Oct 25, 2021

Axios Closer

Today's newsletter is 632 words, a 2.5-minute read.

πŸ”” The dashboard: The S&P 500 closed up 0.5%.

  • Biggest gainer? Tesla (+13%). Keep reading for more.
  • Biggest decliner? Aluminum package manufacturer Ball Corp. (-5%) Β―\_(ツ)_/Β―
1 big thing: Colleges kill legacy admissions

A student walks through the MIT campus. Photo: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Legacy admissions β€” where universities are more likely to admit an applicant if that person is directly related to a school alumnus β€” are very slowly going away, Axios' Felix Salmon writes.

  • Amherst College is the latest to say it will no longer give admissions preferences to the children of alumni, joining the University of California, MIT and Pomona College.

Why it matters: The practice is one of the most blatant and unapologetic ways in which rich white families get privileged access to elite institutions.

  • At Notre Dame, legacies outnumber Black students 5 to 1.
  • At Harvard, 77% of legacy students are white, and less than 6% of legacy admissions offers go to Hispanic students.
  • At Johns Hopkins, the percentage of students identifying as an underrepresented minority doubled from 12% to 23% after the legacy advantage was abolished.

The bottom line: Even without legacy preferences, children of the rich will always find it easier to get into any given university than will immigrants, the poor, or students whose parents never went to college.

  • They will also, statistically speaking, end up donating more after they've graduated. Which is one reason why colleges continue to give those students an extra advantage.

Read Felix's full story.

2. Charted: What Facebook earned
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Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Against the backdrop of a bad press document dump, Facebook said it had one of the most profitable quarters ($9.2 billion) in its history.

What's new: For the first time in a year, the company added users in North America, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.

  • Facebook will start breaking out financials from its augmented and virtual reality unit starting next quarter.
  • Investments outside of advertising are proving critical to Facebook's long-term growth. Reports from the "Facebook Papers" showed that the tech giant is grappling with ways to retain younger users, who are a critical advertising demographic.

Go deeper ... The top takeaways from the "Facebook Papers."

3. What's moving

πŸ“ˆ Tesla shares skyrocketed, pushing it to a rare $1 trillion valuation for the first time ever.

  • The stock jump came after Hertz β€” fresh from bankruptcy β€” ordered 100,000 Teslas to add to its fleet by the end of 2022, the single-biggest purchase of electric vehicles.

😳 Shares of crypto firm Bakkt closed up 234%. Mastercard is partnering with Bakkt to let banks and merchants on its payments network integrate crypto into their products. (CNBC)

4. America's quitting capital
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Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Kentucky has the highest rate of job quitters in the nation.

  • That's according to the inaugural release of state-level job openings and labor turnover data β€” a look at the places driving a pandemic-era trend that's seeing people leave their jobs in droves.

What's going on: Kentucky has a large concentration of jobs in warehousing and transportation β€” two sectors that have seen employees flee for better working conditions and pay.

Details: The rate of job openings in Kentucky (8%) is among the country's highest (second only to Alaska, 9%). At a national level, it's 6.6%.

  • There are two open jobs for every unemployed Kentuckian. That doesn't beat out Nebraska, however, which has three available gigs for every jobless person.

Bonus ... The place with the lowest quits rate? D.C.

5. Michael Jordan's record-breaking rookie sneaks

Michael Jordan's game-worn Nike Air Ships. Photo: Sotheby's

The earliest known Nikes worn by Michael Jordan during a regular season game sold for $1.5 million at a Sotheby's auction over the weekend.

  • That's a record-smashing sneaker sale, topping the $615,000 paid at auction for a separate pair of Air Jordans worn by the basketball legend.
  • The buyer is collector Nick Fiorella, who's snapped up multimillion dollar sports trading cards in the past.

A Yeezy prototype remains the world's most expensive sneakers, which went for $1.8 million in a private sale in April.

6. What they’re saying
"I do have Sudoku, but it doesn't interfere with me listening.”
β€” A juror in the Elizabeth Holmes trial, who kept the puzzle in a notebook and played during seven to ten days of testimony. That juror was dismissed.