Elon Musk opposes Twitter’s request for an expedited trial. Twitter has asked the court to expedite the proceedings, citing risks from the recent economic downturn and being held in limbo by a buyer. The company requested a trial by mid-September. Meanwhile, Mr. Musk’s lawyers said it is unnecessary to resolve these weighty considerations on a breakneck schedule and asked for a trial date on or after Feb. 13 of next year. Read more here.
Retail sales rose more than expected in June as consumers remain resilient despite inflation. Retail sales rose 1% in June, slightly better than the 0.9% estimate. The numbers are not adjusted for inflation, which rose 1.3% on a monthly basis, indicating that real sales still were slightly negative. Gasoline stations, online sales, and bars and restaurants were some of the biggest contributors.
Luxury brands’ pool of U.S. shoppers is shrinking. A boom in luxury spending seen throughout the pandemic might be losing steam. Analysis from Citi shows spending on luxury in June increased 2% year-over-year—a slowdown from the 10% growth recorded in May. And the pool of luxury shoppers is getting smaller: Individual customer numbers are falling for several categories of expensive goods, including jewelry, watches, and handbags.
Electric vehicles hit a tipping point. 5% is the tipping point after which EVs skyrocket from niche to mainstream, according to a Bloomberg analysis of 19 countries. It happened in Norway in 2013, in China in 2018, and in South Korea in 2021. That moment could be here for electric vehicles in the US. EVs accounted for 5.6% of the total auto market in Q2, according to a new report from Cox Automotive.
Things are turning over in real estate. The number of homes being listed is skyrocketing and the number of mortgages being originated is plummeting, while the rate goes up. Analysts are expecting mortgage rates to go 6-7% towards the end of the year. Meanwhile, high-end real estate is also starting to get hit massively. The number of high-end listings is going up and the number of sales is plummeting. Source(42:15)
WHAT TO WATCH
Nancy Pelosi’s husband makes a big round of stock trades. According to the filing on July 14, Paul Pelosi exercised 200 call options, or 20,000 shares, of Nvidia at a strike price of $100 and the expiration of June 17, 2022. On that same date, her husband also sold 50 call options in Apple at a strike price of $100. He also sold 10,000 shares of Visa worth between $1 million and $5 million on June 21. Read more here.
Amazon has been slashing private-label selection amid weak sales. Amazon has started drastically reducing the number of items it sells under its own brands, and the company has discussed the possibility of exiting the private-label business entirely to alleviate regulatory pressure. Over the past six months, Amazon leadership instructed its private-label team to slash the list of items and not to reorder many of them. Read more here.
Don't bet on building material prices coming down too much. Remodeling demand should remain high since the housing boom that lasted from the late 1990s to the early 2000s will reach its peak remodeling age over the next several years.
Ethereum Merge is set for September. During a conference call, Ethereum developers announced that they are on track to deploy the Ethereum Merge across its blockchain to all users on Sept. 19. However, before the Ethereum Merge can be finally rolled out, it has a final testnet deployment that has to occur next month to ensure all bugs and glitches are fixed first.
Biden expects more Saudi oil after a trip to the Kingdom. Biden’s trip didn’t result in an immediate pledge for a production hike, but US officials said they were confident that Riyadh would lead the OPEC+ alliance to an agreement for a gradual boost. The White House said that Saudi Arabia has committed to supporting global oil market balancing for sustained economic growth.