June 17, 2022

Yesterday, the S&P 500 dropped more than 3 percent, continuing a long decline for stocks despite investors’ hopes for a rally. This places the index down 24 percent from its previous highs in January, further pushing stocks into bear market territory. Stock markets turn from bulls to bears once they drop more than 20 percent from recent peaks, potentially indicating that the economy is headed towards a recession. In fact, if losses continue at this rate, the S&P could experience Continue reading

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June 15, 2022

In recent years, fashion brands and retailers like H&M, Nike, Amazon and Target have responded to consumer calls for environmental sustainability by following an influential material rating system called the Higg Index. Introduced in 2011 by a group of companies led by Walmart and Patagonia, this metric is intended to help businesses shrink their environmental footprints by eliminating toxic chemicals and cutting down on water usage during production. According to critics, however, the Higg Index strongly recommends the use of Continue reading

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June 10, 2022

Over the last year, Americans have seen prices skyrocket for everything from food to fuel, leading to higher bills and strained budgets. This video looks at how inflation has played out across the economy, from increased costs for consumer staples like meat and eggs to rising rents that are a result of low housing supplies.

Questions:

  1. What long term economic factors have led to increased meat prices in recent months?
  2. How has a lack of housing construction since the 2008 Continue reading
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Since the beginning of the year, parents around the country have struggled to obtain baby formula due to a nationwide shortage. Although Covid-related supply chain snags have contributed to the problem, matters became considerably worse once the formula manufacturer Abbott Laboratories instituted a recall in May. The company produces brands like Similac at its plant in Sturgis, Michigan, which shut down following the recall. Consumers filed formal complaints with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) about infant illnesses, leading to Continue reading

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Although the sunny state of Florida is famous for its acres of orange groves, the last few years have been stormy for citrus growers as they fight against a tree disease that damages their crops. This extensive video looks at how “citrus greening” brought on by an invasive insect has put many Florida growers out of business while others struggle to adapt to this new agricultural reality. 

Questions:

  1. How has citrus greening impacted the Florida orange industry?
  2. What are Continue reading
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Fuel costs continued to climb last week, reaching a national average of $4.59 per gallon. According to AAA, this represents a 50 percent increase from last year when many drivers chose to stay at home rather than travel the country on road trips. That won’t be the case this year, however, even as gas prices rise to their highest levels since 2008. Many Americans who have spent the past two years stuck in the same place are looking to hit Continue reading

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In January 1990, McDonald’s made history when the company opened its first location in Moscow, creating a symbol of unity between the U.S. and Russia after decades of tension. “In the history of McDonald’s, it was one of our proudest and most exciting milestones,” said CEO Chris Kempczinski. “After nearly half a century of Cold War animosity, the image of the Golden Arches shining above Pushkin Square heralded for many, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, the beginning of Continue reading

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Although electricity prices usually tend to increase alongside the temperature, this summer Americans could see their utility bills rise to record levels. The video below explains how climbing natural gas costs have made air conditioning more expensive than ever, a situation made worse by tangled supply chains and the war in Ukraine. 

Questions:

  1. How do rising natural gas prices impact utility costs for consumers?
  2. Do you think utility providers should invest more in renewable energy sources to reduce their Continue reading
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The Covid-19 pandemic took an enormous toll on people’s mental health. The World Health Organization estimates that the prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25 percent during 2020. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one-third of Americans have recently reported symptoms of anxiety or depression. Some patients struggle to book appointments with therapists, however, either because their insurance doesn’t cover their specific needs or because demand for mental health services has skyrocketed. 

“Since Covid, Continue reading

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iPhone with downward sloping stock graphShare prices plummeted across all three major stock indexes last Friday, wrapping up a terrible month that brought markets to their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic. On that single day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 939 points while the S&P 500 dropped 155 points, amounting to respective contractions of 2.8 percent and 3.6 percent. Worst of all was the Nasdaq, which shrank by 4.2 percent after dropping 536 points. 

The numbers look even worse when Continue reading

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