Business News at a Glance

Posted December 4, 2018 9:36 p.m. EST

Markets Dive After ‘Tariff Man’ Threat by Trump

Stocks sank on Tuesday, as President Donald Trump threatened China with further tariffs, just days after the two countries agreed to a cease-fire in their escalating economic conflict. Referring to himself as a “Tariff Man,” Trump, in a series of tweets, deepened the murkiness surrounding the trade agreement, while members of his economic team talked down the prospects of a broad deal. The global and domestic worries intensified the sell-off in stocks. The S&P 500 lost more than 3 percent on Tuesday, after rallying the day before on the hope of a deal with China.

Trump Offers German Automakers Reassurances on Tariffs, for Now

President Donald Trump on Tuesday reassured German auto executives that he had no immediate plans to impose tariffs on their cars. He made the pledge in a hastily organized meeting at the White House that included representatives of BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen. In Europe, there is a growing sense of dread that Trump will follow through on his repeated threats to impose tariffs of 25 percent on imported cars and car parts if European automakers do not expand their operations in the United States. The German carmakers described the talks as friendly, even if they produced no concrete result.

Moonves Obstructed CBS Inquiry and Lied About Abuse, Report Finds

Leslie Moonves, the chief executive of CBS, destroyed evidence and misled investigators in an attempt to preserve his reputation and save a lucrative severance deal, according to a draft of a report prepared for the company’s board. The report, by lawyers hired by the network, says the company has justification to deny Moonves his $120 million severance. Moonves reigned as one of Hollywood’s most successful and celebrated executives for decades before being forced to step down in September after sexual misconduct allegations by numerous women. The report includes previously undisclosed allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Lawmakers Call for House to Investigate XPO After Workers’ Miscarriages

Ninety-seven members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday called for a congressional investigation into working conditions at XPO Logistics, which operates a Memphis, Tennessee warehouse that several women said was rife with pregnancy discrimination. The letter, sent to the top two members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, cited a New York Times investigation that revealed in October that several women who packaged Verizon products at the warehouse had miscarriages. The letter was organized by two Democrats, Reps. Steve Cohen of Tennessee and Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut.

Digital Divide Is Wider Than We Think, Study Says

A new study by Microsoft researchers casts a light on the actual use of high-speed internet across the country, and it presents a very different picture than numbers from the federal government. Their analysis, presented at a Microsoft event Tuesday in Washington, D.C., suggests that the speedy access is much more limited than data from the Federal Communications Commission shows. Overall, Microsoft concluded that 162.8 million people do not use the internet at broadband speeds, while the FCC says that broadband is not available to 24.7 million Americans. The discrepancy is particularly stark in rural areas.

Trump Said Amazon Was Scamming the Post Office. His Administration Disagrees.

President Donald Trump spent much of last spring accusing Amazon of ripping off the U.S. Postal Service. On Tuesday, his administration delivered its own verdict: Not so much. The task force created by Trump to investigate the Postal Service’s finances did conclude that the mail system is losing money. But a report issued on Tuesday said that commercial package delivery for Amazon and other e-commerce retailers was actually profitable for the Postal Service and was not costing the United States “massive amounts of money,” as Trump has suggested in his tweets.

Netflix Will Keep ‘Friends’ Through Next Year in a $100 Million Agreement

Reruns of the popular broadcast TV show “Friends" will be available to watch on Netflix for at least another year, the streaming service has announced. But it will come at a steep price: The company will pay around $100 million to continue licensing the program from its owner, WarnerMedia, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. That’s a significant jump from the $30 million a year that Netflix had paid previously. But online viewing is the future of entertainment, and the industry’s biggest players are retooling their streaming operations to take on services like Netflix and Amazon.