Why it matters: Despite murmurs of an impending economic crash, the U.S. has seen strong job growth and record low unemployment as trade wars, sweeping technological change and new media consumption habits are changing the American economy.
The Big Tech antitrust throwdown of 2020 continued Thursday when Fortnite maker Epic Games sued Apple (and Google) over how they manage their mobile app stores, objecting, for instance, to the 30% cut the company takes from in-app payments.
Why it matters: Apple’s control over iOS app distribution has been a thorny issue, so any changes would have ramifications for the business models of startups and indie app developers.
This week I'm driving the 2020 Volkswagen Passat 2.0T SEL, which sadly feels like a neglected child.
The big picture: In China and Europe, the Passat is built on VW's new MQB architecture, the automaker's modular new engineering platform. But the 2020 Passat sold in the U.S. still rides on a platform introduced in 2012.
Michigan plans to develop a 40-mile stretch of highway dedicated to connected and autonomous vehicles between Detroit and Ann Arbor.
Why it matters: The corridor would be the first in the nation, improving transit access for people who live and work along the route.
Impossible Foods, a Silicon Valley company known for its plant-based meat alternatives, has raised $200 million in Series G funding led by Coatue, with XN, Mirae Asset Global Investments and Temasek also participating.
The big picture: The funding comes just months after the company raised $500 million in March. Prime Unicorn Index estimates the new valuation at about $4 billion.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has spent more than a decade trying to disrupt the traditional auto industry, is sounding more and more like the man most closely associated with it: Henry Ford.
Why it matters: In his quest to build affordable electric cars for the masses, Musk is starting to embrace many of the ideas pioneered by Ford's founder — things like vertical supply chains and an obsession with manufacturing efficiency. A century ago that approach helped to popularize the American automobile by lowering the cost of the Model T.
The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits is finally coming down in a meaningful way and dropping across the board.
By the numbers: Claims for traditional initial jobless claims last week fell by more than 156,000 to 832,000 while initial claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program declined to below 500,000 for the first time since April 18.
The story of American businesses in the coronavirus pandemic is a tale of two markets — one made up of tech firms and online retailers as winners awash in capital, and another of brick-and-mortar mom-and-pop shops that is collapsing.
Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic has created an environment where losing industries like traditional retail and hospitality as well as a sizable portion of firms owned by women, immigrants and people of color are wiped out and may be gone for good.
Younger Americans are increasingly concerned that Social Security won't be enough to wholly fall back on once they retire, according to a survey conducted by AARP — in honor of today's 85th anniversary of the program — given first to Axios.
Why it matters: Young people's concerns about financial insecurity once they're on a restricted income are rising — and that generation is worried the program, which currently pays out to 65 million beneficiaries, won't be enough to sustain them.
SoftBank and its Vision Fund made a comeback this past quarter. But chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son has already moved on to a new project: a $550 million vehicle for investing in blue-chip public tech stocks like Facebook, Amazon and Apple.
Why it matters: This is part of Son’s ongoing plan to transform SoftBank Group into an investment company.