The pace of growth in the average hourly earnings of American workers quickened in August, rising by 2.9% from the same month last year. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.9%. It has been hovering just below or above 4% all year so far; the last time that happened was in 2000. All of which gives the Federal Reserve plenty to digest when it considers lifting interest rates later this month.
More details were made public about Unilever’s plan to scrap its dual British-Dutch stockmarket listing and move its headquarters from Britain to the Netherlands. The consumer-goods group, which makes many well-known household brands and is the world’s biggest manufacturer of ice-cream, has denied that its decision is related to Brexit. That has not stopped it from being criticised in Britain. Unilever will drop out of the FTSE 100 index if it relocates, which will force some investment funds to sell their shares in the group.
Driven to distraction
Tesla’s investors absorbed news of the departure of both its chief accountant after less than a month in the position and its human-resources director, who is not returning to her job following a leave of absence. There was also more concern about the erratic behaviour of Elon Musk, the electric carmaker’s chief executive, when he took a puff of marijuana during a live interview. Tesla’s stock has fallen by almost 20% in the past month.
The problems at Tesla weighed on NIO, a Chinese maker of electric cars that touts itself as a potential competitor to Mr Musk’s firm, when it launched its IPO in New York. With investors looking closely at the prospects for the industry, NIO priced the offering of its American depositary shares at $6.26 a share, the bottom of its target price range. They rose 5% on the first day of trading.
The European Parliament voted in favour of a proposal that could force Google, Facebook and other big internet firms to stop users uploading copyrighted content and to share revenue from that content with musicians and writers. Critics say the costs of monitoring such a system, which would make the likes of YouTube liable for copyright infringement, would be huge. The proposal is a long way from becoming law; the EU’s member states still have to be consulted.