President Trump said on Monday that he would not approve a deal for TikTok if its Chinese owner did not fully sell its interest in the product, a move that would scuttle an arrangement that was expected to help the app avoid a federal ban.
Asked about reports that TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, would still own 80 percent of the service after the deal, Mr. Trump said that they would “have nothing to do with it, and if they do we just won’t make the deal.”
He said Oracle and Walmart, which under the deal would take a 20 percent stake in the new company, TikTok Global, would control the service.
“And if we find that they don’t have total control, then we’re not going to approve the deal,” he said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
His comments came as TikTok disputed the ownership structure that was sketched out by Oracle and the Trump administration.
A spokesman for TikTok said on Sunday that ByteDance would hold 80 percent of the new company until a planned public offering for the service took place on the U.S. stock market in about a year. Oracle and Walmart would hold a 20 percent stake, the spokesman said. ByteDance echoed that characterization in a statement posted to apps in China on Monday and said that the deal did not involve a transfer of TikTok’s valuable algorithm.
But on Monday, Oracle disputed part of TikTok’s description of the deal. Ken Glueck, an executive at the company, said in a statement that upon “creation of TikTok Global, Oracle/Walmart will make their investment and the TikTok Global shares will be distributed to their owners, Americans will be the majority and ByteDance will have no ownership in TikTok Global.”
The back and forth underscores how fluid the deal remains and that — despite Mr. Trump’s comments Saturday that he had given the deal his “blessing” — TikTok could still fail to satisfy the government’s national security concerns. On Saturday, the Commerce Department delayed for one week a plan to ban TikTok from U.S. app stores while the government reviews the transaction. If it doesn’t satisfy Mr. Trump’s concerns, new downloads of TikTok could essentially be banned in the United States.
The Chinese government also released new regulations last month that appeared to make it difficult to sell TikTok’s core technology without a license, raising the prospect Beijing could move to block a deal.
Weeks of drama over the social media app TikTok left investors and others wondering what it was all for.
TikTok was set to be banned in the United States starting at midnight on Sunday. But in a deal announced on Saturday, the app said it would separate itself from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, and become an independent entity called TikTok Global. Oracle would become TikTok’s new cloud provider, while Walmart would offer its “omni-channel retail capabilities,” the companies said.
Oracle and Walmart would own a cumulative 20 percent stake in TikTok Global, which said it planned to hire 25,000 people in the United States over an undisclosed period and go public sometime in the next year. TikTok also promised to pay $5 billion in “new tax dollars to the U.S. Treasury,” according to a joint announcement from Oracle and Walmart.
Mr. Trump initially pronounced the agreement a success and blessed it, saying on Saturday that TikTok would “have nothing to do with China, it’ll be totally secure, that’s part of the deal,” only to reverse course on Monday morning with a threat to kill it.
The deal puts more control of TikTok into the hands of Americans, with four of the five members of the new entity’s board being American, but the agreement does not deliver on Mr. Trump’s original demand of a full sale of TikTok and it does not eliminate China from the mix. Under the initial terms, ByteDance would still control 80 percent of TikTok Global, two people with knowledge of the situation have said, though details may change.
Lawmakers, policy specialists and others said the way that TikTok’s deal was done also deserved more scrutiny.
“There’s no there there,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond who focuses on federal courts and the constitution. “Is this really about trade, or about the political benefit of trying to bash China and show how tough the administration can be?”
Stocks on Wall Street slid for the fourth straight session on Monday, after a steep drop in global markets that was fueled by the rising prospect of tighter economic restrictions to control the surge in coronavirus infections.
The S&P 500 fell more than 2 percent. Shares in Europe were also sharply lower, with the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 down more than 3 percent.
Investors had already been losing confidence in Washington’s ability to deliver another deal to support the hobbling U.S. economy, and the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was seen as making that deal even less likely.
“From a purely political perspective, what already promised to be one of if not the craziest, and most politically charged election cycles of our lifetimes only heated up more,” analysts from Bespoke Investment Research wrote in a morning note to clients.
Shares of companies that are sensitive to the pandemic and the return of restrictions on travel in particular fared poorly on Monday. Delta Air Lines fell more than 8 percent, for example.
Energy, materials and industrial shares also tumbled, suggesting growing investor doubts about the outlook for the global economic recovery. Oil prices dropped more than 4 percent.
Sectors of the market relatively immune to the ups and downs of the business cycle, such as consumer staples, utilities and some large-cap technology companies fared better.
Countries around the world are reporting significant increases in coronavirus cases, just as cooler weather comes to the northern hemisphere, drawing more people inside. In the United States, the daily count is climbing again as universities and schools reopen. Over all, at least 73 countries are seeing surges in newly detected cases.
In a reflection of growing uncertainty in the wake of Justice Ginsburg’s death, some health care stocks that are closely linked to the Affordable Care Act were battered. Centene, HCA Services and Universal Health Services all fell more than 8 percent.
Shares of banks also slumped after BuzzFeed News exposed a cache of documents, known as suspicious activity reports, that show major banks helped suspected terrorists, drug dealers and corrupt foreign officials move trillions of dollars around the world.
U.S. stocks have already tumbled for three consecutive weeks. By Friday, that drop had left the S&P 500 down 7 percent from its Sept. 2 record. With the decline on Monday added, the index is approaching a correction, the market’s term of art for a 10 percent drop from a recent high.
Microsoft, which lost out in the corporate scramble for TikTok, announced on Monday that it would acquire the video game maker Zenimax Media for $7.5 billion, a deal that would expand the tech giant’s reach in consumer markets.
ZeniMax Media is the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, a large private game developer and publisher, whose titles include The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, Quake and Wolfenstein.
Microsoft is mainly a business technology company with most of its revenue coming from productivity and communications software, and cloud computing services sold over the internet.
But its online gaming business and Xbox console sales are growing rapidly. In the quarter that ended in June, Microsoft’s gaming revenue jumped by 64 percent, to $1.3 billion from the year-ago quarter.
The video game industry has thrived during the pandemic as the homebound spend more time playing games. Microsoft is set to release a new Xbox in November, and Sony is expected to introduce the next iteration of its PlayStation this holiday season.
“Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialize and play with their friends,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive, said in a statement announcing the deal.
The Federal Reserve on Monday released a preliminary sketch of its plan to overhaul how regulators approach the Community Reinvestment Act, which requires banks to invest in poor communities and lend to low-income individuals in the areas where they do business.
The proposal comes after the Fed refused to sign onto an overhaul that another financial regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, approved in May.
President Trump’s former comptroller, Joseph Otting, made overhauling how the 1977 law is applied a priority of his time in government. Just before leaving the agency, Mr. Otting, a one-time banker who had experienced personal run-ins with C.R.A. rules, released a final rule that would streamline it, but he failed to garner support from either the Fed or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Critics blasted the O.C.C. plan, saying that it had been rushed and that it might allow banks to meet requirements without catering to community needs. The F.D.I.C., which had initially signed onto the proposal, dropped off for the final version. Even banking groups were concerned about the inconsistency across agencies.
There was broad agreement that the approach to bank examination needed a refresh to satisfy the law’s intent in an era of mobile banking, but the Fed differed with the O.C.C. on the details. Lael Brainard, a Fed governor, and central bank staff members had been examining the law themselves and, with the approval of the Fed chair, Jerome H. Powell, drafted their own proposal, which the central bank unveiled on Monday.
The Fed’s suggestion takes a more piece-by-piece approach to applying the Community Reinvestment Act. It would clarify metrics that would be used to oversee lending, tailored to community conditions and based on existing data, while taking a qualitative approach on activities that are hard to boil down to numbers, like retail services. It is now open to a 120-day comment period.
Randal K. Quarles, the Fed’s vice chair for supervision, signed off on the proposal, noting that it “seeks feedback on several approaches designed to make the rules clearer, more transparent, and less subjective.”
He said he hoped the preliminary effort “will be an important step toward achieving consistency across the three banking agencies.”
The German airline Lufthansa warned on Monday that it would have to make even deeper cuts than planned because air travel was recovering more slowly than expected. Lufthansa said it would have to eliminate more than the 22,000 jobs previously announced, but did not specify how many, and it said that it would take its entire fleet of 14 super jumbo A380 planes out of service indefinitely.
As the pandemic wears on and school begins across the country, women working in retail say they are being forced to choose between keeping their jobs and making sure their children can keep up with remote learning.
Women in all types of jobs are feeling this squeeze. According to a study last month by the Census Bureau, women were three times more likely than men to have left their job because of child-care issues during the pandemic. But the inflexibility of retail work schedules — where shifts can vary widely week-to-week and employees have little choice but to take the hours they are given — make the pressure on those employees particularly acute and likely to lead to more women dropping out of the work force.
“The caregiving responsibilities outside of work are falling heavier on women than on men, and the retail sector in particular is one where you generally don’t have a lot of control over your schedule, which can lead to a real crunch,” said Emily Martin, vice president for education and workplace justice at the nonprofit National Women’s Law Center.
The retail industry, the second-biggest private-sector employer in the United States after health care, has been roiled by the pandemic, with millions of people out of work. Women made up nearly half of the 15.7 million workers in retail before the pandemic, but they accounted for 65 percent of the industry’s job losses between February and June, according to a report from the center.
Those who have kept their jobs were heralded as heroes and rewarded with bonuses and temporary raises during the early months of the pandemic. However, many of these same retail workers find themselves struggling to fulfill endless parenting obligations while hanging onto jobs that seem increasingly precarious in a weak economy.
European energy companies like BP, Royal Dutch Shell and others have lately been selling off oil fields and investing billions in renewable energy, a response to plunging oil prices and growing concerns about climate changes.
But the American oil giants Chevron and Exxon Mobil are going in a far different direction. They are doubling down on oil and natural gas and investing what amounts to pocket change in innovative climate-oriented efforts like small nuclear power plants and devices that suck carbon out of the air.
The disparity reflects the vast differences in how Europe and the United States are approaching climate change, a global threat that many scientists say is increasing the frequency and severity of disasters like wildfires and hurricanes. European leaders have made tackling climate change a top priority while President Trump has called it a “hoax” and has dismantled environmental regulations to encourage the exploitation of fossil fuels.
The big American and European oil and gas companies publicly agree that climate change is a threat and that they must play a role in the kind of energy transition the world last saw during the industrial revolution. But the urgency with which the companies are planning to transform their businesses could not be more different.
“Despite rising emissions and societal demand for climate action, U.S. oil majors are betting on a long-term future for oil and gas, while the European majors are gambling on a future as electricity providers,” said David Goldwyn, a top State Department energy official in the Obama administration. “The way the market reacts to their strategies and the 2020 election results will determine whether either strategy works.”
As car sales collapsed in Europe because of the pandemic, one category grew rapidly: electric vehicles.
One reason is that purchase prices in Europe are coming tantalizingly close to the prices for cars with gasoline or diesel engines. For example:
An electric Volkswagen ID.3 for the same price as a Golf.
A Tesla Model 3 that costs as much as a BMW 3 Series.
A Renault Zoe electric subcompact whose monthly lease payment might equal a nice dinner for two in Paris.
This near parity is possible only with government subsidies that, depending on the country, can cut more than $10,000 from the final price. Carmakers are offering deals on electric cars to meet stricter European Union regulations on carbon dioxide emissions. Electric vehicles are not yet as popular in the United States, largely because government incentives are less generous.
As electric cars become more mainstream, the automobile industry is rapidly approaching the tipping point when, even without subsidies, it will be as cheap, and maybe cheaper, to own a plug-in vehicle than one that burns fossil fuels. The carmaker that reaches price parity first may be positioned to dominate the segment.
A few years ago, industry experts expected 2025 would be the turning point. But technology is advancing faster than expected, and could be poised for a quantum leap. Elon Musk is expected to announce a breakthrough at Tesla’s “Battery Day” event on Tuesday that would allow electric cars to travel significantly farther without adding weight.
The balance of power in the auto industry may depend on which carmaker, electronics company or start-up succeeds in squeezing the most power per pound into a battery, what’s known as energy density.
“We’re seeing energy density increase faster than ever before,” said Milan Thakore, a senior research analyst at Wood Mackenzie, an energy consultant that recently pushed its prediction of the tipping point ahead by a year, to 2024.
A cache of thousands of reports that major banks filed with federal regulators shows that they helped suspected terrorists, drug dealers and corrupt foreign officials move trillions of dollars around the world, despite the banks’ concerns about the suspicious nature of the transactions.
The documents, known as suspicious activity reports, were obtained by BuzzFeed News and shared with a worldwide consortium of journalists. The more than 2,100 suspicious activity reports, filed by major U.S. and international banks, relate to more than $2 trillion of transactions from 1999 to 2017.
Banks are required to file the reports with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network about transactions that they believe could be part of a money laundering scheme, fraud or other illegal activity.
BuzzFeed obtained suspicious activity reports filed by the largest U.S. lenders — including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America — and major international institutions like Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered. Many of those banks have been repeatedly penalized by United States and other authorities for their roles in money laundering.
Among BuzzFeed’s main findings were that Standard Chartered, which operates primarily in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, appears to have helped move funds on behalf of a Dubai-based company that reportedly had ties to the Taliban. JPMorgan, Bank of New York Mellon and other banks appear to have helped move more than $150 million for companies tied to the North Korean regime, according to a companion report by NBC News.
As of late 2013, officials at JPMorgan Chase had also submitted at least eight suspicious activity reports on banking activity connected to Paul Manafort, President Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman. JPMorgan also moved more than $1 billion for the alleged mastermind of a giant fraud involving a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.
Patricia Wexler, a JPMorgan spokeswoman, said: “We have played a leadership role in anti-money-laundering reform that will modernize how the government and law enforcement combat money laundering, terrorism financing and other financial crimes.”
A spokesman for Standard Chartered, Chris Teo, said, “We take our responsibility to fight financial crime extremely seriously and have invested substantially in our compliance programs.”
A representative for Bank of New York Mellon and Standard Chartered did not immediately respond to a request for comment.