The daily business briefing: November 17, 2023

GM union workers approve strike-ending contract, Walmart's CEO says food deflation is coming, and more

UAW workers approve GM contract
UAW workers approve GM contract
(Image credit: Kevin Wurm / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

1. GM union members approve contract that ended strike

United Auto Workers members at General Motors have voted to approve the new contract their union negotiated with the company. The approval made GM the first of Detroit's Big Three automakers to get a contract ratified after union members ended punishing strikes. The contract's fate had come into question when narrow majorities of workers at several GM plants opposed it. Overall, the contract passed by about 3,400 votes, with 54.7% in favor. As of Thursday, larger majorities had backed the contracts negotiated with the other two automakers targeted in the strike. At Ford, 66.7% of workers were in favor, while at Stellantis (Chrysler) the figure was 66.5%, according to the UAW website. The Associated Press

2. Walmart CEO says food prices should soon fall

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said Thursday that food prices could start falling soon after three years of steady price hikes. Food prices have jumped 25% since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. But the pace of food inflation has slowed in recent months, with prices rising just 3.3% on an annual basis in October, according to the Labor Department. Prices on some staples, including bacon, seafood and eggs, have dropped, as have prices on other goods like appliances and phones. "We may see dry grocery and consumables start to deflate in the coming weeks and months," McMillon said. Walmart reported strong quarterly sales on Thursday, but gave a cautious outlook as shoppers cut spending, sending its stock falling 6%. CNN, The Associated Press

3. Hyundai reaches deal with Amazon to sell vehicles online

Amazon plans to start selling Hyundai vehicles next year, the two companies announced Thursday. Building on a deal announced two years ago, the companies plan to expand Hyundai's digital showroom on to let customers select, equip and purchase vehicles through the site, then schedule delivery through a Hyundai dealer. Under the agreement, buyers will also be able to connect with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant from new Hyundai vehicles starting in 2025. "Partnering with one of the world's most customer-centric organizations unlocks incredible opportunities," Hyundai Motor CEO Jay Chang said in a statement. Reuters

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

4. Stock futures edge higher after rally fueled by inflation data

U.S. stock futures rose slightly early Friday after fluctuating overnight. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively, at 6:30 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were flat as earnings continued to roll in. Gap shares jumped 15% in after-hours trading after the clothing retailer posted better-than-expected third-quarter earnings. ChargePoint shares plunged 29% after the electric vehicle charging network company announced a management shakeup and lowered its revenue forecast. All three of the main U.S. benchmark indexes are on track to post weekly gains after a mixed day Thursday followed a rally fueled by cooler-than-expected inflation data. CNBC

5. Morgan Stanley fined for data security failures

Morgan Stanley has agreed to pay a $6.5 million fine in a deal with state attorneys general over the exposure of millions of customers' personal data, The Wall Street Journal reported. Some of the information was compromised when Morgan Stanley, doing business as Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, didn't erase unencrypted data in certain computer devices later sold at auction, according to New York Attorney General Letitia James. Other failures included hiring an inexperienced moving company to decommission thousands of hard drives and servers that held sensitive data, and leaving out 42 servers during a decommissioning process. The company, which also agreed to take steps to boost data security, said it previously "notified all potentially impacted clients." The Wall Street Journal

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.