• Holiday weekend air travel surges to the highest levels since Thanksgiving as Covid cases continue to drop. The Transportation Security Administration screened nearly 8.4 million people from Friday through Monday, more than double the number from a year ago but down 7.5% from the 9 million people TSA screened in 2020. Leisure travel continues to recover or surpass pre-pandemic levels, particularly for domestic trips. Read more here.

  • U.S. home loan applications tumble to lowest since 2019, indicating higher mortgage rates are becoming a greater headwind for the housing market. Higher mortgage rates have quickly shut off refinances, with activity down in six of the first seven weeks of 2022. The rise in borrowing costs, against a backdrop of high home prices and limited inventory, risks stifling demand. Read more here.

  • Meta’s Facebook escalates TikTok rivalry by launching Reels globally. The company launched Reels for all global Facebook users on Tuesday introducing many new features for advertisers and monetization features. Meta will introduce it to users in more than 150 countries and will begin testing new ads that will run alongside Facebook Reels from all creators in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico as well as more countries to follow.

  • Spotify acquires Chartable and Podsights to become a podcasting powerhouse. Spotify said that it plans to integrate Chartable directly into its own podcast distribution platform, called Megaphone. Megaphone will be a one-stop shop for publishers to "create, monetize, and measure their podcast businesses." On the advertising side, Podsights should enhance the experience as well with greater measurement tools. Read more here.

  • iBuyer sales to investors soar. The major iBuyers sold approximately 20% of their inventory directly to investors in 2021, more than double the previous high in 2019. These sales mainly occur off-market, meaning traditional home buyers never see them. And most of them are subsequently turned into rental properties. All three of the major iBuyers sold significant portions of their inventory to institutional investors in 2021, with Opendoor leading.

  • Townhouses are making a comeback in residential real estate. Buyers searching for affordability are showing more interest in townhomes, particularly first-time home buyers. Townhouse construction climbed 28% in 2021, according to data from the National Association of Home Builders. The market share of new townhouses has risen to 13% of all single-family housing starts. Read more here.

  • First-time buyers were responsible for 27% of the sales in January, according to the National Association of Realtors. But investors accounted for 22% of all homes purchased which were all-cash sales. Jason Hartman says that if people were waiting for a crash, they will probably wait for a very long time because people are buying houses all-cash as opposed to getting a mortgage. Source(2:55)


  • Hydrogen generation could become a $1 trillion per year market by 2050 compared to around $125 billion today, Goldman Sachs says. Described by the International Energy Agency as a versatile energy carrier, hydrogen can be produced in a number of ways. If the electricity used in this process comes from a renewable source such as wind or solar then some call it green or renewable hydrogen. Read more here.

  • Airbus plans to test hydrogen engine on A380 jumbo jet to fly in 2026. The manufacturer is working with engine maker CFM International, a joint venture of GE and France’s Safran. They hope to bring lower-emission fuels to commercial air travel. The test plane will include a modified version of an engine already in use that will have to handle higher temperatures at which hydrogen burns. Test flights could begin in 2026.

  • Tech giants to be forced to share more data under a new EU proposal. The new rules, proposed Wednesday in a bill called the Data Act, aim to help smaller companies keep up with big ones in the race to profit from troves of non-personal data generated by connected products, ranging from smart appliances to automobiles. The European Commission said it anticipates the legislation could add 270 billion euros to the European economy by 2028.
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