February 23, 2021

In February 2020 during a regular season NBA game, Lebron James performed a two-handed windmill slam dunk that he afterwards said was a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. A clip of James’ dunk placed side-by-side with a nearly identical one of Bryant’s from 2001 quickly went viral and can be easily found from multiple sources on YouTube. Then again, you could also do what social media entrepreneur Jack Settleman did in January: pay $47,500 for a clip of the Continue reading

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February 2, 2021

Last week, GameStop stock shot through the roof as users on forums like Reddit bought up shares in droves after some hedge funds shorted the stock by as much as 240 percent. This video takes a look at how both professional and at-home options traders upended expectations for many market observers. 

Questions:

  1. Why did GameStop’s stock price skyrocket last week?
  2. Do you think stock trading apps like RobinHood should have restricted users from buying shares in GameStop? Why or why not?
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January 14, 2021

At the start of the pandemic, auto companies anticipated a drop in car sales that indeed lasted throughout spring and summer of 2020. As a result, manufacturers cut back on orders of expensive items like microchips while demand remained low. By the end of the year, though, auto sales bounced back quicker than expected, which sent car companies scrambling for supplies. But try as they might, none of the major firms could seem to secure the microchips they needed for Continue reading

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October 27, 2020

The stock market plunged in March as the coronavirus emerged in the U.S. but eventually recovered as some businesses reopened and consumers received economic relief. With cases once again on the rise, however, the combination of potential closings and a lack of another stimulus package caused the Dow to plummet by 650 points on Monday. “Financial markets are getting a reality check, as investors come to terms with the failure of Congress to agree to a pre-election stimulus package and Continue reading

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October 22, 2020

Last week, another 787,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits. This represents a drop from the stretch of months where more than 1 million people filed for unemployment week after week, but it nevertheless reflects a deeply strained economy. “The ranks of people applying for extended unemployment are starting to make it look like a traditional recession,” said economist Diane Swonk. “This leaves scars in the labor force, is demoralizing, and increases health risks for workers…We’re not calling people back 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.

Questions: Continue reading

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August 4, 2020

From April to June 2020, the U.S. GDP plummeted at an annual rate of 32.9 percent, the worst drop on record. As businesses closed across the country due to the pandemic, the U.S. fell into a recession that wiped out the economic gains of the last five years in just a few months. This data released last week by the Commerce Department “just highlights how deep and dark the hole is that the economy cratered into in Q2,” said economist Continue reading

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July 30, 2020

According to data from Yelp, more than 55 percent of the 132,500 businesses listed on the site that closed during the pandemic will remain shuttered permanently. Although government relief bought some companies time, businesses that are now closed will likely remain that way for the long term. Restaurants account for the greatest share of permanent and temporary closures, followed closely by retailers and then beauty salons and spas. 

“Businesses are needing to decide, ‘Do I renew my lease on Continue reading

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July 28, 2020

Last Friday, a federal moratorium on evictions for tenants in government-assisted housing expired. With eviction moratoriums in many states also at an end, experts fear that millions of Americans could be kicked out of their homes in the coming months. According to one estimate, as many as 40 million people could be evicted during the pandemic. “It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen,” said John Pollock of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel.

Mass unemployment as a result Continue reading

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July 16, 2020

Nearly four months into the pandemic, millions of Americans are struggling to remain employed. Last week more than 1.5 million people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time, an increase of almost 109,000 from the previous week. The total number of unemployment claims stood at 17.3 million for the week ending in July 4th, with many people also collecting expanded benefits that could soon expire. 

“What we’re seeing is continued, historic elevated rates of job loss in the Continue reading

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