Top News for Investors: Fed Meeting, UAW Strikes, Streaming Issues, Hotel Regulations, and Ukraine’s Progress
Stock futures inched higher as investors looked ahead to this week’s Federal Reserve meeting. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures added 0.03%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures ticked up 0.09% and 0.16%, respectively. Traders are widely expecting the Fed to keep interest rates the same. The CME Group’s FedWatch tool, which gauges pricing in the fed funds futures market, lists a 99% chance that when the rate decision is released on Wednesday, the Fed stays put and there’s just a 31% probability of a hike in November. Nonetheless, investors will be eager to get a better idea of the central bank’s stance on inflation from here. Follow live market updates.
As United Auto Workers members continued their strike this weekend, Jeep maker Stellantis said it was offering union workers raises of nearly 21% over the course of the contract, including an immediate 10% pay increase. That offer is in line with proposals from the other two big Detroit automakers, Ford and General Motors. Stellantis’ proposal would also include the end of wage tiers for some workers and improvements in the pension and retirement savings plans for current employees and retirees. The UAW is seeking 40% hourly pay increases, a reduced 32-hour workweek, a return to traditional pensions, and the elimination of compensation tiers, among other things. Ford and GM resumed talks with the UAW over the weekend, while Stellantis said it planned to pick up talks on Monday.
Is the era of traditional TV over? In the past decade, the consumer shift to streaming has upended the media industry model and legacy media giants are trying to figure out how to make it work. Even Disney is reportedly considering selling ABC and its owned affiliates; linear cable networks and a minority stake in ESPN, a signal that the company may be ready to get out of legacy media to enter its next chapter. Streaming is also a major issue in the writers’ and actors’ strikes that have paralyzed Hollywood for months. The problem is that streaming remains unprofitable for most studios. Media companies have also been reluctant to share streaming viewership data, leaving investors and writers in the dark.
New York City is cracking down on short-term rentals, which could benefit the hotel industry. The city’s long-planned regulations took effect earlier this month, requiring hosts to be present for stays of less than 30 days, with no more than two people staying in a dwelling at a time. Hosts must also register their listing with the city or face hefty fines. As a result, the travel industry website Skift estimates Airbnb short-term listings in New York dropped 77% from June 4 to Sept. 10. That means many visitors are looking for other lodging options. “Over the past week, we’ve seen the strongest booking pace for the forward six-month period than we’ve seen at any time going back to 2015,” Kevin Davis, CEO of JLL Hotels & Hospitality’s Americas, told “Squawk Box Asia” Monday.
Ukraine gains ground
Ukraine’s grueling counteroffensive is continuing as it recaptured two villages in the area around Bakhmut in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, in recent days. Forces have also made modest gains in the south in the past week, regaining two square miles of territory in the area. Meanwhile, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence update Sunday that Russian troops are likely reinforcing their defenses around the occupied town of Tokmak in southern Ukraine, digging in as Ukraine gets closer. NBC News also reported over the weekend that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was set to visit the Capitol and meet with senators on Thursday. He’s also expected to meet with President Joe Biden and to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York City this week seeking support for Ukraine as the war drags on.