Financial Daily Dose 4.30.2021 | Top Story: U.S. Economy Flourishes in Q1 on Pent-up Demand and Stimulus Spending
April 30, 2021
New numbers show that the U.S. economy “picked up speed last quarter,” expanding 1.6% in the first three months of the year [for an annualized 6.4%], as a mix of stimulus money and falling unemployment helped power consumer spending - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg
The Upshot on how the post-Covid economy is showing itself to be different than the pre-Covid one, even as the high-level numbers [see above] suggest we’re nearing a return to “normal.” In short, the economy of 2021 is “profoundly unequal across sectors, unbalanced in ways that have enormous long-term implications for businesses and workers” - NYTimes
EU competition regulators have delivered a complaint to Apple over its app payment rules, suggesting that Apple has “abused its power as the key provider of music-streaming apps in its App Stores” by “setting strict rules . . . that disadvantage competing music streaming services” - Bloomberg and NYTimes and WSJ and TechCrunch
So, there’s Big Tech 1st quarter success. And then there’s Amazon Q1 success, which meant a staggering 220% increase in profit [a cool $8.1 billion] from the same period a year ago. Amazon also announced this week that it would increase pay for 500k of its workers and that it’s still looking to hire thousands more - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch
President Biden’s falling back on some old-fashioned us vs. them reminiscent of the Cold War days as he works to sell his multi-trillion infrastructure and American Families plans to the country, calling out China and Russia as the competitor and disruptor, respectively, demanding a united American response - NYTimes
China is warning its homegrown large tech firms—from Tencent and ByteDance to JD.com—that they must reform how they “use big data for lending, money-management and similar businesses” due to the dangers they pose to the financial system - WSJ
The Times traces the rise of Iberdrola as a wind and solar giant—the veritable ExxonMobil of the renewable energy industry—thanks largely to a pivot CEO Jose Galan made two decades ago based on his belief that the U.S. had “enormous potential in renewable energy” - NYTimes
Boeing’s most recent 737Max headache—a “factory tweak [that] . . . wound up the root of potential electrical problems” with the model more than two years after its initial grounding—is prompting a new FAA audit - WSJ
Some fascinating science to take you into the weekend that suggest that parents’ diet and exercise choices (including physical activity during pregnancy) may “shape the health of their unborn offspring in lasting ways.” In mice, at least - NYTimes
Stay safe, get vaxxed, and have a great weekend,
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