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Here’s what you need to know
The US Supreme Court is reportedly considering a rollback of abortion rights. Politico published an apparently leaked first draft of an opinion—with the leak itself highly unusual—by justice Samuel Alito. The court is expected to adjudicate in July.
BP profits doubled. The energy giant took advantage of high oil and gas prices in the first quarter of 2022, and reported an underlying profit of $6.2 billion—it made $2.6 billion at the same stage last year. But the company also took a $25 billion hit from its Russia exit.
Spirit Airlines rejected a takeover bid from JetBlue. It is sticking with an earlier deal it made with Frontier, citing “an unacceptable level of closing risk” with JetBlue.
Amazon workers voted against unionization in a Staten Island facility. The decision on this occasion goes against union organizers, following a recent victory in the same borough.
A Citigroup trader’s error led to yesterday’s European “flash crash.” The firm admitted one of its staff was responsible for stocks suddenly plunging and trading being halted.
South Asia’s deadly heat wave is getting worse. Temperatures in parts of India and Pakistan are consistently reaching 110 degrees, with the monsoon rains still around a month away.
What to watch for
Starbucks is scheduled to report earnings today with founder Howard Schultz, who rejoined as CEO in April. Here’s what investors will be looking at:
💪 Unionization. Since company-owned Starbucks stores in Buffalo, New York filed to be unionized in late August, more than 200 out of nearly 9,000 company-owned stores in the US have also filed paperwork. To date, more than 20 stores, including Buffalo-location sites, have voted to unionize. Starbucks said last October it will raise average pay to $17 an hour by mid-2022.
💰 Higher costs. The pandemic and the war in Ukraine continue to weigh on supply chain-related costs. Lockdowns in China, its second biggest market, may have hurt Starbucks’ performance. In turn, there are more price increases expected this year. So far, customers still have no qualms about laying down latte orders, but that could change as inflation soars.
The Fed’s dangerous game
The US Federal Reserve wants the world’s biggest economy to have a soft landing from its weird semi-post-pandemic and uncertain war phase. But what does a soft landing mean? Quartz reporter Tim Fernholz has a great analogy:
“Imagine the economy as a hot air balloon. Pump too much energy in, and the balloon goes quite high. To return to the Earth, you need to let some of the hot air cool so you can descend, but if you move down too fast, the results could be catastrophic.”
It’s a dangerous game. History tells us a recession is more likely than not. But even within the Fed, there’s hope this time will be different.
New boss, who dis?
With rumors circulating that Elon Musk already has someone in mind to lead Twitter that isn’t Parag Agrawal, Musk would do well to remember that the social media company’s bosses don’t last long. In fact, Twitter may be one of the hardest tech companies to run, as evidenced by the high turnover among its chief executives.
Maybe it’s not Musk though, and just the way of the game. ✦ Quartz’s latest Weekend Brief looked at the billionaires strategy of buying into tech and media. Become a member today to get the Weekend Brief, and use code MAKEBIZBETTER to take 50% off!
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A new cereal requires OJ, not milk. Tropicana’s press release says the honey and almond cereal “may not be for everyone (but it could be for you!).”
The US Census Bureau has redefined its criteria for urban areas. The rules could impact rural access to medical care, as well as federal funding.
Competitive M&M stacking has a new world record. Ibrahim Sadeq of Nasiriyah, Iraq, has managed to stack seven of the slippery little candies.
IKEA is now serving up Swedish “Seedballs.” Created in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the soil balls are designed to rewild gardens, feed insects, and start conversations about biodiversity.
Global debt levels rose to 263% of GDP in 2020, following the onset of the pandemic. Learn more about the impact of covid-19 on national debt, which probably doesn’t mean exactly what you think it means, in the latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast.
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Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, cereal that pairs with coffee, and conversational seedballs to firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Hasit Shah, Julia Malleck, Michelle Cheng, Anne Quito, Susan Howson, and Morgan Haefner.