Axios Closer

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March 21, 2022

🐟 It’s Monday! And we are trying to get to the bottom of McDonald’s stock plunging right around the time rival Arby’s dropped a track dissing the Filet-o-Fish.

Today's newsletter, edited by Pete Gannon, is 693 words, a 2½-minute read.

🔔 The dashboard: The S&P closed nearly flat on the day.

  • Biggest gainer? Marathon Oil (+8.5%) riding a rise in oil prices and a good day for oil company stocks.
  • Biggest decliner? Nielsen (-6.9%) after rejecting a $9.13 billion takeover bid from a private-equity consortium.

1 big thing: Growing green disclosures

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Regulators have sketched out the first mandatory rules in the U.S. for companies when talking about their carbon footprint and risks from climate change, Hope writes.

Why it matters: Mandatory disclosures would standardize reporting of this information, which investors believe is key to properly value a company’s future.

Driving the news: The SEC moved to propose a set of the standards in a 3-1 vote today

  • The agency will issue final rules after it reviews public comments. 

Details: All publicly traded companies would be required to state climate-related risks their businesses face in reports they file to the SEC.

  • In addition, emissions they emit, as well as “material” emissions from suppliers and customers, would also be required for disclosure.
  • Companies that have publicly pledged to cut their emissions or reach other climate-related goals would need to lay out detailed plans and progress.

What they’re saying: "There's an efficiency that can come from standardization, and helping bring some comparability," SEC chair Gary Gensler told Axios’ Ben Geman on a call following the announcement of the vote.

  • "But whether a company makes a target or whether a company has a transition plan, that's up to them.”
  • Information on management’s role in adjusting a business’ strategy in response to climate change risk would help investors make “better informed investment or voting decisions," the SEC notes in its proposal.

The big picture: The U.S. is behind on rolling out climate-related disclosure requirements, Axios’ Kia Kokalitcheva writes.

The bottom line: In proposing climate risk disclosure rules, the SEC is effectively trying to set a floor for companies to meet or exceed when reporting how prepared they are for the consequences of a warming world, Axios’ Andrew Freedman writes.

2. Charted: EV curiosity peaks with gas prices

Data: CarGurus; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

You're not the only one who's having second thoughts about driving a gasoline-powered car, Nathan writes.

What's happening: Interest in electric cars is soaring, with views of new and used EVs skyrocketing on car-shopping sites like CarGurus and Edmunds.

  • The last time gasoline prices were this high, electric cars were barely a blip in the market, Axios Generate author Ben Geman writes.

3. What's happening

📱Apple experienced widespread outages impacting its Music, iCloud and App Store services. (CNBC)

🏦 Fed chair Jerome Powell signals that faster interest rate increases may be coming to curb inflation. (Axios)

4. Boeing back in the spotlight

A jet flies through the air emblazoned with a China Eastern Airlines logo

A China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 landing at an airport in December 2018. Photo: Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The crash of a Boeing jet in China sent the company’s shares down 5.6% Monday before climbing back slightly, signaling a test of investor confidence just as the plane maker was starting to put a number of crises in its past, Nathan writes.

Driving the news: A China Eastern Airlines' Boeing 737-800 carrying 132 people crashed in the mountains of southern China's Guangxi region on Monday.

Context: Details about the crash in China are pending, but analysts say they’d be surprised if it was the result of a design or manufacturing defect on the part of Boeing.

  • The 737-800 has one of the best safety records for any aircraft, according to aviation consultancy Cirium, via Bloomberg.

Our thought bubble: Boeing has come a long way from the safety crisis that erupted surrounding the 737 Max and the financial crisis stemming from the early months of the pandemic. Now investors will have to await the findings of another crash investigation.

Go deeper.

5. Single parents get their own swipe

Illustration of a pattern of golden hearts that rotate.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Dating can be especially challenging for single parents — which is why Match Group is launching a dating app designed especially for them, Nathan writes.

What’s happening: The owner of Tinder, Match.com and OkCupid is offering Stir, gearing it toward the 20 million single parents in the U.S.

  • The new app will include Stir Time, “a scheduling feature where members can display their ‘me time’ with matches to make it easier for them to coordinate calendars.”

Context: Match reports that more than 1 in 4 single parents say “coordinating schedules typically prevents them from going on dates.”

Our thought bubble: Today is National Single Parent Day — but it should be more like a month.

6. What they're saying

"Gasoline demand has shown absolutely no signs of buckling under the pressure of higher prices."
— Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, noting that California was nearing an average of $6 per gallon with spring break travel well underway.

Thanks to Sheryl Miller for copy editing today's (and every day's) newsletter.