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35,000 workers across 18 casinos will strike on Nov 10 if deal isn’t reached

today 11/03/2023
The Culinary Workers Union and Bartenders Union have announced that they will go on strike on November 10 if a contract agreement is not reached. The strike would involve 35,000 workers across 18 casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. The unions are demanding better pay, reduced workloads, safety protections, and other improvements. In September, union members voted overwhelmingly in favor of authorizing a strike. The unions represent a total of 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, with approximately 40,000 members currently working under an expired contract.
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12/03/2023

No shortage of Christmas trees this year, but don’t expect any red-tag deals

Chimney Pond Farms in Glenville, North Carolina is preparing for the Christmas season by ensuring an adequate supply of Christmas trees. However, the cost of real Christmas trees is increasing due to inflation and rising input costs for growers. Despite this, farms are trying to absorb the cost increases themselves rather than passing them on to customers. The retail price of Christmas trees may vary depending on the retailer's overhead costs and quantities available. Last year, the median retail price of a Christmas tree was $80, but this year's price increases may be milder due to moderated inflation. Chimney Pond Farm is taking measures to absorb cost increases and provide a memorable Christmas experience for their customers. In addition to selling trees, the farm also serves as a wedding venue to generate additional income.
12/03/2023

Hollywood box office sales slumped in November

Movie theaters had a disappointing November as several highly anticipated films failed to generate significant box office sales. Domestic theaters earned $553.6 million, a 12% decline from the previous year and significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels. The Thanksgiving holiday corridor also underperformed, grossing $173 million compared to the average of $270 million before 2020. The films "The Marvels" and "Wish" were expected to perform better based on the success of previous Marvel Cinematic Universe and Disney animated films during the Thanksgiving period. However, these movies, along with "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes" and "Trolls Band Together," potentially competed for the same female audience. Other factors contributing to the disappointing box office included the SAG-AFTRA strike and the delay of the sci-fi blockbuster "Dune: Part Two." Marvel's offering last year, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," had a strong opening, but this year "The Marvels" only grossed $46 million. "The Hunger Games" was the top movie over Thanksgiving weekend but still fell short of previous installments. The underperformance in November puts pressure on December, with the delayed "Ghostbusters" sequel and potentially lower box office revenue for "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom." Despite the slump, domestic theaters have earned $8.26 billion this year, close to expectations for the full year. The industry hopes that the remaining films in 2023 will perform well and carry the momentum into 2024.
12/03/2023

TikTok’s recent court victories show just how hard it might be to ban the app

TikTok has recently won two court victories that may make it more difficult for its critics to restrict its operations. In Indiana, a state judge dismissed a lawsuit against TikTok, while in Montana, a federal judge blocked a law that would have banned the app statewide. Both cases highlight the failure of efforts to regulate TikTok, as they did not comply with constitutional requirements or establish jurisdiction. These outcomes reveal the challenges policymakers face in addressing TikTok's alleged problems. Concerns about TikTok's ties to China have led to calls for a ban in the US, but most attempts have been challenged in court. Despite these controversies, TikTok continues to grow its user base and support content creators. The recent court rulings emphasize that state-level efforts have exceeded their authority and raise significant limitations on targeting TikTok. As a result, policymakers should recognize the legal hurdles they must overcome. The judges' opinions were clear and well-reasoned, focusing on legal principles rather than the political arguments surrounding TikTok. The Montana injunction, in particular, provides a strong argument for other judges reviewing similar cases. However, the impact of the Indiana decision may be limited due to the nature of state court rulings and the variation in state laws.
12/03/2023

Target date funds: What are they and are they right for you?

If you have a 401(k) plan at work, you likely have the choice to invest in a target date fund, which is a portfolio designed to match your anticipated retirement date. A recent analysis found that the majority of plans offer target date funds and many participants have money invested in them. Target date funds typically consist of a mix of stocks and bonds and their allocation becomes more conservative as retirement approaches. These funds often include index funds and are periodically rebalanced to maintain the desired allocation. Before investing in a target date fund, it's important to review its stated mission, allocation, future glide path, and expense ratio. Additionally, consider your own risk tolerance and investment goals. For those who prefer a hands-off approach to investing, target date funds can be a good option. However, if you're willing to actively manage your portfolio and take more risks, you may find target date funds too limiting.