Stories I’m following this week. Thanks to The Morning Brew.
Here’s just a few stories making the headlines.
- Markets: Stocks brought their Jackie Wilson energy yesterday, climbing higher and higher, with the Dow notching its best day since June and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both snapping losing streaks as investors wait for inflation data later this week. Berkshire Hathaway soared to a record high after Warren Buffett revealed over the weekend that it had a quarterly profit of more than $10 billion for the first time.
- Tesla’s CFO stepped down. Tesla’s Chief Financial Officer Zach Kirkhorn unexpectedly resigned after working with Elon Musk at the electric vehicle maker for 13 years, which one asset manager told Bloomberg “is like working 50 years for anyone else.” Kirkhorn, who plans to stay at the company until the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition, has been replaced by Tesla’s chief accounting officer. Still, the unexpected departure spooked investors, raising concerns about volatility in the company’s executive ranks and the succession plan for one day replacing Musk at the top.
Yellow’s bankruptcy might cost taxpayers. The 99-year-old trucking company made it official on Sunday, filing for bankruptcy and ending the employment of its 30,000 workers following years of financial struggle and a labor battle with the Teamsters. But for most outside the trucking industry, the big question looming now is whether the company’s plan to sell off its assets will enable it to pay back the controversial $700 million pandemic-era loan it got from the government or whether other creditors like Apollo Global Management will get whatever is left from the freight company.
Freeway traffic won’t be the only thing grinding to a halt in Los Angeles today. More than 11,000 city workers plan to walk off the job this morning for 24 hours.
Sanitation and airport workers fed up with a lack of resources and unfilled vacancies will be among those participating, according to the SEIU Local 721, which represents many city workers.
Hot Strike Summer has already been extra scorching in LA. The city workers will be joining:
- 170,000 Hollywood actors and 12,500 screenwriters picketing there and in NYC.
- Thousands of local hotel workers staging rolling strikes (who even tried to get Taylor Swift to postpone her LA tour dates).
Nationwide, strikes have spiked this summer, putting July among the busiest months for labor action in decades, according to the Washington Post.
But…unless UPS’s 350,000 workers reject the contract their union secured for them, this year is not on track to have more strikers than 2018 or 2019—which in turn had fewer strikers than many years in the 1950s through 1970s, per Bloomberg columnist Justin Fox. There’s another big strike looming, though: With the auto workers union demanding a 40% raise for 150,000 hourly workers at General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis, Detroit may soon look like LA with less green juice.—AR
Turns out classics majors and petroleum-engineering students have more in common than we thought: Both their programs are shrinking. College students aren’t interested in entering the oil and gas industry like they used to be, no matter how much money they could make when they graduate, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The number of undergrads studying petroleum engineering—once a practical, popular major that would make Boomer parents proud—has seen a 75% decline since 2014, Texas Tech professor Lloyd Heinze told the WSJ.
In the past, enrollment in oil- and gas-related majors followed the market, but despite oil prices popping off between 2016 and 2021, the number grads entering the field still fell, according to the US Dept. of Education. It probably didn’t help that the pandemic highlighted how volatile the oil and gas industry could be as companies laid off over 100,000 employees between March and August 2020.
It’s not just about business. Petroleum engineers can earn 40% more post-graduation than computer science grads, but Gen Zers are opting for more environmentally conscious companies and positions. Current students are nervous about the fossil fuel industry’s role in climate change and question whether these high-paying jobs will even exist in the future as the country moves toward clean energy.—MM
- Severe storms swept across the East Coast yesterday, knocking out power to over 1 million households and delaying or canceling thousands of flights.
- Ukraine says it thwarted a plot to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky.
- The former Minneapolis police officer who held back the crowd during the killing of George Floyd was sentenced to nearly five years in prison.
- Campbell Soup is buying Sovos Brands, the company behind Rao’s, the fanciest sauce you can plop out of a jar, for $2.3 billion.
- Elon Musk said he may need surgery before he can fight rival tech CEO Mark Zuckerburg.
- “Hank the Tank,” a black bear believed to be responsible for 21 home break-ins in California, has been captured (and won’t be harmed).