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Morning Brew

Fidelity

Good morning. While June 19 was yesterday, the federal government officially marks Juneteenth National Independence Day today. The stock market will be closed, most banks won't be open, and no mail will be delivered by USPS to commemorate the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas were informed about their freedom.

Celebrations marking Juneteenth were held throughout the country yesterday. One that stood out to me, living blocks from NYC's Central Park, was an event remembering the predominantly Black community that lived on the land that would later become the park. Seneca Village was a thriving settlement that was displaced when the city used eminent domain to take the land in 1857 and create Central Park.

Neal Freyman

MARKETS: YEAR-TO-DATE

Nasdaq

10,798.35

S&P

3,674.84

Dow

29,888.78

10-Year

3.236%

Bitcoin

$19,959.95

Oil

$109.93

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 12:00am ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: Can an extra day of rest change the market's fortune? As the Fed has escalated its fight against inflation, the S&P has fallen for 10 weeks out of the last 11. And not even American blue-chip firms have been spared from the carnage: The Dow closed below 30,000 for the first time since January 2021.

SPORTS

Transgender women restricted from competing at elite swimming events

Olympic swimming pool Alessandro0770/Getty Images

FINA, the global governance body for swimming, effectively banned transgender women from participating in high-level women's swimming events, ramping up an already heated debate over transgender inclusion in sports.

The details: 71% of FINA's member federations voted to adopt the policy, which requires that swimmers transition before age 12 in order to participate in women's competitions. The idea behind it, according to FINA, is to maintain a level playing field. "We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women's category at FINA competitions," FINA President Husain Al-Musallam said, adding that the organization consulted athletic, scientific, and legal experts before coming to a decision.

FINA also said it's working on adding an "open" category that will allow people who don't meet those requirements to compete.

The pushback

Transgender advocacy groups slammed swimming's policy, arguing that it's unnecessary and an attack on transgender rights. "This is an incredibly discriminatory policy that is attempting to fix a problem that doesn't exist," Harvard Law School instructor and transgender issues expert Alejandra Caraballo told the NYT. "This is the result of a moral panic because of Lia Thomas."

Who is Lia Thomas? A swimmer at UPenn, she became the first transgender woman to win an NCAA Division I swimming championship three months ago. Her victory sparked discussion over whether she had an unfair advantage by participating in women's events. Thomas has said she wants to compete at the 2024 Olympics, but wouldn't be able to under FINA's new rules.

From "culture war" to public policy

Several GOP-led states including South Carolina and Oklahoma have enacted laws that require transgender athletes in public schools to compete based on the sex listed on their birth certificates, NPR notes.

But other Republican governors have vetoed similar laws passed by their state legislatures. In rejecting his state's bill in March, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox mentioned that only four transgender kids were playing high school sports in Utah. "Rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so few," he wrote in a letter explaining his decision. (Utah lawmakers overrode his veto a few days later).

        

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WORLD

Tour de headlines

A thermometer in a crypto setting showing freezing temperatures Francis Scialabba

Crypto had a wild weekend: The price of bitcoin fell below $20,000 for the first time since December 2020, and even sank to below $17,800 at one point—a plunge of over 35% from the previous weekend. Then, it shot up back above $20k yesterday. Sam Bankman-Fried, the billionaire CEO of crypto exchange FTX, thinks cryptocurrencies are feeling the same kind of pressure as stocks. "The core driver of this has been the Fed," he told NPR.

Global elections roundup: A former member of a leftist guerrilla group, Gustavo Petro, was elected president of Colombia. He'll be the first progressive to lead the country, shaking up a political establishment that had ruled for decades. Meanwhile, in France, President Emmanuel Macron is going to find it a lot tougher to push through his agenda after his party lost an absolute majority in the National Assembly.

Someone paid $19 million to have lunch with Warren Buffett. An anonymous bidder forked over a fortune for the privilege of grabbing a steak with the Oracle of Omaha in the 21st—and final—year of the charity fundraiser. This year's winning bid set a record, topping the amount paid in 2019 by crypto mogul Justin Sun by more than 4x. The Glide Foundation, the non-profit Buffett has partnered with for the lunch, said the annual meal has raised more than $53 million in total.

LABOR

iUnion

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 15 : Employees at the flagship Apple store on Fifth... Getty Images

Employees at an Apple store in Maryland voted to form a union on Saturday—the first of its kind at the company's US locations.

The vote, by a meaty 65–33 margin, shows that the recent labor organizing momentum in the retail industry has gained a foothold in the tech world. What started as a unionization drive at Starbucks locations has spread to Amazon, Verizon, REI, Trader Joe's, and now the most valuable public company in the US. Because it's Apple, and we in the media obsess over the company, experts say this particular vote could spark even more unionization activity.

  • That train has already left the station at Apple. Employees at at least two other Apple stores, one in NYC and the other in Atlanta, have said they plan to hold a union vote.

But for the Apple employees in MD, there's still a long way to go from vote → union contract. The National Labor Relations Board has to certify the result, and only then can the two parties begin negotiating a labor agreement. Apple could drag its feet so the process takes a long time.

Big picture: The tighter embrace of unions has coincided with a historically tight labor market coming out of Covid, where workers have gained more leverage over their bosses. It'll be fascinating to watch whether that power dynamic changes when the labor market cools off due to the Fed's interest rate hikes.

        

CALENDAR

The week ahead: Well hello there, summer

Squirrel waterskiing X Games via Giphy

More J-Pow: Fed Chair Jerome Powell will testify twice on Capitol Hill this week, where he'll be grilled on the Fed's plan to fight inflation and his general perspective on the economy. In a report to Congress last week, Fed officials said their commitment to bringing prices down was "unconditional."

Summer is here: Tomorrow is the June solstice, aka the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the astronomical start of summer.

Shots for tots: Children as young as six months are now eligible for Covid vaccines, and the White House said the rollout will begin in earnest on Tuesday.

Everything else:

  • The Stanley Cup Finals head to Tampa with the Colorado Avalanche leading the Lightning two games to zero.
  • Elvis hits theaters on Friday.
  • Saturday is "Half Christmas"—June 25.
        

GRAB BAG

Key performance indicators

Still from Anchorman Anchorman/DreamWorks Pictures

Stat: A few interesting factoids from a new report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism…

  • Overall trust in the news is the lowest in the US of any country surveyed, at 26%.
  • Interest in news across all markets has dropped from 63% in 2017 to 51% this year.
  • Just 17% of people pay for online news. The average age of a digital news subscriber? 50.

Quote: "Travel Armageddon."

That's how one industry exec described the situation at airports this weekend to USA Today. Due to staffing shortages and pretty much everyone in the country deciding to go on vacation at the same time, more than 19,000 flights in the US were canceled or delayed since Thursday, including more than 5,000 on Sunday alone. Friday was the busiest day for air travel so far this year.

Read: Why does everyone seem to have IBS? (The Drift)

TOGETHER WITH BAMBOOHR

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WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • Buzz was no match for dinosaurs at the box office this weekend, as Jurassic World Dominion hung onto the No. 1 spot over Lightyear.
  • Yellowstone National Park will partially reopen on Wednesday following historic flooding.
  • English golfer Matt Fitzpatrick won his first major at the US Open.
  • Nepal is prepping to move Everest base camp because the glacier on which it's located is becoming unstable due to climate change and human activity.

BREW'S BETS

Travel diaries: The average American supposedly has been to only five of these places. Where do you stack up?

Money tips: From recession-proofing your life to overcoming a negative relationship with money, Diversifying, a personal finance podcast from CNN, addresses the root cause of your financial woes by exploring the questions we don't often ask. Listen now.

Dive back into the week:

GAMES

The puzzle section

Turntable: If you're off work today, that means more time for Turntable. Play it here.

City trivia

Of the 15 most populous cities in the US in 1950, 10 are not on the list of the 15 most populous cities in 2020. Which cities dropped off?

How student loan forgiveness could impact you

Americans are on the hook for $1.7 trillion in student loans, and lawmakers are divided on how to tackle the debt. Watch now to learn more.

Don't miss out on more from the Brew:

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ANSWER

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Written by Neal Freyman

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