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Home » The Daily Business Briefing: October 23, 2023

The Daily Business Briefing: October 23, 2023

1. Treasury yields reach highest level since 2007The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield climbed 11 basis points early Monday to 5.02%, the highest level since 2007. The increase fueled concerns about rising interest rates. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said last week that because bond rates are increasing borrowing costs, the Fed might be able to hold off on another interest rate hike at its November meeting, although central bank policymakers remain open to another increase if the resilient economy keeps inflation from coming down. Stock futures fell early Monday as investors reacted to rising Treasury yields. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were down 0.6% at 6:45 a.m. ET, while those of the tech-heavy Nasdaq were down 0.8%. Bloomberg, CNBC

2. Chevron to buy Hess in $53 billion dealChevron announced Monday that it would buy rival oil company Hess in the latest bet on the future of the petroleum industry despite a global renewable-energy push. The $53 billion Hess deal will give Chevron more access to shale production in Texas’ Permian Basin, where it’s already a leader, as well as Hess’ major oil assets in Guyana, which should boost Chevron’s growth in the coming decade. The deal continued a wave of consolidation following Exxon Mobil’s $60 billion purchase of shale driller Pioneer Natural Resources earlier this month, as smaller companies benefit from high oil prices and team up with energy giants. Chevron said Hess will boost its oil and gas production by 10 percent. CNN, The New York Times

3. Big Tech leaders prepare to report quarterly earningsEarnings season continues this week with quarterly reports from many of the Big Tech companies that have driven the S&P 500’s rally this year. The benchmark index has gained 11% this year, but without Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Meta (Facebook), Microsoft, Nvidia and Tesla, its increase would have been a mere 0.6%, The Wall Street Journal reported. These seven companies accounted for 17% of the S&P 500’s per-share earnings last year, and that figure could reach 24% by 2025, according to Goldman Sachs Group. “The growth rates that these companies deliver is incredibly important to the perception of the health of the overall equity market,” Bryant VanCronkhite, senior portfolio manager at Allspring Global Investments, told the Journal. The Wall Street Journal

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4. Drugstore closures leave some communities without pharmaciesThe nation’s biggest drugstore chains have closed hundreds of stores as they contend with rising competition and the costs of opioid lawsuits, leaving many vulnerable communities without pharmacies, The Washington Post reported. “According to our estimates, about one in four neighborhoods are pharmacy deserts across the country,” Dima Qato, associate professor at the University of Southern California, told the Post. “These closures are disproportionately affecting communities that need pharmacies most.” Rite Aid filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week. Rite Aid, CVS and Walgreens have indicated over the last two years that they plan to close a combined 1,500-plus stores. “The economics of running those stores have just unraveled,” Neil Saunders, managing director of the analytics company GlobalData Retail, told the Post. The Washington Post

5. ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ can’t dethrone Taylor SwiftMartin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone, and Robert De Niro, had a strong opening weekend, but not strong enough to knock “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” from the top of the domestic box office. Scorsese’s historical crime drama about murders of members of the oil-rich Osage nation in the early 1920s brought in $23 million, the director’s third-best opening after “Shutter Island” and “The Departed.” Swift’s concert film posted $31 million in ticket sales in its second weekend, after a record-breaking opening weekend of $92.8 million, making it the first concert movie to top $100 million. The Associated Press called the battle for No. 1 “a movie match-up almost as unlikely as ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer.'” The Associated Press

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