Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - It’s $2 trillion Friday

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

With August shaping up to be the calmest month this year for US stocks, traders are closely watching Friday’s $2 trillion options expiration for hints whether the tranquility will last. At issue is the belief that derivatives markets have somehow played a key role in suppressing volatility, thereby compelling rules-based quant traders to buy shares and in turn luring a broader group of investors back into the market in order to chase gains

Bloomberg is tracking the coronavirus pandemic and the progress of global vaccination efforts.

Here are today’s top stories

If your organization isn’t firing people, the one next door probably is. That’s a key finding from a survey by consultant PwC, which last month polled more than 700 US executives and board members across a range of industries. Half of respondents said they’re terminating workers or plan to, and 52% have implemented hiring freezes. More than four in ten are rescinding job offers and a similar amount are reducing or eliminating the sign-on bonuses that had become common to attract talent in a tight job market

Portions of the FBI affidavit used to secure a search warrant for Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home should be unsealed, a federal judge in Florida said. Any release of the document, likely to be highly redacted given the classified files the government retrieved from Trump’s home, may end up being bad news for the Republican, one former federal prosecutor said.

Russia is likely using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine to shield its troops and equipment, undermining the safety of the plant’s operations, according to European intelligence officials.

A Russian soldier at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in Energodar on May 1. Photographer: Andrey Borodulin/AFP/Getty Images

China lashed out at a $52 billion program signed into law by President Joe Biden to expand American chipmaking, saying the landmark blueprint contains elements that violate fair market principles and targets Beijing’s own efforts to build a semiconductor industry.

Industrial China is alive and well despite concerns of an economic slowdown, Anjani Trivedi writes in Bloomberg Opinion. It just doesn’t look like it did before.

Covid-19 survivors remain at higher risk of psychotic disorders, dementia and similar conditions for at least two years, according to a large study that highlights the mounting burden of chronic illness spurred by the pandemic.

Five months after disclosing a stake in Bed Bath & Beyond, activist shareholder Ryan Cohen has tapped out, sparking a selloff in the shares of the home goods retailer. The Union, New Jersey-based company slumped 27% in late trading, on top of a 20% fall in Thursday’s regular session, after a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission confirmed Cohen’s RC Ventures exited its entire position on the company. 

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

The Roads Weren’t Made for a Hotter Climate

The historic heat wave that’s smothered western Europe this summer has caused transportation chaos. Railroad tracks warped, airport runways failed and key roads buckled. On July 18, the busy A14 highway in Cambridge, England, was shut down after developing a bizarre ridge that would be calamitous to fast-moving cars and their passengers. As it happens, the same thing has been occurring across America, Australia, China and Africa. Roads all over the world weren’t built for the increasingly hotter climate caused by global warming. And it’s going to get a lot worse—unless governments spend a tremendous amount of money.

Concrete is much lower maintenance than asphalt and lasts a long time, but it’s more expensive. And in extremely high temperatures, slabs will become uneven. Photographer: Julian Stähle/Picture Alliance/Getty Images

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Bloomberg Weekend Reading View in browser Bloomberg Follow Us Get the newsletter After months of scorching prices, things finally appear to be cooling off a bit. The latest US inflation report showed

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‘Inept madness’

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Bloomberg Weekend Reading View in browser Bloomberg Follow Us Get the newsletter The UK is enveloped in a self-inflicted financial crisis. And while its origins go back years, some $500 billion has

Forced liquidation

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Makers vs. Takers

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Amazon rolls out broad-based pay raises for warehouse workers across its fulfillment network

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Wall Street: BlackRock walks the ESG tightrope

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