The daily business briefing: July 11, 2023

Threads hits 100 million sign-ups, Prime Day arrives, and more

A PrimeDay logo on a smartphone screen
Amazon's annual 48-hour Prime Day sales event is on Tuesday and Wednesday
(Image credit: Omar Marques / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

1. Threads hits 100 million sign-ups

Threads, Meta's Twitter competitor, hit 100 million sign-ups over the weekend, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Monday, less than a week after its launch. Zuckerberg said it is "mostly organic demand," as the company hasn't "turned on many promotions yet." Twitter does appear to be taking a hit — online activity tracker SimilarWeb found that on the first two full days Threads was available, Twitter traffic was down 5% compared to the same two days of the previous week. Looking at year over year numbers, traffic was down 11%. Twitter said that in June, it had about 535 million monthly active users. Threads users must also have an Instagram account, and Meta said the platform has more than 2 billion monthly users.

The Wall Street Journal

2. Amazon Prime Day to test consumer sentiment amid inflation

Amazon is promising steeper discounts during its annual 48-hour Prime Day sales event Tuesday and Wednesday, and analysts will be watching to see if consumers respond after a year of rising inflation and tempered post-pandemic spending on electronics and other categories. The Prime Day event is an early indicator of consumer sentiment heading into the crucial winter holiday season, but Amazon's sales event has been copied by other major retailers looking for a similar boost in the summer shopping lull. Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and other retailers are offering their own discounts to rival Amazon's Prime Day event. "This week is turned into a pretty major shopping event, similar to the likes of Black Friday and Cyber Monday," said CFRA Research analyst Arun Sundaram.

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Reuters The Wall Street Journal

3. Thousands of Los Angeles hotel workers walk off job to strike

Thousands of members of the Unite Here Local 11 union participated in a second wave of strikes on Monday near the Los Angeles International Airport, walking out of eight major hotels. The union represents 32,000 service workers in Southern California and Arizona, and has been in contract negotiations since April, calling for better wages and benefits. Unite Here Local 11 asked for a $5 an hour raise now, as well as an annual raise of $3 an hour for the next three years, but no deal was reached by the time contracts expired on June 30. The union's first strike was held over Fourth of July weekend, with thousands of service workers walking out across Los Angeles and Orange counties. Union officials told the Los Angeles Times they do not have an end date for the current strike, and more are scheduled for later this week at other hotels.

The Los Angeles Times

4. Stock futures remain steady

Stock futures were mostly flat Tuesday morning as Wall Street awaited the release of key inflation data on Wednesday. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were "a touch softer and Nasdaq futures a bit higher," said MarketWatch. Futures for the S&P 500, which broke a three-day losing streak Monday, were also up slightly. "Markets started the week in a holding pattern, but a rates rally in the U.S emerged as the main theme on Monday that sent the 10-year Treasury yield back beneath 4% again," said Henry Allen, strategist at Deutsche Bank. Stocks making big pre-market moves included JPMorgan Chase, which was up 1.2%, JetBlue Airways at +2%, and Zillow Group, which "popped 4.7% after being upgraded by Piper Sandler to overweight from neutral," said CNBC.

MarketWatch CNBC

5. Used car prices expected to stabilize

Used car prices are expected to stabilize during the second half of 2023, CNBC reported. Wholesale prices for used cars saw their biggest decline last month since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and because "retail prices traditionally follow changes in wholesale prices," CNBC said, the price drop could soon trickle down to consumers. Used vehicle prices have remained high in part due to supply chain issues coupled with resilient demand. Cox Automotive said it expected wholesale prices to come back to pre-pandemic levels by 2028.


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