- The FTC accused Amazon of having an online monopoly.
- President Biden joined striking UAW workers.
- Target closed nine stores, blaming crime and violence.
Here are the key news investors need to start the trading day:
Futures were higher on Wednesday morning, but U.S. stock markets endured a difficult Tuesday as September heads into its final trading days. All three major indexes fell over 1%. The Dow had its worst day since March. It was just one of those days where nothing felt right. New home sales plunged in August, Amazon was hit by a major antitrust lawsuit (more below), and the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell more than expected. Follow live market updates.
The Amazon Prime logo is seen on the side of an Amazon delivery truck on June 21, 2023 in Richmond, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
The Federal Trade Commission filed a long-awaited lawsuit against Amazon in federal court, accusing the e-commerce giant of using “monopoly power” to stifle competition. The agency and 17 states said Amazon unlawfully uses anti-discounting measures to discourage sellers from advertising lower prices while forcing sellers to use Amazon’s “costly” fulfillment services. Amazon is prepared for battle. “If the FTC were to impose its will, the result would be reduced product selection, higher prices, slower deliveries for consumers and limited options for small businesses – the opposite of what antitrust law is designed to achieve,” Amazon general counsel said.
SAG-AFTRA actors and writers from the Writers Guild of America (WGA) walk the picket lines during their ongoing strike outside the Netflix offices in Los Angeles, California, September 22, 2023.
Mario Anzuoni | Portal
Hollywood writers are allowed to work again. The scribes’ union, the Writers Guild of America, and the group representing the studios, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, revealed the terms of their contract, ending a strike that helped shut down show business for nearly 150 years People were paralyzed for days. The agreement includes salary increases, some artificial intelligence protections, expanded contributions to health and pension plans, and residual payments from streaming. While the writers can begin work, the actors’ union continues to strike and production of feature films and television shows will virtually come to a standstill until the issue is resolved.
U.S. President Joe Biden joins striking members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) on the strike line outside GM’s Willow Run Distribution Center in Belleville, Wayne County, Michigan, September 26, 2023.
Evelyn Hockstein | Portal
President Joe Biden showed his pro-union allegiance on Tuesday when he joined striking auto workers on a strike line in Michigan. “Stick with it. You deserve a significant raise and other benefits,” Biden said through a megaphone to a crowd of United Auto Workers members, including President Shawn Fain. “We saved them, it’s time for them to stand up for us.” Michigan is a key state for Biden’s re-election hopes next year. He won it by a narrow margin in 2020, while his likely rival, former President Donald Trump, won it in a close contest in 2016. Trump travels to Michigan on Wednesday. However, he will speak at an auto parts company whose workers are not represented by the UAW.
A shopper looks into an aisle of a Target store in Upper Saint Clair, Pennsylvania, Friday, July 7, 2023.
Gene J. Puskar | AP
Target announced it would close nine stores in cities including New York, Portland and San Francisco, citing crime and violence at the locations. The major retailer has blamed some of its recent problems on so-called “shrinkage,” meaning losses from lost, stolen and damaged merchandise. Retail theft was a big part of it, Target said. But while Target and other retailers are increasingly blaming organized retail crime for the losses, thefts haven’t risen much compared to historical norms, according to a survey by the industry group National Retail Federation.
—CNBC’s Hakyung Kim, Lauren Feiner, Annie Palmer, Sarah Whitten, Emma Kinery, Melissa Repko, Gabrielle Fonrouge and Courtney Reagan contributed to this report.
— Follow general market action like a pro on CNBC Pro.