McDonald’s plans to open over 8,800 new locations and add 100 million members to its loyalty program by 2027 as part of its strategy to increase sales and improve its offerings. The company aims to have a global footprint of 50,000 locations by 2027, with 900 new locations in the United States and 1,900 in international markets. McDonald’s has partnered with Google Cloud to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) technology to enhance its operations, including order accuracy and drive-thru efficiency. The company also aims to reach 250 million active members for its loyalty program to drive repeat visits and foster stronger customer loyalty.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon expresses uncertainty about post-peak shopping season sales, highlighting the unpredictable nature of consumer spending patterns and raising questions about future consumer behavior. Despite concerns, Walmart has experienced greater resilience from consumers than expected this year, although deflation in certain items may impact revenue and profit margins. Walmart’s strategic move to offer affordable toy items and its rebound in non-food sales demonstrate efforts to cater to price-conscious consumers and drive growth.
StubHub experienced remarkable growth in ticket sales for women’s sports in 2023, including record-breaking sales for women’s basketball Final Four tickets and the highest-ever sales for the WNBA Finals. Additionally, Las Vegas emerged as a prominent sports destination, with high ticket demand for events such as the Vegas Golden Knights and the Las Vegas Raiders, as well as Formula 1 races.
Brazil’s largest banking institution, Itau Unibanco, has announced the launch of cryptocurrency trading services, starting with Bitcoin and Ethereum, as it aims to cater to the growing interest in digital assets and provide reliable investment options for its clients. This move could potentially pave the way for further adoption and mainstream recognition of cryptocurrencies in Brazil and beyond.
Mortgage rates have been declining in recent weeks, with the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropping from 7.37% to 7.17%. This decrease has led to a 14% increase in refinance applications compared to the previous week and a 10% increase compared to the same period last year. Factors contributing to the decline in rates include slower inflation and the expectation of the Federal Reserve’s hiking cycle coming to an end. However, demand for mortgages to purchase homes has slightly decreased by 0.3% for the week and is 17% lower than the corresponding week last year. The market is fluctuating, and the upcoming monthly employment report could impact mortgage rates. The current downward trend in rates is influenced by a recent report revealing softer-than-expected job openings. Overall, this comprehensive overview provides a neutral and informative perspective on the current state of the mortgage market.
Societe Generale issues a €10 million tokenized green bond on the Ethereum blockchain, marking a significant step in leveraging blockchain technology for sustainable finance. Notable institutional investors, AXA Investment Managers and Generali Investments, have subscribed to the digital bond.
Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong, recently made comments about Binance and FTX during the Global Investment Summit in London, referring to their executives as “bad actors” and acknowledging the allegations against Binance for AML violations and illicit cryptocurrency transactions. Armstrong’s statement has sparked discussions about bad actors within the crypto space and raised questions about Coinbase’s own involvement in facilitating bad transactions. The need for a more trustworthy crypto environment and increased transparency in Coinbase’s partnerships with US public servants has also been highlighted.
Global investment firm Franklin Templeton is recognizing the importance of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology by investigating asset ownership through tokenization. The CEO of Franklin Templeton, along with the CEO of BlackRock, believes that tokenization is the future of finance. Investors are advised to carefully evaluate which blockchains are being chosen for tokenization and consider market dynamics when investing in blockchain-based assets. Franklin Templeton’s exploration of tokenization demonstrates the growing acceptance of these technologies in traditional financial institutions. As this trend continues to gain momentum, it is crucial for investors to stay informed about the latest developments in the world of blockchain and tokenized assets.
CVS Health plans to overhaul its prescription drug pricing system with the introduction of CVS CostVantage, a new initiative aimed at increasing transparency and lowering costs. The company’s decision has already gained market support, reflecting investor confidence in addressing the issues surrounding drug pricing. The move comes amid disruptions in the healthcare industry and heightened scrutiny over rising drug costs.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is in discussions with several applicants, including Grayscale and BlackRock, regarding the launch of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The SEC has historically rejected Bitcoin ETF applications due to concerns about market manipulation. BlackRock has filed a second amendment to its application, highlighting potential risks and addressing the SEC’s concerns. Despite recent developments, there are no guarantees of an imminent approval for a Bitcoin ETF.