Morning Brew - ☕️ Hard times for grads

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Morning Brew

Rootless

Good morning. The world’s most famous intercontinental Zoom call is back online. After R-rated antics shut it down last week, the NYC–Dublin Portals rebooted on Sunday, but without Portal After Dark programming: It’ll be live only from 6am to 4pm New York time and have more fencing, signage, and security measures.

At this point, might as well install TSA and just fly people to Dublin. Skip the line with Portal PreCheck.

—Sam Klebanov, Molly Liebergall, Dave Lozo, Abby Rubenstein, Neal Freyman

MARKETS

Nasdaq

$16,794.88

S&P

$5,308.13

Dow

$39,806.77

10-Year

4.437%

Bitcoin

$69,509.38

JPMorgan

$195.58

Data is provided by

*Stock data as of market close. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: You win some, you lose some. The Nasdaq closed at a record high yesterday as Nvidia gained while investors await the AI chipmaker’s earnings report tomorrow. But the Dow fell back below 40,000, pulled down by a dip in JPMorgan after Jamie Dimon hinted that he plans to step down as CEO sooner than five years from now.
 

ECONOMY

Job market for the Class of 2024 is meh

Individuals in cap and gown at a ceremony, zoomed in on a cap that says "Hire Me" on top. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Family friends inquiring “So, what’s the plan now?” will probably irk recent college grads more now than it has in a while. It’s been harder for people with fresh diplomas to get jobs this spring, as entry-level hiring is projected to fall by 5.8% in 2024 compared to last year, per the National Association of Colleges and Employers. 

Entry-level employee confidence is the lowest it’s been since at least 2016, according to Glassdoor, and many soon-to-be grads submitted over 100 applications in order to land a job. The vibe shift is particularly salient for those looking to get their foot in the door in parent-pleaser industries like finance, consulting, and especially tech, per Bloomberg.

Computer science major bummer

Big Tech layoffs and a hiring pivot to AI-focused roles that typically require experience beyond internships mean that computer science majors’ LinkedIn profiles aren’t getting swamped with recruiter DMs.

  • Software engineer hiring on Indeed dropped 30% from pre-pandemic levels, per the WSJ.
  • The number of people studying computer science went up 41% between 2018 and 2023, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, creating a glut of graduates competing for fewer vacancies.

Career advisors are pushing the Class of 2024 to cast a wider net in pursuing post-grad employment.

There’s still work

Young professionals with tech know-how are needed in the healthcare and government sectors, Joseph Mercadante, the senior associate director of the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development, told the Financial Times.

Newly minted diploma-holders also have the fallback option of snagging a part-time position in retail, transportation, or healthcare, the industries with the most active hiring, according to the latest Labor Department jobs report.

In the wider job market…signals are mixed as unemployment remains low at 3.9% but white-collar hiring has slowed and workers are switching jobs less than before.—SK

   

PRESENTED BY ROOTLESS

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Rootless

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Over 1b women will experience menopause by 2025. Helping solve for the root cause of hormonal imbalance is an untapped $600b market.

And Rootless has the answer. Their seaweed-powered Daily Bites are proven to improve hormonal balance in 100% of women. No wonder they’ve seen sales explode 251% in 2023 alone.

Now they’re ready to scale. For a limited time, get 10% bonus shares when you invest before May 31.

WORLD

Tour de headlines

An image of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and an image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Anadolu, Jacquelyn Martin/Getty Images

ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders. The chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court has requested arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, and others on war crimes charges stemming from Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack and Israel’s response in Gaza. Both Israel and the US have opposed that action against the Israeli leaders and the appearance of equating the government to the militant group. Meanwhile, Hamas said the prosecutor should have included more Israeli officials and condemned the inclusion of its own leaders. A panel of ICC judges will decide whether to grant the request, a process that usually takes about two months.

Red Lobster is bankrupt. Those shrimp may not be endless after all: The seafood chain that helped define casual dining filed for Chapter 11 protection yesterday, days after announcing it was closing ~99 locations. The filing will allow Red Lobster to continue operating while its current owner, seafood supplier Thai Union Group, works to sell the business to a group of its lenders. The decision to file comes after a sale to a private equity fund in 2014 saddled Red Lobster with costly leases for its restaurants, and Thai Union’s decision to make the Endless Shrimp deal year-round took an $11 million bite out of profits last year.

Target will lower prices on 5,000 items to get shoppers shopping. The retailer said it has already cut prices on 1,500 popular purchases and will continue to slash more, including grocery staples, over the summer. The lowered prices come as consumers have been stretched thin by inflation, leading even some with big budgets to turn to Target’s competitor, Walmart. The move appears timed to Target announcing its quarterly earnings tomorrow, but it isn’t the only company trying to offer deals to win back wary spenders. McDonald’s, for example, has plans to roll out a $5 meal deal soon.

HEALTH

Hims & Hers launches a discount Ozempic copy

Hims/Hers-labeled vial on a scale with syringe Francis Scialabba

The telehealth startup that got popular selling generics for Viagra and Rogaine recorded its largest intraday market jump in more than three years yesterday after announcing that it’s adding weight loss shots to its Rx offerings—and for a fraction of their typical price.

Hims & Hers stock soared as much as 38% on the news that it’ll provide GLP-1 injections with the same active ingredient as Ozempic or Wegovy for just $199/month—an 85% discount compared to Wegovy’s ~$1,350 monthly price tag (without insurance).

This isn’t a Canal Street knockoff, but it’s not exactly Ozempic or Wegovy, either. During medication shortages like the one that’s been squeezing GLP-1s since 2022, the FDA allows pharmacies to produce “compounded” (or copycat) versions of patented drugs. That practice is growing rapidly in the weight loss space, Bloomberg reported.

Proceed with caution. The FDA has received reports of negative effects from people taking Ozempic or Wegovy copycats and recommends avoiding compounded drugs, which aren’t subject to the same stringent review as branded medicines, when possible. Hims & Hers plans to offer the branded versions once industry supply catches up to frenzied demand.

Hims & Hers is on fire. The startup’s stock had already jumped more than 60% this year before yesterday’s announcement, while its existing weight loss products were projected to pull in $100+ million next year, making it the company’s fastest-growing division.—ML

   

TOGETHER WITH MASTERWORKS

Masterworks

This painting sold for $8 million…and everyday investors profited. Thanks to Masterworks, the platform for investing in blue-chip art. Over 940,000 people have signed up, but Morning Brew readers can skip the waitlist here.

TECH

Neuralink approved to put a brain chip in a 2nd person

A brain Francis Scialabba

Neuralink is getting a second chance to make a first implantation.

The FDA granted Elon Musk’s neurotech company approval to place its brain chip into a second human test subject using a new method designed to correct issues that arose after its inaugural insertion in January, per the Wall Street Journal.

What’s new? The company’s first implant, in quadriplegic Noland Arbaugh, allows him to operate a computer with his mind. But Arbaugh said Neuralink had to tweak the software to maintain the chip’s functionality when 85% of the ultra-thin threads connecting it to his brain’s cortex detached. The new technique that will be used on the next candidate will implant the threads 8 millimeters into the brain’s cortex, about 3- to 5 millimeters deeper than the method used on Arbaugh, to give the device better stability.

Who’s next? Neuralink said more than 1,000 quadriplegics have applied to receive the chip, although fewer than 100 meet the criteria for its study, which is still accepting applications. The company’s goal is to implant 10 chips into a diverse group of patients this year, but it said most candidates so far are white males.—DL

   

GRAB BAG

Key performance indicators

Joaquin Phoenix in the movie Her Her/Warner Bros.

Stat: OpenAI pulled a recently released ChatGPT voice that sounds suspiciously like Scarlett Johansson in the movie Her. Even though Her is Sam Altman’s favorite film, OpenAI said any resemblance to ScarJo was merely coincidental and that it had narrowed down 400+ submissions from voice and screen actors to pick the five it recorded for ChatGPT’s voice (the other four are still in use). Before you get too impressed that only one out of five made people immediately think of dystopian sci-fi, Johansson said that her lawyers got OpenAI to stop using the voice, developed only after Altman unsuccessfully tried to convince her to provide one herself. OpenAI claims the other actress was cast before this outreach.

Quote: “Bring ya ass.”

Minnesota’s tourism board couldn’t have asked for a better impromptu spokesperson than Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards. He’s gone gone viral for colorfully exhorting Charles Barkley in a postgame interview Sunday to get himself there after the latter said he hadn’t visited the state in ~20 years. And they know it—bringyaass.com now redirects to a Minnesota tourism site. Though Barkley requested a list of restaurants to dine at during his next trip, it seems the hot dish didn’t make much of an impression the last time he was in town, since it wasn’t two decades ago but in 2019 for the Celebrity Crunch Classic.

Read: Inside the booming black market for human poop. (Slate)

NEWS

What else is brewing

  • FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg will resign after an investigation found widespread sexual harassment at the agency. But he won’t step down until a successor is named, avoiding passing the reins to his Republican vice chair.
  • The helicopter crash that killed Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was caused by a “technical failure,” state media reported.
  • Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, can appeal an order calling for his extradition to the US on espionage charges, a UK court ruled, further prolonging his legal battle.
  • Microsoft unveiled new PCs with AI-powered features.
  • The prosecution rested its case in Donald Trump’s hush money trial, and the defense began to call witnesses, including attorney Robert Costello, who advised Michael Cohen and whose behavior on the stand upset the judge.
  • The Dali cargo ship has been moved to shore by tugboats two months after it crashed into Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge.
  • Ivan Boesky, who was convicted of insider trading and helped inspire the character Gordon Gekko, died yesterday at age 87.

RECS

Tuesday To Do List

Watch: Why screens affect your sleep.

Listen: The History Unplugged podcast explains why we don’t have a 15-hour workweek anymore.

Inhale: France’s post office is making scratch-and-sniff stamps.

Find your center: How much money it takes to be middle class in each state.

Master Excel: Attending Miss Excel’s free 60-minute live workshop on lookup functions and shortcuts can make you better (and faster) at your job. Reserve your spot here.

Up to $2k off every flight…for life: Dollar Flight Club’s lifetime membership is just $129 (was $1,690) and offers rates like Paris from $299. Offer ends in 12 hours, so don’t wait.*

*A message from our sponsor.

GAMES

The puzzle section

Brew Mini: Sink your teeth into today’s Mini, featuring Dracula in 1-Down. Play it here.

Tea trivia

Happy International Tea Day! Do you know where your tea comes from? Have you ever checked the tag on the bag?

If so, you’ll do well on today’s trivia question: Can you name the top five countries for tea exports?

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ANSWER

  1. China
  2. Kenya
  3. Sri Lanka
  4. India
  5. United Arab Emirates

Source

Word of the Day

Today’s Word of the Day is: exhorting, meaning “urging strongly.” Thanks to Mike from Houston, TX, for the forceful suggestion. Submit another Word of the Day here.

✢ A Note From Rootless

This is a paid advertisement for Rootless’ Regulation CF Offering. Please read the Form C and offering circular at https://invest.getrootless.com/.

✳︎ A Note From Masterworks

See important disclosures at masterworks.com/cd.

         
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