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Ford and Toyota suspended production at some Canadian sites

Protesters against covid mandates blocked a key border crossing between the US and Canada.

People wearing protective face masks while walking at a train station in Tokyo.
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  • Morgan Haefner
By Morgan Haefner

Deputy email editor

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Here’s what you need to know

Ford and Toyota suspended production at some Canadian sites. Protesters against covid mandates blocked a key border crossing between the US and Canada, and the auto giants are among the companies experiencing supply issues.

Meanwhile, more US states are easing restrictions. New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island will drop indoor mask mandates and proof-of-vaccination requirements by the end of March.

Disney shares jumped in after-hours trading. The Disney+ streaming service added nearly 12 million new subscribers, more than expected, in the last quarter, and its theme parks returned to profit.

Credit Suisse lost more than $2 billion. The Swiss bank, hit by successive scandals, performed much worse than expected in the final quarter of 2021.

Doping reared its ugly head at the Winter Olympics. Iranian skier Saveh Shemshaki tested positive for a steroid, while mystery surrounds the case of a 15-year-old Russian skater, Kamila Valieva.

US figure skater Nathan Chen won gold in Beijing. His comeback is complete after a major disappointment at the 2018 Games, while skier Mikaela Shiffrin confirmed she’ll compete tomorrow.

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What to watch for

US economists expect to see inflation numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that would imply a 7.3% increase on an annual basis, and 0.5% increase on a monthly basis.

The data will come from the BLS’s Consumer Price Index report, and will be the first economic look at the beginning of 2022, indicating how much omicron affected inflation after throwing a wrench in the gears of manufacturing.

A line chart showing the monthly change in US prices from January 2020 to January 2022. Prices dip drastically in April 2020, but then increase until a slight dip in August 2021, but then are back up.

Even though the Federal Reserve uses a different inflation report (Personal Consumption Expenditure) to make its interest rate decisions, the rate of inflation in January will influence how many times the central bank hikes interest rates this year.

The report may also affect how the White House tries to cool gas prices as president Joe Biden considers another release of oil from the strategic reserve.

Activist shareholders are going to have a productive year

Investors in the US bulk retailer Costco are mad as hell about the company being a laggard on climate change, and they’re not going to take it anymore. Recently, 70% of them voted to call on the company to set a strategy for eliminating carbon emissions from its value chain by 2050. According to investor advocacy group Ceres, it was the first time for such a net-zero proposal to pass at any company.

A bar chart showing the increasing average shareholder support for climate-related resolutions at US-based companies, which in 2021 was up to 40% compared to 20% in 2014.

2022 will likely be a historic year for climate-focused activist shareholders, who have long lingered on the sidelines of companies’ annual general meetings, but are now gaining support for their proposals, and racking up wins. In the US, shareholder resolutions aren’t binding, but a company could very well lose support from its board if it doesn’t pay attention.

You’re going to have a productive day

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