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Stocks slip...Jobless rate hits 49-year low...Trade gap rises

October 5, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are edging lower in early trading on Wall Street, a day after their worst loss in three months. Bond prices continue to sink. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note has soared over the last three days and hasn’t been this high since mid-2011. That has some investors concerned that spiking interest rates could slow the economy.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. unemployment rate has fallen to 3.7 percent, the lowest since December 1969. The Labor Department says employers added just 134,000 jobs in September, the fewest in a year, though that figure was likely lowered by Hurricane Florence. The storm struck North and South Carolina in the middle of September and closed thousands of businesses. A category that includes restaurants, hotels and casinos lost jobs for the first time since last September, when Hurricane Harvey had a similar effect.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Record imports have driven the U.S. trade deficit up for the third straight month. The Commerce Department says the trade gap — the difference between what America sells and what it buys abroad — rose to $53.2 billion in August from $50 billion in July. The August reading was the highest since February. The politically sensitive deficits in the trade of goods with China and Mexico hit records.

HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese tech stocks Lenovo Group and ZTE Corp. have tumbled in Hong Kong following a news report Chinese spies might have used chips supplied by another company to hack into U.S. computer systems. Bloomberg News cited unidentified U.S. officials as saying Chinese spies inserted malicious chips into equipment supplied by Super Micro Computer Inc. to American companies and government agencies. Super Micro denied its products contained malicious chips.

BERLIN (AP) — Germany has become the latest European country to blame the Russian military for a worldwide campaign of cyberattacks against businesses and media. A government spokesman says Germany shares the assessment of British and Dutch officials and “condemns the attacks in the sharpest possible manner.” He said Germany believes, based on its own sources, that “with almost absolute certainty that the Russian military intelligence agency is behind the APT28 campaign.” Advanced Persistent Threat 28 is another term used to describe the Sofacy or Fancy Bear hacking group.

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