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  • Monday's Scoop: Cruising 🌤️

Monday's Scoop: Cruising 🌤️

Samsung workers strike & Minions take the box office

 
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Here’s what you need to know today to inform your work, spending, and investments…

 

🌎 Big picture

  1. Hiring slowed, but wages climbed in June.

  2. Manufacturing continues to slump.

  3. France and UK voters shook up their governments.

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 💼 Work trends

Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Still near the lowest rate in 50+ years

Hiring slowed, and unemployment rose slightly from historic lows last month. The US economy added 206,000 jobs in June, slightly more than economists expected, but unemployment rose to 4.1%, the highest since October 2021. According to the Labor Department's latest report, hiring increased primarily in healthcare, government, and construction, while sectors like professional services and retail saw declines. Wages seem to be catching up to the rising cost of living. Average hourly earnings rose by 0.3% for the month, up 3.9% over the past year. The labor force participation rate edged up to 62.6%, indicating more people are entering the workforce. Despite the slight uptick in unemployment, the job market remains relatively strong. Rising wages are a positive sign for workers amidst growing economic uncertainty.

 🤓 Inside Scoop: How does the unemployment rate relate to the labor force participation rate?

The unemployment rate and the labor force participation rate are two key metrics policymakers track to understand the state of the jobs market. The labor force is defined as everyone who is employed or unemployed. The participation rate is that number divided by the whole working-age population.

The most important part to understand is that the government only defines the unemployed as those who have actively looked for a job in the past four weeks. The unemployment rate does not track those who have stopped looking for a job, like discouraged workers or people who stopped working to care for their children or elderly parents.

Comparing these two measures can provide more insight into the economy. A declining unemployment rate paired with a declining participation rate might indicate structural problems keeping people from working. Both metrics declining is not typically a good sign.

American factories are slowing down. The Commerce Department's Census Bureau reported that factory orders unexpectedly dropped by 0.5% in May after a slight rise in April, reflecting ongoing strain on the manufacturing sector, which accounts for 10% of the economy. Businesses spent less on equipment, indicating more signs of cautious investment amid high borrowing costs and less consumer spending on products.

 

 📈 Investment trends

The Market: ⬆️ +0.1%
S&P 500: 5,572.85
1Mo: +4% | 1Yr: +26% | 5Yr: +85%

The market slowly climbed to another new record high on Monday as traders returned to their desks from the holiday weekend. Investors grow hopeful for good financial updates from America's biggest businesses when earnings season kicks off this week.

France and the UK voters shook up their governments this week. Recent elections in France and the UK brought surprising results with significant political shifts. The leftist New Popular Front secured the most seats in the French parliament. At the same time, Le Pen’s far-right National Rally fell to third place, easing fears that France may try to exit the European Union but raising concerns about higher government spending, including potential increases in public-sector wages and a lower retirement age. In the UK, Labour's Keir Starmer won a landslide victory, ending 14 years of Conservative rule, with potential policy shifts focusing on public service reforms and economic renewal. These outcomes reflect broader political changes but have had limited immediate impact on global economic stability.

 

🏭 Companies worth watching

👍👎 APPROVAL RATINGS 

Act like a boardmember and judge how companies behave. Engaging helps build your financial confidence and hold corporations accountable. (+2pts)

Samsung

Workers Revolt

Thousands of workers launched a three-day strike at Samsung to demand increased wages and better working conditions, threatening a larger strike if their demands aren't met.

The world's largest phone and chip manufacturer expects quarterly profits to surge 16x higher than last year, and workers want a fair share.

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Comcast

Minion Mania

Universal and Illumination's newest animated film, Despicable Me 4, has emerged as a Box Office triumph, amassing $122.6M in its first five days and $75M over the weekend.

The movie's relatively low production cost of $100M ensures profitability for the producers amid a slow box office year.

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Boeing

Felony Fallout

Boeing will plead guilty to misleading air safety regulators about plane malfunctions that caused two deadly 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019. It agreed to pay a $244M fine and hire an independent monitor for three years.

As a felon, the planemaker may face new hurdles getting government contracts that make up nearly a third of sales.

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 💭 Broader perspectives… (+2pts)

Should executives and board members face jail time for corporate felonies?

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Paramount Global

New Era

Streaming upstart Skydance Media will buy Paramount Global, one of Hollywood's oldest studios and the home of CBS, Nickelodeon, and successful movie franchises like Mission: Impossible.

The merger aims to improve Paramount's streaming power as legacy television continues to fade.

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JPMorgan Chase

Fee Warning

America's biggest bank warned its 86 million customers that they might soon have to pay for services that are currently free, like checking accounts, if regulators move forward to new caps on overdraft and late fees.

Chase's decision could prompt industry-wide shifts as banks look to protect profits from higher regulatory costs.

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 🛠️ Recommended resources (+2 pts)

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