Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - Biden pushes back

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

US President Joe Biden forcefully reiterated Friday that he is staying in the presidential race and denounced efforts to push him out after more than a week of sustained media frenzy focused on his poor debate performance. During a raucous rally in Wisconsin, the Democrat called Donald Trump a liar and a threat to democracy and promised to defeat the Republican come November. In a revamped stump speech that directly addressed questions about his age, Biden, 81, pointed to the drumbeat of falsehoods and malapropisms that have historically emanated from his 78-year-old opponent, while reminding that the twice-impeached Trump is a convicted felon. Biden also proclaimed that his age wouldn’t stop him from pushing for abortion rights or gun control while also bragging about the strong US economy. It’s all part of a concerted White House effort to reassure nervous allies, a strategy that may reach its culmination this weekend. “I keep seeing all those stories about my being too old,” Biden told the crowd. “Let me say something—I wasn’t too old to create over 15 million new jobs.” 

Here are today’s top stories

Project 2025 is an effort by right wing groups that seeks to gut federal agencies with massive staff terminations, replacing them with loyalists as part of a new Trump administration. Many of the people behind the plan were members of the first Trump administration. A furor has erupted in recent days following the comments of one of the plan’s proponents, Kevin Roberts, president of the far right Heritage Foundation. Roberts alluded to political violence as part of what he called a “second American revolution,” saying it would “remain bloodless if the left allows it to be.” On Friday, in the aftermath of Roberts’ statement, Trump scrambled to distance himself from the project.

Kevin Roberts Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

Add political turmoil to the long list of outside influences that are failing to thwart the 2024 bull market. Investor resilience was on display again in a week in which high election drama couldn’t keep the S&P 500 from doing what it’s done in nine of the last 11 weeks: go up, and up, and up. Even markets that initially lurched on Biden’s debate travails calmed appreciably as economic data bolstered the case for rate cuts.

US hiring and wage growth fell in June while the jobless rate rose to the highest since late 2021, the latest in data that yet again bolsters investor hopes the Federal Reserve will begin cutting interest rates in coming months. Average employment growth over the last three months slowed to the least since the start of 2021, reflecting a labor market that cooled more in the second quarter than previously estimated. The numbers are consistent with other reports showing a sharp decline in job openings this year and a growing number of people filing for unemployment benefits.

Nvidia’s breakneck rally since the start of last year has finally run out of room to push higher, according to New Street Research analyst Pierre Ferragu. He downgraded the artificial intelligence-focused chipmaker to neutral from buy, writing that the stock is “getting fully valued” after soaring 154% this year, on top of a gain of almost 240% in 2023. Shares fell 1.9% on Friday, compared with a gain of 1% for the Nasdaq 100 Index.

Hamas is said to have dropped its objections over a US-backed cease-fire proposal to halt the war in Gaza, the clearest sign yet that a truce is possible after months of fruitless negotiations. But Israel is said to have come back with fresh changes in the latest round of indirect talks, suggesting that tough negotiations still remain. “It should be emphasized that there are still gaps between the sides,” the office of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.

Hungary abruptly told Germany’s foreign minister she was no longer invited for a planned visit to Budapest after Chancellor Olaf Scholz excoriated Viktor Orban for his unannounced trip to Moscow. The Hungarian leader, long friendly with Vladimir Putin and a thorn in the side of NATO (of which Hungary is a member), met with the Kremlin leader Friday as part of a self-styled “peace mission” over Russia’s war on Ukraine. The move by Orban triggered condemnation from Scholz and other European Union leaders who said he had no mandate to represent the bloc.

Viktor Orban, left, with Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on July 5 Photographer: Valery Sharifulin/Sputnik/AFP/Getty Images

New British Prime Minister Keir Starmer promised a government of “stability and moderation” after dispatching Rishi Sunak and the Tories in an unprecedented UK election drubbing. Labour took 412 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons, the most since Tony Blair’s 1997 triumph. The Tories garnered 121, their worst performance ever. Any Labour euphoria over the size of its win, though, will be quickly overshadowed by the scale of the challenges now on the party’s plate.

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

  • Stocks rise as Wall Street eyes September rate cut: Markets wrap.
  • Le Pen’s far-right National Rally projected to fall short of majority.
  • Oil-rich South Sudan plans first vote since 2011 independence.
  • Northrop-Grumman’s new ICBM will cost $214 million—per missile.
  • Top Narendra Modi ally wants more than $12 billion in aid.
  • Canada’s move to protect mining sector shields takeover targets.
  • Peter Thiel’s pro-doping Olympics alternative seeks to raise $300 million.

Here Are the Very Best Restaurants in Dubai

In Dubai, almost everything is in expansion mode, from the real estate market to the size of its flagship mall. The number of Michelin-starred restaurants is no exception. On Wednesday, the Michelin guide announced its latest ranking for the emirate: There are now 19 starred restaurants, up from 14 last year. One thing that definitely helped in this year’s rankings  was to be a star chef. 

Dubai Photographer: Annie Sakkab/Bloomberg

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