Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - SCOTUS protects abortion pill

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

The US Supreme Court preserved full access to a widely used abortion pill in a case that carried major stakes for reproductive rights and election-year politics. The court unanimously overturned a federal appeals court ruling that would have barred mail-order prescriptions for mifepristone, the drug now used in more than half of US abortions. The lower court ruling would have reduced abortion access even in states where reproductive rights have broad support.  The majority said the anti-abortion doctors and organizations that sued lacked legal “standing” because they aren’t directly affected by the FDA’s actions. The ruling leaves open the possibility of a renewed attack on mifepristone by other opponents.

Here are today’s top stories

Wells Fargo fired more than a dozen employees last month after investigating claims that they were faking work. The staffers, all in the firm’s wealth- and investment-management unit, were “discharged after review of allegations involving simulation of keyboard activity creating impression of active work,” according to disclosures filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. “Wells Fargo holds employees to the highest standards and does not tolerate unethical behavior,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. 

A Wells Fargo bank branch in New York, US.  Photographer: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg

Initial applications for US unemployment benefits jumped to the highest level in nine months, led by a large increase in California during a period when holidays and the end of school year can cause fluctuations in claims. Initial claims increased by 13,000 to 242,000 in the week ended June 8, according to Labor Department data released Thursday. The figure was above all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

In a hot stock market, there’s value in keeping a cool head. With meme stocks in headlines again and the biggest 10 companies in the S&P 500 making up a record 35% of the index, Bloomberg turned to four money managers and wealth advisers for timely ideas on where to invest. Here’s where they say the best opportunities are to invest $10,000 right now.

Donald Trump promised to lower the corporate tax rate to 20%, further reducing the income levy on the largest US companies that he already slashed while president, according to people familiar with his remarks at a private meeting in Washington on Thursday. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee pitched his support for cutting the business tax rate to about 100 chief executive officers of some of the biggest US companies, including JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon and Tim Cook of Apple.

Mortgage rates in the US fell for a second straight week, giving home shoppers a bit of a break as the Fed monitors inflation data. The average for a 30-year, fixed loan was 6.95%, down from 6.99% last week, Freddie Mac said in a statement Thursday. A key measure of consumer prices cooled in May to the slowest pace in more than three years, data released this week showed. Yet housing inflation remains high, putting pressure on renters and buyers and casting doubt over the prospect of imminent Fed rate cuts.

Homes in Hercules, California. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Manhattan apartment rents unexpectedly slipped in May, a “sideways” move for the market at the start of one of its typically busiest seasons. New leases were signed at a median of $4,250 last month, a 3.3% decline from a year earlier, according to appraiser Miller Samuel and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Still, rents were at the second-highest level on record for May, and unchanged from the previous month.

A giant state-owned Chinese commodities trader is nursing losses after a shipment of copper from Russia worth nearly $20 million went missing, reigniting fears over fraud in the often secretive market for buying and selling raw materials. Wuchan Zhongda Group, which had sales of 580 billion yuan ($80 billion) in 2023, bought 2,000 tons of refined copper from a Russian smelter that should have been delivered last month. It never made it to port, according to people with knowledge of the incident.

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

'The White Lotus' Gives Thailand a Tourism Boost

Now that the fictional guests of Season 3 of The White Lotus have officially checked out of their sumptuous Thai resort, the country is gearing up for the real tourists to arrive. The series recently wrapped filming at several resorts and locations in Thailand, and although the show likely won’t air until next year, hotels and tour operators are readying for their own White Lotus bump. The first two seasons of the show, a satirical look at the privileged lives of the wealthy guests and employees of the eponymous luxury hotel, were filmed at Four Seasons properties in Maui, Hawaii and the Sicilian town of Taormina. Fans then turned those real-life resorts and cities into bucket-list destinations, spurring an avalanche of visitors.

Inside a villa at Anantara Mai Khao Villas Phuket. Photographer: Adam Bruzzone

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