Overnight Finance: Trump breaks protocol to tout jobs data | Economy adds 223K jobs in May | Trump defiant on tariffs | Battle begins over future of sports betting

Overnight Finance: Trump breaks protocol to tout jobs data | Economy adds 223K jobs in May | Trump defiant on tariffs | Battle begins over future of sports betting
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Happy Friday and welcome back to Overnight Finance, which you can talk about well before it comes out. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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THE BIG DEAL: President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats slide in battle for Senate Trump believes Kushner relationship with Saudi crown prince a liability: report Christine Blasey Ford to be honored by Palo Alto City Council MORE on Friday touted the monthly federal jobs report roughly an hour before the data was released, a breach with decades of protocol that could lead to accusations he was sending a signal to traders.

Trump in a 7:21 a.m. tweet on wrote that he was "looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the highly anticipated data on schedule at 8:30 a.m. It was a strong report, showing the economy added 223,000 jobs and that the unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent.

A federal rule states that federal workers should not comment on the jobs report until an hour after it has been released, though administration officials have in the past made comments before that hour was up.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CNBC that Trump's tweet was appropriate because he did not "put the numbers out," but confirmed the president was briefed on the report Thursday night. I've got more on Trump's latest controversial tweet here.


So what? The release of the jobs numbers is always huge news on Wall Street, and can lead to millions in shares changing hands. As a result, Trump's tweet, which appeared to signal the report would be positive even if it did not include any numbers, led to immediate criticism.



  • "If the president just tipped that the numbers are good, he broke the law." -- Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama.
  • "This certainly was a no-no. The advance info is sacrosanct - not to be shared.' -- Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary for President George W. Bush.
  • "If during the Clinton or Obama Administrations there had been a statement from @POTUS or anyone senior official in the morning before the Employment Report it would have been a major scandal--with all sorts of investigations following on." -- Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.


Now about the actual jobs report: The U.S. economy added a robust 223,000 jobs in May, which was better than expected, as the labor market maintained steady growth.

The unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, the lowest level since April 2000, and a slight drop from 3.9 percent, the Labor Department reported on Friday.

Job gains were 15,000 more than previously reported in March and April.

During the last three months, jobs added averaged 179,000. Expectations were for a May gain of about 200,000.

The economy, which Trump administration officials say is headed toward a 3 percent pace of growth, grew at a 2.2 percent rate in the January to March quarter, slower than initially reported, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday. The Hill's Vicki Needham has more on the numbers here.


Trump pours kerosene on global trade feuds: Trump's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico has pushed his administration to the brink of an all-out trade war with three of the nation's largest trading partners. 

Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossSessions attacks judge who ordered officials to sit for depositions in challenges to Census citizenship question Harris accuses GOP of ‘weaponizing’ 2020 Census DOJ: Commerce chief spoke with Bannon, Sessions about census citizenship question MORE announced Thursday morning that the U.S. would be ending the temporary exemptions that had been granted to the three countries for steel and aluminum imports. With the exemptions lifted, those imports will face tariffs of 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively. 

The move drew withering criticism from congressional Republicans, business groups and U.S. allies, who had all tried to push the president onto another path. 

But true to form, Trump defied U.S. allies in favor of the "America First" agenda he had promised as a candidate.

The Hill's Vicki Needham and Niv Elis tell us what to expect here.


GOP senator backs bill to 'rein in' Trump's trade authority: GOP Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyOvernight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race MORE (Pa.) on Friday announced that he would back legislation to rein in President Trump's trade authority, underscoring growing GOP frustration with the administration's recent policy decisions.

"Congress should assert its constitutional responsibility and lead on trade policy so Americans keep access to affordable goods and services, and the opportunity to sell our products abroad," Toomey said in a string of tweets explaining his decision to support Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenators pledge action on Saudi journalist’s disappearance Bernie Sanders: US should pull out of war in Yemen if Saudis killed journalist Senators warn Trump that Saudi relationship is on the line MORE's (R-Utah) bill.

Toomey said that implementing the tariffs under the guise of national security "weakens our credibility."

"Claiming steel bought from our allies is a 'national security' threat weakens our credibility. These tariffs, i.e. taxes, hurt American workers, employers, and consumers," Toomey tweeted Friday.

Aside from Toomey and Lee, three GOP senators are officially backing the legislation: Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump boosts McSally, bashes Sinema in Arizona Watch live: Trump speaks at Arizona rally Mnuchin to attend anti-terror meeting in Saudi Arabia following Khashoggi disappearance MORE (Ariz.), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerElection Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue Democrats must end mob rule GOP senators praise Haley as 'powerful' and 'unafraid' MORE (Colo.) and Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseToobin: Flake and Sasse ‘never actually take a stand’ against Trump GOP lawmaker on Trump's 'Horseface' comment: 'That's not the way men act' Republican senator and Sean Hannity clash over claims in new book MORE (Neb.).


FINANCE IN FOCUS: The Supreme Court decision clearing the way for states to legalize sports betting has set off a scramble to influence new laws and regulations.

Five states, plus Nevada, have already passed sports wagering legislation, and legislatures in 14 additional states have bills in the works.

The policymaking action is likely to be intense, with tens of billions of dollars in potential revenue at stake.

In 2017, according to estimates from the American Gaming Association, people in the U.S. illegally bet more than $4 billion on the Super Bowl. That total, amassed for a single sporting event, hints at the vast sums that could flow into sports betting once it is aboveboard.

"The action is going to be hot and heavy in the states, that's where we're moving very quickly, making sure our industry is armed with everything it needs to ensure smart effective policy on the state level," said Geoff Freeman, the president and CEO of the American Gaming Association.

The Hill's Megan R. Wilson explains here.




  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission: Meeting on interagency proposal to rewrite the Volcker rule, 9:30 a.m.
  • Brookings Institution hosts an event on industry in Africa, 10 a.m.



  • Securities and Exchange Commission: Meeting on interagency proposal to rewrite the Volcker rule, 10:00 a.m.
  • Brookings Institution host an event on the Marshall Plan's 70th anniversary and the future of development cooperation, 3:30 p.m.



  • House Financial Services Committee: Hearing on H.R. 1511, the "Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2017," 10 a.m.
  • House Small Business Committee: Hearing on millennials and the gig economy, 11 a.m.
  • House Financial Services Committee: Hearing on "Improving Transparency and Accountability at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection," 2 p.m.



  • House Foreign Affairs Committee: Hearing on "Advancing U.S. Business Investment and Trade in the Americas," 2 p.m.
  • American Enterprise Institute hosts an event on the lessons learned from 10 years of quantitative easing featuring former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, 2 p.m.



  • Lawmakers return to Congress after a week-long recess. Trump's imposition of tariffs has triggered alarm among Republicans, but it's unclear if they'll act against the policy.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will both hold meetings on the interagency proposal to rewrite the Volcker rule. The agencies will almost certainly vote to advance the proposal for public comment, following votes to do so from the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.





  • CVS Health says it will no longer make donations to a pro-Trump "dark money" group that's come under fire for racist, sexist, homophobic and anti-Muslim sentiments reportedly expressed by group officials.