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  • Monday's Scoop: Mixed 🌤️

Monday's Scoop: Mixed 🌤️

Amazon ditches plastic packaging & Alaska bumps pay

Hey friend - hope you stayed cool this weekend.
Here’s what you need to know today to inform your work, spending, and investments…


🌎 Big picture

  1. Home prices keep rising to record highs, but more supply hit the market last month.

  2. Business activity picked up in June.

  3. Higher energy demands pushed fossil fuel pollution to a record high last year.

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 💼 Work trends

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

The economy showed signs of a rebound in June. S&P Global’s index of US business activity climbed to a 26-month high, driven by increased employment and new product and service orders. S&P’s Composite PMI Output Index, which tracks the manufacturing and services sectors, indicated optimism from business owners and a slowdown in cost increases. The report is a welcome sign of continued economic growth without accelerating inflation.


 🌊 Climate trends

Global Energy Emissions: 37.4 billion tonnes of CO2
An all-time high, up 1.1% from 2022. (IEA)

The energy required to power civilization reached a new record in 2023, which meant record renewable energy use as well as record fossil fuel pollution. According to the industry's Statistical Review of World Energy report, global energy-related emissions reached a new high last year despite a massive shift to clean energy sources, as our increased electricity demands outmatched the pace of bringing wind and solar facilities online. Global fossil fuel use rose by 1.5%, but coal, gas, and oil made up a smaller percentage of the overall power mix than in 2022. As much as 74% of the overall net growth in power generation came from renewables, driven by higher wind and solar capacity. Since 2000, annual pollution from energy production has increased by 50%.


🏠 Housing trends

30yr Mortgage Rate: 7.0%
That’s up from 6.8% a year ago. (MBA)
Median Existing Home Price: $419,300
That’s up from $397K a year ago. (NAR)

Record-high home prices have stalled the market, but more houses are coming for sale. The National Association of Realtors reported a declining number of existing home sales for the third straight month in May as the median home price rose to a record high of $419,300. A nationwide housing shortage has kept prices from falling despite high mortgage costs and record prices. However, new home supply surged to the highest level in years last month as more resellers brought their homes onto the market. That could be a good sign for future price relief, as existing homes usually make up 80-90% of the supply. Entry-level homes are still in short supply. Most homes sold last month cost over $750,000, with 30% purchased above the asking price and 25% done in cash. The proportion of first-time buyers on the market has tumbled.


 📈 Investment trends

The Market: ⬇️ -0.3%
S&P 500: 5,447.87
1Mo: +3% | 1Yr: +26% | 5Yr: +85%

The market drifted lower on Monday as investors waited out the slow week of data before the end of the month and quarter. There are some encouraging signs that inflation may be under control, but economic growth is slowing.


🏭 Companies worth watching


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


Box Office Triumph

Disney and Pixar's animated film 'Inside Out 2' emerged as the highest-earning film of the year, amassing $724M in ticket sales in its first two weeks and on track to cross $1B.

None of Disney's animated movies has earned more than $480M at the box office since 2019.

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American Airlines

Strike Alert

American Airlines' flight attendants union, representing about 28,000 members, plans to strike as early as Labor Day after contract negotiations with the airline failed in federal mediation.

Flight attendants haven't had a raise in five years and rejected American's last offer of 17% salary increases.

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Alaska Airlines

Paying Up

Alaska Airlines and its flight attendants union have reached a record contract agreement after federal mediators stepped in to assist with lengthy negotiations.

The terms haven't been disclosed, but thousands of flight attendants picketed for pay raises of up to 56% over multiple years, better benefits, and improved scheduling.

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 💭 Broader perspectives… (+2pts)

Have you received a raise in the past year?

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 🤓 Inside Scoop: What is a labor union?

A labor union is an organization of workers that band together to collectively bargain for improvements to their working conditions, wages, and benefits. Any industry can have a union. It starts by hosting some form of election in the workplace to acknowledge that the workers of that unit would like to unionize. Then, it expands to a more formalized agreement and negotiation process. New union workers can choose to be represented as part of an established, industry-wide union. Employers can dissuade workers from unionizing, but it's illegal to threaten or coerce. That grey line in between is for the lawyers.

Under Armour

Shady Sales

Under Armour agreed to pay $434M to settle a lawsuit alleging co-founder Kevin Plank misled investors by manipulating sales reporting for years to give the appearance of consistent growth.

The sportswear brand reinstated Plank this year as CEO and plans to lay off staff amidst falling sales.

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Going Plastic-Free

Amazon has replaced 95% of the plastic air pillows used in North American deliveries with recyclable paper fillers made from 100% recycled content.

The retail giant also achieved its first plastic-free warehouse in Ohio last year.

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