Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference following a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) July 27, 2022 in Washington.
Elisabeth Franz | Reuters
Here is the key news investors need to start their trading day:
1. Mixed morning
US stock futures showed little movement in either direction on Thursday morning ahead of comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and data on jobless claims. Investors are looking for momentum after Wednesday’s rally, when all three major US stock averages posted their best day in almost a month. The Fed is poised to hike rates again this month as it continues its fight against inflation, leaving market watchers scrambling to get a handle on the central bank’s next move. Analysts at Goldman Sachs upgraded their rate hike outlook, saying they expect another three-quarter-point hike this month, a half-point hike in November and a quarter-point hike in December.
2. “Buy your mom an iPhone”
Apple CEO Tim Cook holds the new iPhone 14 at an Apple event at its headquarters in Cupertino, California on September 7, 2022.
Carlos Barria | Reuters
Tim Cook doesn’t think it’s important that Apple improves the SMS experience between iPhones and smartphones with Google’s Android system. He told Code Conference Wednesday that he doesn’t hear many complaints from Apple customers about it and that getting people to buy iPhones is his priority. When a questioner quipped to Cook that he couldn’t send videos to his mother because of the breakup, the Apple CEO replied, “Get your mother an iPhone.” Fittingly, the exchange took place on the same day that Apple unveiled its latest line of iPhones introduced.
3. The latest game from GameStop
Video games retailer GameStop is pushing further into the virtual world — and throwing even more red meat at the crowd of online meme stocks. The company’s earnings report on Wednesday wasn’t pretty. It posted a larger quarterly loss on a decline in sales, while its cash position fell to about half from a year earlier. But the stock still rallied hours later when GameStop announced a partnership with 30-year-old billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto exchange. There wasn’t much detail in the announcement aside from some vague points about e-commerce and online marketing. GameStop will also sell FTX gift cards. The partnership comes a few months after the retailer launched a marketplace for virtual collectibles called NFTs, which also trade on FTX.
4. Putin threatens Europe over energy
Russian President Vladimir Putin conducts an open lesson on the Day of Knowledge in Kaliningrad, Russia, September 1, 2022.
Alexei Maishev | Sputnik | via Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose forces were bogged down in Ukraine, attacked Europe. The region is already grappling with an energy crisis due to Russia’s decision to halt gas supplies to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. This move puts pressure on European governments as they prepare for the cold months ahead. At an economic forum, Putin said Russia could terminate energy contracts in response to policy moves, such as price caps on energy imports from his country. “We will not supply gas, oil, coal, fuel oil – we will not supply anything,” Putin said. “We would have only one choice: Like in the famous Russian fairy tale, we would freeze the wolf’s tail.”
5. The world after the cinema
The Mandalorian and the Child in Disney+’s The Mandalorian.
Movies are still great. It’s the screens that have gotten small. Former Disney CEO Bob Iger on Wednesday described what many industry analysts have been talking about for the last few years: The demand it takes to fill theaters just isn’t there anymore, even as blockbusters return to theaters, after Covid disrupted Hollywood. “I don’t think films will ever go back to what they were before the pandemic in terms of box office admissions,” Iger said at the Code conference. And while huge movies like Spider-Man: No Way Home and Top Gun: Maverick are still packed, franchises don’t need to be multiplexed to make a cultural impact. Iger cited the HBO series Game of Thrones and Disney’s own success with Star Wars programming as evidence of this. “I’m a big believer in movies. I love big movies,” Iger said, “but it’s not going back to where it was.”
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