The 10-Point: WSJ Editor in Chief Gerard Baker’s Guide to the Day’s Top News

By Matt Murray 
 Stock Market Quotes, Business News, Financial News from

Gerard Baker is away. Today’s 10-Point is by Deputy Editor in Chief Matt Murray. Follow him on Twitter [a]MurrayMatt.

Good morning,

Less in a Day’s Work

The longest slide in worker productivity since the late 1970s is haunting the U.S. economy’s long-term prospects. The goods and services produced each hour by American workers decreased at a 0.5% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the second quarter as hours worked increased faster than output, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That was the third consecutive quarter of falling productivity, marking the longest streak since 1979. Such sluggish productivity could prompt the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low for years to come. The metric is a key ingredient in determining future growth in wages, prices and overall economic output.


Donald Trump touched off another firestorm with an off-the-cuff remark that critics interpreted as inciting violence against his Democratic rival. Speaking at a rally in North Carolina about how he claims Hillary Clinton as president would undermine gun rights under the Second Amendment, Mr. Trump said, “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks.” He then added: “Although the Second Amendment people–maybe there is, I don’t know.” The comment came a day after his economic-policy speech that many Republicans hoped would be the start of a disciplined reboot. Mrs. Clinton, meanwhile, faced fresh hurdles of her own after a conservative watchdog group released a batch of new emails from the former Secretary of State’s personal server. The documents offered fresh examples of how top Clinton Foundation officials sought access to the State Department during her tenure. For now, Mrs. Clinton is ahead of Mr. Trump in three battleground states, according to the latest WSJ/NBC News/Marist polls conducted Aug. 3-7. The Democrat opened an 11-point lead in Pennsylvania, while holding slimmer advantages in Ohio and Iowa.

Receding Tide

Procter & Gamble, the biggest advertising spender in the world, will move away from ads on Facebook that target specific consumers, concluding that the practice has limited effectiveness. Facebook has spent years developing its ability to zero in on consumers based on demographics, shopping habits and life milestones. While P&G initially jumped at the opportunity to market directly to subsets of shoppers, its chief marketing officer, Marc Pritchard, now says the company has realized it took the strategy too far. P&G’s shift highlights the limits of targeted marketing for big brands–one of the cornerstones of Facebook’s ad business–and could be a bellwether on how consumer goods companies and major brands use digital advertising.

Golden Records

Day four of the Rio Olympics included big wins for the U.S., taking gold in gymnastics and swim events. In their red, white and blue leotards, the American women gymnasts smashed their astronomical expectations, winning the team gold medal by 8.209 points over their nearest competition–the highest margin of victory since 1960. At the aquatics stadium, Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky put on a show, claiming gold in the men’s 200-meter butterfly and women’s 200-meter freestyle, respectively. At age 31, Phelps became the oldest male swimmer to win an individual event at the Olympics. Speaking of Olympic records, there is one that remains unanswered: Who was the youngest-ever Olympian? WSJ’s Joshua Robinson looks into the question that has perplexed historians for ages.

–Compiled by Cynthia Lin

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