6 Most Important Things in Business Today

Increases in benefits outpaced wages last year. According to The Wall Street Journal:

U.S. employers are boosting benefits—including bonuses and vacation time—at a faster pace than salaries, a move that gives them more flexibility to dial back that compensation if the economy turns sour.

The cost of benefits for private-sector employers rose 3% in June from a year earlier, while the cost of wages and salaries advanced 2.7%, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

The U.S. government is examining a tweet by Elon Musk about taking Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) private. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Tesla Inc. on Tuesday said the Justice Department has opened an investigation into the company following Chief Executive Elon Musk’s surprise tweet in August that he had secured funding to possibly take the electric-car maker private.

The company said that last month it received a “voluntary request for documents” from the Justice Department, generally the first step in a federal investigation of this kind. Tesla said it hasn’t received a subpoena, a request for testimony or any other formal request.

The United States will make Chinese media outlets register as foreign agents. According to The Wall Street Journal:

The Justice Department ordered two leading Chinese state-run media organizations to register as foreign agents, according to people familiar with the matter, as U.S. officials ramp up efforts to combat foreign influence operations and toughen their stance on a variety of China policies.

The DOJ in recent weeks told Xinhua News Agency and China Global Television Network—known as CGTN now and earlier as CCTV—to register under a previously obscure foreign lobbying law that gained prominence when it was used in the past year against associates of President Donald Trump, including Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, the people said.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) may have helped companies discriminate against women in job listings. According to The New York Times

Facebook has been criticized in recent years over revelations that its technology allowed landlords to discriminate on the basis of race, and employers to discriminate on the basis of age. Now a group of job seekers is accusing Facebook of helping employers to exclude female candidates from recruiting campaigns.

The job seekers, in collaboration with the Communications Workers of America and the American Civil Liberties Union, filed charges with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday against Facebook and nine employers.

China’s ownership of U.S. debt fell again. According to CNBC:

China’s holdings of U.S. Treasury bills, notes and bonds dropped to a six month low of $1.171 trillion in July, from $1.178 trillion in June.

The data is closely watched, since dumping Treasury securities is viewed as one way China could retaliate against the U.S. in an ongoing trade dispute, but bond strategists are skeptical China is really trying to send a message this way.

Papa John’s International Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) has a new ad campaign. According to CNNMoney:

Papa John’s new ad campaign makes a clear statement: The pizza chain is moving on without Papa John.

On Tuesday, the embattled pizza company released a new commercial featuring a diverse panel of franchisees and employees.