—— U.S. unemployment claims exceed expectations; Ford signs multiple battery suppliers; Amazon acquires One Medical; mushroom meat products company raises $150 million; former Coinbase manager is arrested for insider trading; global heat wave drives natural gas prices; Blackstone AUM increases 38%.

1. U.S. jobless claims beat expectations

The number of U.S. Initial Unemployment Claims rose by 7,000 to 251,000 in the week ended July 16, beating economists’ expectations, according to the latest data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Recently, more and more companies have started laying off employees, and the job market has gradually cooled. Employment is likely to continue to weaken as the Fed continues to raise interest rates to fight inflation.

Still, a “softening” job market could reduce workers’ wages and purchasing power, thereby easing inflation.

Initial Jobless Claims counts the number of people applying for unemployment benefits for the first time


2. Ford signs multiple battery suppliers

Ford Motor said in a statement released today that it has reached significant supply agreements with a number of battery suppliers, allowing production to ramp up to 600,000 vehicles per year.

It is reported that battery suppliers include China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology.

In addition, Ford also said the company aims to start producing 2 million electric cars a year in 2026, and has locked in 70% of the battery supply.

Michigan-based Ford has boldly predicted that demand for electric cars could rise by 90% a year between now and 2026, double what industry analysts expect.

The supply of batteries is an important factor in determining the production of electric vehicles, and it is very good for Ford to sign a supplier


3. Amazon acquires One Medical

Today, e-commerce giant Amazon (Amazon) announced that the company will buy medical company One Medical for $18 per share in all-cash form, and enter the medical field strongly.

One Medical’s parent company, 1Life Healthcare Inc., operates 182 medical properties in 25 markets across the United States. The company’s customers pay a subscription fee to enjoy 24/7 online medical services.

In recent years, Amazon has launched an online pharmacy after acquiring mail-in pharmacy PillPack Inc. and pioneered outpatient clinics primarily serving employees.

The One Medical acquisition would be the third-largest deal in Amazon’s history, after Whole Foods Market and film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

One Medical provides 24/7 online medical consultation services to subscribers


4. Mushroom meat company raises $150 million

Meati Foods, which uses mushrooms to make steaks and chicken chops, has raised $150 million in its latest Series C funding. Investors include Cultivate Next, the venture capital fund of well-known restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Meati is now valued at $650 million, two times what it was at last year’s funding round, according to people familiar with the matter.

Meati mainly sells artificial steak and chicken cutlet products, the raw material is mushroom mycelium (mycelium). The company has only sold out of its products twice on the official website, and has not yet released it on a large scale.

The company plans to enter every supermarket in Sprouts Farmers Market by the end of this year, and the U.S. retail market and e-commerce platform by the end of 2023.

In recent years, Americans have paid more attention to health, and the market for artificial vegetarian meat is also rapidly expanding


5. Former Coinbase manager is arrested for insider trading

Former Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi was arrested today by law enforcement on suspicion of involvement in insider trading. Coinbase itself is not affected by this investigation and will not be charged.

Damian Williams, an attorney for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, said Coinbase had actively cooperated in the investigation of the incident.

Damian said that today’s event is another reminder that Web3 is by no means an “impossible” field, and that scams are scams, whether on Wall Street or on the blockchain.

Ishan Wahi was responsible for the listing of new currencies on the Coinbase exchange. The investigation found that he had used inside information to have his relatives and friends trade more than 10 cryptocurrencies for him, with profits exceeding $1 million.

Whether it’s Wall Street or the blockchain, sooner or later violations will be discovered


6. Global heatwave pushes gas prices

The recent surge in global temperatures has led to another rise in the price of natural gas, which has finally recovered.

The price of natural gas futures has risen 48% so far this month, with a one-day gain of as much as 10% this Wednesday to a unit price of $8.007.

The price of commodities has fallen as a whole recently, and the market speculates that inflation may be gradually capping. However, the recent record-breaking heat wave is likely to push inflation up again.

Affected by hot weather, natural gas demand increased sharply again, and futures prices rose in a V-shape


7. Blackstone’s total assets under management up 38%

Jonathan Gray, president of the Blackstone Group, the world’s largest alternative asset manager, warned in an interview that inflation is far more stubborn than thought, that the Federal Reserve will likely have to use a more hawkish policy, and that the U.S. economy will suffer. may continue to deteriorate.

Total assets under management rose by $88 billion to $941 billion, up 38 percent from a year earlier, Blackstone’s second-quarter results showed on Tuesday.

Blackstone’s new flagship real estate fund and private equity fund attracted $24.4 billion and $8.8 billion in capital injections respectively, showing that investors still believe in Blackstone’s asset management capabilities.

In the second quarter, Blackstone’s $276 billion corporate private equity portfolio was written down 6.7%. The total value of other real estate and credit-related funds was also downgraded.

Investors still believe in Blackstone’s asset management capabilities despite constant capital market volatility


The content of this article comes from various financial news media such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Bloomberg.