Skip to Content

GE’s travails and June jobs — 5 things to know today

Immelt Stakes GE's Growth On Higher R&D As NBC, Finance ShrinkImmelt Stakes GE's Growth On Higher R&D As NBC, Finance Shrink
GE is having trouble getting regulators to accept two big deals central to its new industry-focused strategy.Photograph by Vijay Paruchuru — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

Wall Street stock futures are moderately higher on building optimism that Greece will stay in the Eurozone, and that the U.S. economy is rebuilding momentum after its hibernation.

Today’s must-read story is from Fortune‘s Stephen Gandel and it looks at how credit rating agencies, such as Standard & Poor’s, missed some telling signs that Puerto Rico’s ill-fated $3.5 billion debt offering last year could come back to hurt the island nation.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

1. Monthly jobs report

The Labor Department issues its monthly employment report this morning with the government due to be closed tomorrow in observance of the Independence Day holiday. The report is expected to show a decent uptick in employment for the month of June, with about 230,000 jobs added during the month to lower the unemployment rate to 5.4% from 5.5%. Investors will be watching closely, as a particularly strong employment report could be seen as a sign that the Federal Reserve may implement its planned interest rate hike as soon as September, rather than later this year.


2. Greece still bubbling

Public opinion seems to be turning against the Greek government under the pressure of bank closures and increasingly negative media coverage. The latest opinion poll suggests the voters will accept the creditors’ proposals, while Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis dropped the biggest hint yet that the government would resign if it loses the vote. He also told Bloomberg TV that he personally would resign rather than sign a deal that didn’t include debt relief.

3. More economic news

The Labor Department will also release its weekly look at weekly jobless claims, which are expected to have dropped by about 1,000 claims last week, to 270,000. Today also brings a new report on orders for manufactured goods, which are expected to have dropped 0.5% in May, which would follow April’s 0.4% dip.

4. Fiat Chrysler’s public hearing

The automaker will be called in for a public hearing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to address concerns the regulator has that Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) fell short of its obligations on recalls issued for millions of vehicles so far this year. The NHTSA could fine the automaker more than $35 million. The hearing comes in the wake of several high-profile recalls stemming from safety issues around General Motors ignition switches and Takata air bags.

5. GE versus regulators

General Electric (GE) will look to convince European Commission regulators to back its $14 billion deal to buy the power equipment business of France’s Alstom (ALO) in a closed-door hearing today. The EC has expressed concerns that the deal would leave GE with only one competing gas turbine company in Europe, Germany’s Siemens. Meanwhile, in the U.S., GE’s $3.3 billion sale of its appliance business to Sweden’s Electrolux (ELUXB) is now in peril after the U.S. Justice Department sued to stop the deal on antitrust grounds on Wednesday.