The daily business briefing: July 13, 2023

Inflation falls to two-year low, Disney extends CEO Iger's contract, and more

A trader working on the New York Stock Exchange floor
Inflation is down, but so is the dollar
(Image credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

1. U.S. inflation falls to 2-year low

Consumer prices rose 3% in June versus a year earlier, and 0.2% from May, the Labor Department said Wednesday. That's the smallest increase in the inflation rate since March 2021 and down sharply from a peak of 9.1% in June 2022. The core Consumer Price Index, which strips out volatile food and energy costs, rose 4.8%. "After a punishing stretch of high inflation that eroded consumer's purchasing power, the fever is breaking," Comerica Bank chief economist Bill Adams told The Wall Street Journal. "I think the inflation story is history," predicted veteran economist Steve Hanke. The cooling inflation data, especially if confirmed by Thursday's producer price index numbers, will give the Federal Reserve leeway to stop raising interest rates.

The Wall Street Journal CNBC

2. Disney CEO Bob Iger's contract extended through 2026

Bob Iger is staying put, with the Walt Disney Company announcing on Wednesday that its board of directors voted unanimously to extend the CEO's contract through Dec. 31, 2026. He first served as CEO from 2005 to 2020, and returned to the company in November 2022 after Bob Chapek was ousted from the position. "On my first day back, we began making important and sometimes difficult decisions to address some existing structural and efficiency issues, and despite the challenges, I believe Disney's long-term future is bright," Iger said in a statement. When he rejoined the company last year, Iger signed a two-year deal and had a mandate from the board to determine a successor. There isn't one in place, but the board has formed a committee to find one.

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The Hollywood Reporter

3. Ray Epps sues Fox News for defamation over 'fantastical' Jan. 6 claim

Ray Epps filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News on Wednesday in response to former host Tucker Carlson repeatedly accusing him of helping stoke violence during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Epps, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, was in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, but has denied allegations that he was working with a federal agency and purposely instigated rioters. Carlson did not share on air any evidence of his claims, and the lawsuit calls the accusations "fantastical." Michael Teter, an attorney for Epps, told NPR his client regularly watched Fox News and was a Carlson fan until the host and the network created "a fictitious story and narrative about him that is wholly untrue. And because of that he has faced harassment and threats from Fox viewers and others that have ruined his life."


4. San Francisco's Anchor Brewing closing after 127 years

Anchor Brewing Co., the iconic San Francisco brewery opened in 1896 and purchased by Japan's Sapporo in 2017, announced Wednesday that it has stopped brewing its ales and will cease operations in the coming weeks. Anchor spokesman Sam Singer said the brewery was "losing millions of dollars a year" and "the impacts of the pandemic, inflation — especially in San Francisco — and a highly competitive market left us with no choice but to make this sad decision." Anchor has nearly folded several times in its 127-year history, but this may be the actual last call. "Anchor's always had a special place in the beer world and a special place in San Francisco," Singer said. "They were out of cash and out of time."

San Francisco Chronicle Los Angeles Times

5. Dollar drops to lowest level since April 2022

Stock futures were up Thursday morning following a market surge on Wednesday. S&P 500 futures were up 0.4% after the index hit its highest close in over a year. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 were up 0.7% and those for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%. Data showing inflation is cooling "eased some worries that the Federal Reserve may tip the economy into a recession," CNBC reported. In response, the dollar crashed to its lowest level since April 2022. Investors will get a more complete picture with the release of the producer price index on Thursday.

CNBC Reuters

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