Axios Closer

Picture of a golden bell on a white background.

Happy Friday's Eve!

🔔 The dashboard: The S&P 500 closed down a modest 0.3%.

  • Biggest gainer? Qualcomm (+4.2%), which jumped after a bullish analyst call.
  • Biggest decliner? Conagra Brands (-7.2%), which tumbled on disappointing quarterly sales.

Today's newsletter, edited by Javier E. David, is 687 words, a 2½-minute read.

1 big thing: Everything is fine, apparently

Animated illustration of a siren flashing on top of an umbrella.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Although economic storm clouds are everywhere, it has yet to rain, Hope writes.

Why it matters: The market has been pricing in the growing risk of a recession as inflation continues to soar.

  • But businesses are in good shape and consumer spending — the backbone of the U.S. economy — remains strong because workers have more income and "jobs are plentiful," according to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

Driving the news: Americans are spending 10% more than they did last year and about 30% more than in 2019, Dimon said this morning on a call with analysts as he reviewed second-quarter results. (They fell short of Wall Street expectations.)

  • On the same call, CFO Jeremy Barnum noted that the country's biggest bank has "yet to observe a pullback in discretionary spending, including in the lower income segments."

Yes, but: Inflation is eating into take-home pay, making more people rely on credit cards, which may dent growth going forward.

What to watch: "The most important indication for the economy over the next few weeks will [be] earnings releases as companies report," Gargi Chaudhuri, head of BlackRock's iShares Investment Strategy Americas, wrote earlier this week.

Go deeper.

2. Charted: Prime Day rewind

Data: Insider Intelligence; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Amazon continues to tout Prime Day's growth year after year, Hope writes.

Why it matters: The giant summer sales event, which wrapped Wednesday, has helped drive new sign-ups to Amazon's Prime subscription service, minting new members who spend at least two to three times more a year than non-members.

By the numbers: Amazon Prime Day this year saw global sales grow 17% from last year, to $12.5 billion this year, Insider Intelligence estimates.

Be smart: Amazon Prime Day was actually 48 hours. The company expanded its Prime Day sales beyond 24 hours in 2017.

Go deeper.

3. What's happening

🐦 The SEC eyes Elon Musk's Twitter disclosures. (NYT)

🚙 Nissan is set to discontinue Leaf, an early EV pioneer. (Axios)

💼 Ex-Disney CEO Bob Iger sparred with the board over Bob Chapek succession. (Insider)

4. Whither, crypto world?

man standing on 100 dollar bill

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The precipitous drop in cryptocurrency prices is rippling through the nascent industry, plunging several companies into bankruptcy — and leading to steep losses for investors, Nathan writes.

Why it matters: The swift fallout reflects the sheer volatility that has become the hallmark of crypto bets, as debate continues over its place in the financial system.

Driving the news: Celsius Network filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection late Wednesday, after the embattled crypto lender halted customer withdrawals in the face of insolvency, Axios Crypto co-author Crystal Kim writes.

Catch up quick: Crypto shops like Voyager Digital and Three Arrows have been stretched thin, as massive debt that built up in the ecosystem came under pressure when coin prices took a swan dive.

  • A host of firms are scrambling to cut costs, with many cutting jobs, including Coinbase, Crypto.com and BlockFi.

Yes, but: This isn't the first "crypto winter." Defenders say crypto's decentralized nature will insulate the industry from a contagion of sorts like the one that struck the global financial system in 2008.

  • Celsius is branding its bankruptcy filing as an "opportunity to stabilize its business and consummate a comprehensive restructuring transaction that maximizes value for stakeholders," Crystal writes.

What we're watching: Whether the downturn scares off prospective crypto dabblers, limiting its potential.

5. Bags fly the friendly skies... solo

Photo: James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images

You know the mess in the skies is getting bad when luggage is charting its own flight from here to there, Nathan writes.

What's happening: Delta Air Lines flew a plane with some 1,000 pieces of luggage — but no passengers — from London to Detroit, aiming to get the stranded bags to their owners throughout Delta's network.

  • Delta made the flight, sans humans, after Heathrow Airport capped the number of departing passengers due to constrained capacity, The Points Guy reported.

Between the lines: To answer your question, the bags were in the cargo hold, not in the passenger cabin.

  • Otherwise, we'd expect them to buckle their seat belts and keep their tray tables up for takeoff and landing.

6. What they're saying

"The majority of national unity that has sustained this government from its creation doesn’t exist anymore."
— Mario Draghi, ex-European Central Bank chief and current Italian Prime Minister, whose resignation was rejected by the country's president.

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