The daily business briefing: October 31, 2022
Shanghai Disney Resort suspends operations to comply with COVID rules, Russia's threat to end grain deal drives up wheat futures, and more
Shanghai Disney Resort closes due to COVID rules
Shanghai's Disney Resort shut down Monday to comply with China's strict rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All visitors were ordered to stay in the park until they test negative for the coronavirus. Everyone who has visited the park since Oct. 27 will have to test negative three times in three days, the Shanghai government said on its official WeChat. The park was shut down for three months earlier this year during a lockdown in Shanghai. The park was closed for two days in November 2021, leaving more than 30,000 visitors stuck inside while authorities tested them in a contact tracing exercise.
Russia's suspension of grain deal expected to drive up wheat prices
Russia's decision to pause a deal to allow Ukrainian grain exports drove up wheat futures by 6.7 percent early Monday. Moscow withdrew from the Black Sea deal on Saturday in retaliation for a presumptive Ukrainian drone strike on its warships in occupied Crimea. The United States accused Russia of using food supplies other countries desperately need as a weapon. Ukraine is one of the world's biggest wheat exporters. It's also a major corn exporter. Russia's war in Ukraine had left harvests stranded in ports, and the deal to resume shipments had helped to bring down prices that had risen to record highs after the invasion.
Eurozone inflation rises to record 10.7 percent
Eurozone inflation jumped to 10.7 percent in October, a record high. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the data to show consumer prices had risen at a 9.8 percent annual pace. The 9.9 percent September rate was already the highest in the euro's 23-year history. Eurostat, the European Commission's statistics bureau, said energy prices jumped 41.9 percent in October, and food, alcohol, and tobacco prices rose 13.1 percent. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, rose at an annual pace of 5 percent, up from 4.8 percent the previous month. The latest figures were expected to pressure the European Central Bank to keep raising interest rates to bring down inflation despite signs of slowing economic growth.
Stock futures fall but Dow on track to end best month in decades
U.S. stock futures fell early Monday on the last day of trading in what could be the best month in decades for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Futures tied to the Dow were down 0.4 percent at 6:30 a.m. ET. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were down 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. Despite mixed third-quarter earnings reports, the Dow has risen 14.4 percent in October, its biggest monthly gains since 1976. The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq also are up after two straight months of losses. The market could be moved this week by more earnings and a two-day Federal Reserve meeting that starts Tuesday and is expected to end in another big interest-rate hike to fight inflation.
Musk tweets link to site known for right-wing misinformation
Elon Musk on Sunday retweeted, then deleted, a post promoting a conspiracy theory about the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul Pelosi. Musk, who just bought Twitter, was responding to a tweet by Hillary Clinton accusing Republicans of emboldening the attacker by spreading "hate and deranged conspiracy theories." Musk said, "There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye," and he shared a link to a post by the Santa Monica Observer, which is notorious for publishing bogus news, baselessly claiming that Paul Pelosi got into a fight with a male prostitute. The incident renewed questions about how Musk will "combat misinformation" on Twitter, according to The New York Times.