The daily business briefing: August 3, 2023

Sales of left-over Yeezy sneakers boost Adidas, Russian strikes on Ukraine river port drive up grain prices, and more

A blue Adidas sign outside a store
Adidas was stuck with more than $1.3 billion worth of the high-end Yeezy shoes
(Image credit: Scott Olson / Getty Images)

1. Left-over Yeezy sneaker sales boost Adidas

Adidas sales exceeded expectations in the second quarter, after the German sports apparel giant brought in $437 million from the first release of Yeezy sneakers left over after it broke ties with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, over his antisemitic remarks. Adidas said strong demand for a second sale of Yeezy goods launched Wednesday should narrow its expected full-year loss. Adidas was stuck with more than $1.3 billion worth of the high-end Yeezy shoes, and is trying to get rid of them responsibly. The company has set aside $120 million to donate to groups fighting antisemitism, including the Anti-Defamation League. "This is much better than destroying and writing off the inventory," said CEO Bjørn Gulden.

The Associated Press

2. Grain prices jump after Russian strike on Ukrainian Danube River port

Global grain prices climbed Wednesday — wheat jumped nearly 5% in Chicago — on supply concerns after Russian drones hit Ukraine's main inland port of Izmail, across the Danube River from Romania, and prevented ships from loading grain. The strikes came as Russia intensifies attacks aiming to prevent Ukraine from exporting grain now that Moscow has ended the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which had allowed Kyiv to export food through the Black Sea. Ukraine said the strikes damaged nearly 40,000 tons of grain intended for shipment to Africa, China, and Israel. "Russian terrorists have once again attacked ports, grain, global food security," President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a Telegram post. Russian state news agency RIA said the targeted area housed military equipment and foreign mercenaries.

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Reuters BBC News

3. Stocks plunge after U.S. credit downgrade

U.S. stocks fell sharply on Wednesday in a sign of investor caution after Fitch downgraded the U.S. credit rating over Washington's frequent debt-ceiling standoffs. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.4% and 1%, respectively, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq plunged 2.2% in its worst day since February. Bonds also endured a wave of selling, driving down prices. The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 4.077%, the highest since November. U.S. stock futures slipped further early Wednesday. Futures tied to the S&P 500 and the Dow were down 0.2% and 0.1% at 7 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were down 0.4% as corporate earnings reports continued. Chipmaker Qualcomm's shares fell 8% after it fell short of expectations. Apple and Amazon report after trading closes.

The Wall Street Journal CNBC

4. Writers Guild negotiators to meet with studio reps

The Writers Guild of America's negotiating committee plans to meet with Hollywood studios on Friday for the first in-person bargaining since early May, when the union called a strike, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. The decision, announced to union members in an email late Tuesday, came after the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers — which represents major studios — reached out last Friday requesting a meeting. The writers' strike expanded in July when tens of thousands of Screen Actors Guild members joined the walkout, bringing nearly all Hollywood production to a halt.

The Washington Post

5. InBev reports strong profit despite Bud Light boycott

Anheuser-Busch InBev on Thursday reported quarterly profit that blew past analysts' expectations despite a conservative boycott of Bud Light, the Belgium-based brewer's best-selling beer in the United States. InBev said its revenue jumped 7.2% globally as higher prices offset a 1.4% volume drop. Conservative online activists launched the Bud Light boycott in April over the brand's brief sponsorship partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, who promoted the beer in a video post. Sales plunged 25%, opening the door for Constellation brand's Modelo to take the No. 1 spot in the U.S. Critics on the left then accused InBev of failing to support Mulvaney. The company "managed to alienate both conservatives and progressives in one fell swoop," said Zak Stambor, senior analyst at Insider Intelligence.


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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.