Your Evening Briefing
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President Trump made his first visit to Las Vegas after the mass shooting on Sunday that killed at least 59 people and injured more than 500. The president met with survivors in hospital and praised “the tremendous bravery” of emergency workers. Though Trump has given little indication he will address gun control laws, the debate has nevertheless been reignited. One big question? Why it’s so easy to obtain bump fire stocks, the device allegedly used by the gunman to fire his semi-automatic weapons as if they were fully-automatic.—Katie Robertson
Trump speaks and a $3.8 trillion market hears an existential threat. Trump’s late-night TV show comment that Puerto Rico might simply wipe out its $74 billion of municipal debt caused the island’s beaten-down benchmark bonds to plummet Wednesday in one of the wildest days seen yet for the U.S. municipal-bond market. Trump’s budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, appeared to walk back the president’s comments, but even the suggestion that Puerto Rico might somehow leave creditors high and dry injected new uncertainty into the long, fraught process of trying to put the island’s finances back in order.
Rex Tillerson says he’s not quitting. The U.S. Secretary of State told reporters at a hastily called press briefing that he’s “never considered” leaving his job, following a report by NBC News that he had referred to Trump as a “moron” and considered resigning over the summer. Tillerson refused to comment directly on the claim he had denigrated the president.
Equifax is poised to make millions off its “screw-up,” Senator Elizabeth Warren says. Speaking during a Senate Banking Committee hearing, Warren said one of the biggest injustices of the hack was that the company could benefit from the fact that a majority of American’s personal data is now in the hands of criminals. No word on how the Mr. Monopoly sitting behind former Equifax CEO Richard Smith feels about the matter.
Inside traders’ war games for Trump’s Fed chair pick. Whether Trump follows through on announcing a new chair in the coming weeks or not, traders across financial markets have already tipped their hand. The markets view the next leader as critical at a time when the central bank is attempting to tighten at a faster pace than the rest of the world and unwind its unprecedented stimulus measures.
Google takes on Apple with its latest devices. The tech giant unveiled the second generation of its own devices along with an array of entirely new gadgets, including two versions of the Pixel smartphone, a cheaper Home speaker, and a premium laptop. Executives at the San Francisco event heavily plugged the company’s artificial intelligence focus.
Even dogs are eating quinoa now. Pet food trends are following their owners’ tastes away from meat and toward wholesome vegetables and ancient grains. Meat-loving brands are now marketing ingredients such as chickpeas, sweet potato and coconut. Blue Buffalo, a relatively new brand that bills its products as “farm-to-table inspired canine cuisine”, is now the second most popular dog food brand in the U.S.
Apple and Qualcomm’s billion-dollar war over an $18 part. In addition to selling modems and other chips, Qualcomm has amassed a portfolio of more than 130,000 patents covering, among other things, the key technologies that allow phones to send and receive data. If you want to sell a phone capable of connecting to the internet at high speeds, you need a license from Qualcomm. Apple pays $2 billion a year in patent fees, and it’s had enough.