-conspirators with engaging in bribes and kickbacks to enrich themselves and Mozambique government officials.
Saudi Arabia begins its first trial in the Khashoggi murder. The public prosecutor called for the death penalty for five of the 11 defendants accused of roles in dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death.
NYC abandons full L-train shutdown. Gov. Andrew Cuomo canceled a looming 15-month closure to fix a subway tunnel damaged by superstorm Sandy, which was poised to affect hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers.

Chart of the Day

U.S. car sales hold steady. The industry sold about 17.3 million vehicles in 2018, up less than 1% from a year earlier, despite predictions the market would cool. The showing capped the best four-year period for U.S. auto sales.

News From Other Sources

Huawei punishes employees for tweet sent using an iPhone. Two employees were disciplined after a New Year’s greeting to followers of the Chinese phone maker was posted to its official Twitter account from an iPhone.
via Reuters
Danish support for the EU hits a three-decade high. Sixty-six percent of Danes are in favor of EU membership according to a new poll, up from 54% in 2016, the year the U.K. voted to leave the bloc. Denmark and the U.K. both joined in 1973.
via Bloomberg
Gatwick spends £5 million to counter drones. After drone sightings before Christmas caused shutdowns affecting hundreds of thousands of passengers, the U.K.’s second-busiest airport has spent heavily on anti-drone measures.
via Financial Times

This Day in History

Jan. 4, 2007
Nancy Pelosi Becomes First Female House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic representative from California, became the first female speaker of the House of Representatives. Her career began two decades prior, when she was one of only 25 women who served in both chambers of Congress. She became the Democratic whip in 2001 and served as minority leader from 2003 until her election as speaker.
Yesterday, Ms. Pelosi was elected again as House speaker, the first person to reclaim the gavel since 1955.
—Compiled and edited by JuJu Kim in New York and Todd Olmstead in London

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