September 24, 2020

With audiences largely reluctant to return to the movies, it’s not just theater chains that are struggling to adapt to life during the pandemic. Farmers who supply theaters with popcorn have seen orders for their product almost disappear as retail suppliers have seen sales surge. While Orville Redenbacher, Jolly Time, and Pop Secret have benefited from consumers staying home, the Preferred Popcorn company in Nebraska has millions of tons of unsold kernels on hand.

Preferred Popcorn primarily supplies snack distributors Continue reading

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September 22, 2020

On August 27th, Warner Bros. began gradually releasing the movie Tenet in theaters that had been closed for months due to the pandemic. After more than two weeks on American screens, though, the $200 million film has only earned $29.5 million domestically. As a result, Hollywood studios may hold back on releasing major titles until audiences are ready to return. “You can’t do it. The economics won’t allow you to do it,” said one studio executive. “We can’t give [theaters] Continue reading

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September 18, 2020

In order to assess the state of the economy, analysts often examine how many long-lasting goods are being ordered by retailers and manufacturers. The idea is that companies who are confident enough to stock up on durable goods like appliances and cars are anticipating a consumer base that’s eager to purchase them. This video looks at the durable goods indicator and explains how investors often look beyond it to get a better sense of where the economy is headed.

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September 17, 2020

According to data collected and analyzed by Yelp, nearly 163,700 businesses have closed since the start of the pandemic in March. This marks an increase of 23 percent from July when Yelp last released statistics about closures. To make matters worse, about 98,000 of those businesses will remain closed permanently. 

More than 32,000 of those shuttered businesses are restaurants, 61 percent of which have closed for good. Yelp claims that restaurants like pizzerias, delis, food trucks, and bakeries Continue reading

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September 15, 2020

While makers of staple foods like soups and cereals have seen sales skyrocket during the pandemic, candy companies like Hershey have not been so fortunate. With foot traffic down significantly in convenience stores and other shops, consumers are not making as many impulsive treat purchases as they did last year. Still, matters could get even worse for Hershey in the coming months if the company does not have a happy Halloween.

The nearly $800 million haul that the company brings Continue reading

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September 10, 2020

With Labor Day weekend come and gone, airlines have entered the period of the year where business travelers usually make up the bulk of their flights rather than tourists. But as the pandemic continues to disrupt life throughout the U.S., almost nothing is proceeding like normal in the air travel industry. All told, the nation’s carriers are losing $6 billion per month and have laid off more than one-fifth of workers as the industry desperately looks for ways to cut Continue reading

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September 8, 2020

More than 15,000 restaurants have closed permanently since the start of the pandemic, and not all of them are small independent operations. NPC international, a major franchisee of Pizza Hut and Wendy’s locations, recently filed for bankruptcy protection as sales across all stores dropped 37 percent compared to the previous year. But while much of the restaurant industry has struggled, one chain has managed to thrive: Domino’s Pizza sales have increased by 16 percent since March. 

By focusing on Continue reading

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September 2, 2020

The video sharing app TikTok has become a big hit with millions of Americans over the last few years. According to the federal government, however, the Chinese-owned company presents national security risks that could lead to a ban on the app in the U.S. This video looks at the controversy surrounding TikTok’s American operations as well as the larger dangers of a fractured global Internet. 

Questions:

  1. Why is the federal government considering a ban on TikTok? 
  2. Do you Continue reading
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August 31, 2020

For decades, ice cream trucks carrying Good Humor products have traveled through American neighborhoods with the folk song “Turkey in the Straw” playing at full blast. Unfortunately, though, this more than two-century old tune has a sinister history outside of its long association with frozen treats. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, “Turkey in the Straw” was a standard number in minstrel shows that relied heavily on racist caricatures. 

“While these associations of ‘Turkey in the Straw’ are Continue reading

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August 27, 2020

For nearly every week since March, millions of Americans have filed for unemployment benefits as the economy continues to struggle with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. And last week was no exception: once again more than 1 million people filed for unemployment for the first time. All together, more than 27 million people applied for benefits as the jobless rate hovers around the 10 percent mark. 

“It’s massively concerning that five months into this crisis we are still Continue reading

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