The Chicago Journal

Investors Set for Misery as S&P 500 Enters a Bear Market

It is time for investors to start preparing for the long haul. The S&P 500 has officially entered bear market territory, according to the Bank of America on Monday.

Stocks are volatile lately because of the looming inflation and interest rate hikes from The Federal Reserve. A 75 point increase in stock prices is expected Wednesday, which is higher than the anticipated 50 point hike.

The latest report follows Friday’s hot CPI inflation estimate which exceeded economist expectations and indicated no signs of slowing down.

Read also: Americans’ Wealth Takes a Hit from Stock Market Collapse

The Bank of America isn’t alone in thinking that we’re at the bottom until inflation prints its peak.

“Wall Street sentiment is dire but no big low in stocks before big high in yields and inflation,” said the Bank of America. “The latter requires uber-hawkish Fed hikes in June and July.”

The current state of Wall Street is a result of several factors, including global growth optimism declining to its lowest point in 14 years and fears that inflation will reach unprecedented levels. This all combines with corporate profit outlooks being at their worst since 2008.

The market has shown that it’s not a one-and-done situation when the bear cycle arrives. A V-shape recovery is typically seen in bank stocks, which indicates an upcoming recovery similar to what happened last time – around March 2020.

Chris Murphy of Susquehanna International Group analyzed all 12 bear market sell-offs that occurred through the decades.

“Looking at the other 12 bear markets, we see that on average, after the SPX enter bear market territory, it continues to fall another 14%, taking 103 trading days before reaching a bottom,” said Murphy.

There’s no telling how low the S&P 500 could go if another major crash happens, but many estimate it would fall to 3,250.

Investors will be able to breathe after the midterm elections in early November which could signal that markets are bottoming out as the bottom of the market rarely happens around summertime.

Read also: The White House Believes Americans Are Well-Positioned for the Economic Storm

Rossann Williams Bids Starbucks Goodbye on Tuesday, Sara Trilling to Assume Her Position

Starbucks is seeing more changes as Rosann Williams, one of the brand’s most prominent figures and head for the North American market, decided to leave the company. A statement from Starbucks announced this past Friday that she would be vacating her post effective this Tuesday.

The company has announced that they will be replacing Rossann Williams with Sara Trilling, a veteran who’s spent two decades helping the Asian Pacific Market out of Hong Kong.

Read also: Jokr to Slowly Shift Focus on Latin American Markets and Halt Operations in the United States

Starbucks has had a series of high-profile departures from their top spots in recent months. Kevin Johnson stepped down as CEO, and now Williams is quitting after over 18 years with the company. Howard Schultz took over for Johnson as interim CEO while they look externally toward finding someone who can lead them into an uncertain future for the long-term.

Under his leadership, Schultz has committed $1 billion to raise the wages of all chain employees and hit the brakes on their stock buyback program. He’s also been firm in his stance against union efforts.

In a surprising move, Starbucks Chief Operating Officer John Culver revealed in his letter to employees that they have mutually agreed upon the departure of Rossann Williams.

“As we embark on the next chapter, we have made a difficult but necessary change to our North America business; a change that creates new leadership for a new era at Starbucks,” the letter wrote. “The decision was not taken lightly and was once preceded by discussion about a next opportunity for Rossann within the company, which she declined.”

Rosann Williams has been with Starbucks since 2004, and during her early career she worked at Blockbuster and Toys ‘R Us. In 18 years with the company, Williams has been firmly against unionization.

Regardless, over 150 Starbucks cafes have signed to form unions.

Johnson’s departure and Schultz’s comments indicated that major change was coming. The interim CEO suggested one of Starbucks’ primary problems is an inability to meet customer demand for customizing drinks through multiple channels. He also suggested bringing in a CEO from the outside, a move that would bring a comprehensive overhaul.

Read also: McDonald’s Thrives While Wendy’s and Burger King Suffers From Inflation

The White House Believes Americans Are Well-Positioned for the Economic Storm

On Monday, the White House spoke of its confidence that Americans will be able to face the economic storm with Biden’s efforts.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the White House is closely monitoring the stock market, and they are aware that since Biden took office last year there has been a decline in its value.

“We know families are concerned about inflation and the stock market,” said the press secretary. “That is something that the President is really aware of.”

Jean Pierre pointed out that the United States was not alone in its inflation crisis as other countries were also dealing with high prices.

According to the Press Secretary, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the pandemic contributed to the economic problems. Jean-Pierre also stated that the country is better prepared to handle the problems than before Biden’s presidency.

Read also: Inbound International Flight Travelers No Longer Required to Take COVID Test in the U.S.

“The way that we see this is the American people are well-positioned to face these challenges because of the economic historic gains that we have made under this President in the last 16 months,” said the press secretary.

However, Americans are still feeling the negative effects of an economy in shambles, with unemployment rates at 3.6%. 

A gallon of regular gas prices reached $5 for the first time, consumer confidence hit an all-time low and U.S inflation is growing higher than expected; stocks also plunged into a bear market making investors grow nervous at the prospect of harsh rates from the Federal Reserve – which could lead to more economic problems in America’s future.

“We know that high prices are having a real effect on people’s lives,” said Jean-Pierre. “We get that, and we are incredibly focused on doing everything that we can to make sure that the economy is working for the American people. But we are coming out of the strongest jobs market in American history, and that matters. And a lot of that is thanks to the American Rescue Plan.”

The Treasury Secretary says that without former Vice President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan, inflation would have been worse than expected and gas prices might’ve gone up even more.

The President spoke earlier this month, saying he could do little to make an immediate impact on lowering gas or food prices.

“There’s a lot going on right now, but the idea we’re going to be able to click a switch, bring down the cost of gasoline, is not likely in the near term. Nor is it with regard to good,” said the President at the White House.

Read also: Americans’ Wealth Takes a Hit from Stock Market Collapse


White House Adamant That Americans Are Resilient Enough to Face Economic Crisis

Alice Hatcher Shares Story to Two Decades of Entrepreneurship Success

Not every day does one meet an entrepreneur who has had over two decades of entrepreneurial growth. And it’s even rarer for such entrepreneurs to share their stories and secret to success amidst hardships. And that’s what one gets when you meet Alice Hatcher, an entrepreneur and health advocate who wants to share her story with the world.

Alice Hatcher is a trusted entrepreneur and a health and fitness consultant and has been highly involved in the health and beauty industry for over two decades. She opened one of the first medspas in Orange County, CA, in 2005 at and has been in business for over fifteen years.

Hatcher focuses on health and beauty inside out, promoting supplements, collagen, and other ingredients to benefit beauty while being an advocate of dance and therapy through movement. In addition, the health and fitness expert launched a medical skincare brand in 2015, focusing on result-driven medical-grade ingredients to target various skin conditions and lifestyles. Alice also launched their E-comm site in 2010 and is now servicing nationwide and worldwide with virtual consultation to address skin concerns and prescribe the correct products for each individual.

Alice was born in Taipei, Taiwan and immigrated to the US with her family when she was only one year old. Upon moving to America, her mother worked as a night shift nurse while her father studied to be an Engineer. The beginning was rough for them, as Alice recalls living in a cramped one-bedroom apartment. However, the family would eventually open up a Chinese restaurant below their home. 

Being different would also prove to be a challenge. At a young age, Hatcher would get bullied and discriminated against regularly. “As a child, I had difficulty transitioning during the 1980s; I was dealing with racism and bullying for being the only Chinese student in the entire school,” says the resilient health and fitness entrepreneur. 

Despite that, the entrepreneur was able to turn her pain into fuel to push harder. “Every time they kicked me down, it made me stronger,” she recounts. So in 2006, Hatcher would open her medical spa amidst a looming recession. She would go out and solicit people and leave flyers on people’s cars to get them to come into their medical spa. She would even sell gift certificates in the parking lots and then take the clients back to the spa and perform the facial. 

Alice graduated with honors at Paul Mitchell Skin Academy and trained beside Dr.Zein Obagi when the Blue Peel was introduced to the beauty industry and Top one account in the nation for brands like Colorescience, Revision, Obagi, iS Clinical, Neocutis, Vi Peel, Biopelle to also name a few. The health and fitness businesswoman then launched their Ecommerce skincare store, which at the time, online shopping had just started getting big. They had their highest sales the first year, beating our brick-and-mortar. Ever since then, she has realized the importance of ecommerce.

After ten years of blood and sweat, they were able to climb out of their debts, and she then started a skincare brand called “Precision skin RX” using all the knowledge from her aesthetics training and retail experience in her twenties, including working at Clinique, MAC, Estee Lauder, Stila to name a few. 

Now, their businesses are thriving, and they are one of the top medical spas in Orange County, California. Now she hopes to share that success with many more. To learn more about Alice Hatcher and her story, you can visit her Instagram account

Be seen, be heard, and get the word about your brand out there with Unified Brand Lab

The advent of the internet and the continuous innovations in communication technology has truly brought a shift in people’s lifestyles, including the way we shop. Nowadays, everyone goes online to shop for everything they can think of, whether it may be clothes, food, vitamins, or even luxury items. However, with the rise of e-commerce platforms also comes competition, and getting your name noticed out on the internet might prove to be an uphill battle. Thankfully, the team at Unified Brand Lab is here to provide you solutions that will get your name out there and help you maximize your profit.

Unified Brand Lab is a rapidly growing e-Commerce company focused on serving U.S-based and international consumers in the dietary supplement and natural health products market. Powered by its proprietary technology platform, Unified manages all parts of the e-commerce system from customer acquisition to product sourcing and fulfillment, ensuring maximum revenue. Led by a team of industry experts who offer more than a decade of e-Commerce and technology experience, Unified helps create world-class nutritional brands from start to finish and is unmatched in meeting industry demand.

While other e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Shopify offer a space for all kinds of products, Unified provides a platform specifically for niche items in the dietary supplement and the natural health products market, making sure that your brand is in the spotlight. They have seen success in helping products grow, having helped different brands like including Bellera Skin, Real Oil, Nature’s Exclusive CBD, Body Performa, and Maxx Men’s Nutrition.

Unified’s secret lies with their in house-technology platform, which effectively tracks, manages, and optimizes campaign profitability for e-Commerce brands by providing them with the right data and insights that lead them to make profit-making decisions. With this technology, United has created an e-Commerce Ecosystem to scale brands and achieve profitability targets through data analysis, strategic customer acquisition, and supply chain management. 

Aside from their groundbreaking technology platform, Unified also offers a multitude of services that ensure that your business is taken care of 100% of the way. This includes proper supply chain management (which ensure all products sourced are 100% natural and lab-tested), a dedicated customer relations management team, risk mitigations service (dedicated to fraud prevention, chargeback mitigation, and refund rate optimization), technical operations management, and thorough data analysis of crucial key performance indicators (including but not limited to, conversion rates, retention rates, and lifetime value of customers).

In today’s increasingly competitive e-Commerce landscape, being seen and heard is just the beginning of the battle. With its innovative tracking platform and its team of industry experts, Unified has helped various natural health product brands overcome this hurdle and find success online. Let them lend their expertise to you, and help you get the word about your brand out to the world.

To know more about Unified and how they can help you grow your natural products business, you may visit their website here.

John Bommarito: The Industry Expert That Massively Scaled Bommarito Automotive Group Through Innovation 

They say that the success of an enterprise does not come from one person alone. But at the same time, it also greatly helps to have a leader who inspires the people to band together in working towards progress. Such is the story of the Bommarito Automotive Group, a venture that has experienced massive growth under the insightful supervision of its president John Bommarito.

Having been exposed to the family business since childhood, the entrepreneur developed a strong desire for automotives at a young age. Given this, it did not come as a surprise when he finally decided to pursue it full-time. 

When he officially joined the company, he began working as a salesman selling new Mazdas. Then, eager to learn more about the industry, he transferred to the Nissan location and took on the role of Finance Manager. After that, he went on to handle several positions, including General Manager of Bommarito Cellular.

Over the years, John has made numerous game-changing decisions that helped solidify Bommarito Automotive Group’s reputation as an automotive authority in Missouri. For example, the president has helped the enterprise land the highly coveted Honda and Volkswagen franchises in Hazelwood. In 2007, Audi awarded the Bommarito Automotive Group its new high line point in the West St. Louis County area in Ellisville. Now, the venture is among the elite list of car dealerships to carry the most luxurious and sought brands in the market, such as Pontiac, Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Toyota, Suzuki, Nissan, and Honda.

Aside from helping grow its incredible portfolio, John also ushered in a new wave of innovation for the company through a collaboration with Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois. It is a multi-year agreement that was designed to bring back the excitement and enthusiasm for world-class racing in the St. Louis Region after many years. Additionally, for its inaugural show in 2017, the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 was announced with the title sponsor Bommarito Automotive Group bringing all of the cars and stars of the Indianapolis 500.

In keeping with his vision of scaling the brand’s success, the intuitive man spearheaded the venture’s NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series team in 2018. A year later, the Bommarito Automotive Group Indy car series race had quickly grown to become the 3rd largest attended race in the series. On top of that, Indy Car has recognized the president for his exclusive “Audience Enhancement Program,” which has led to the record-breaking attendance for the Bommarito 500 after only two events in the St. Louis region.

John Bommarito has undeniably proven his unrivaled business acumen and passion for his craft. In recognition of the impressive contributions he has made to the industry, he was named winner of the “President Clubs,” a prestigious honor for outstanding Sales and Service awards from franchises like Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Infiniti, and Volkswagen. 

But more than any accolades and distinctions that he received, what truly makes the president of the Bommarito Automotive Group stand out is his exceptional passion for the industry and the company. 

Rhys O’Connell: From Beverly Hills to The Hamptons

One common underlying theme among success stories is how powerful passion and dedication are in transforming dreams into actions. In today’s inherently competitive space, these characteristics’ importance can never be emphasized enough. Among those powerhouses who are setting this example in their pursuits of success is Rhys O’Connell, an esteemed leader in the hospitality services industry who is currently making waves.

Rhys O’Connell is a prestigious hotelier who is widely recognized for his incredible track record across the industry. He is highly acclaimed for elevating luxury hotels and resorts, cementing a reputable stance across the trade. While his list of accomplishments speaks volumes of his brilliance and prowess, nothing compares to his passion and dedication to his craft in serving as a catapulting device towards the summits of success.

Boasting colors that exude a zealous spirit and a driven mindset, Rhys O’Connell has always had an incredible affinity toward the hotel business and management. However, before delving deep into the scene, he began carving his path to greatness in the food and beverage industry, sweeping the trade with his impressive command over the craft. He was working at a luxurious Hyatt brand, which allowed him to gain notoriety and the experience he needed to launch himself further. After his exemplary work in the food and beverage industry, Rhys then pursued his true calling and landed a couple of executive roles in the hospitality services trade, including Luxe Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica.

Having gathered enough experience over the years, this power player was then hired as the director of operations for Hotel Zephyr at the iconic Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Within only five months, he was promoted to general manager. 

While Rhys O’Connell’s career had climbed the summits of success, the world was at a standstill when COVID-19 shook the hospitality services industry to its core. Many businesses, including hotels, closed down, but this power player managed to maneuver Hotel Zephyr towards the pinnacles of triumph during these trying times. The exemplary service he provided to the hotel helped him land a general manager position at Nobu Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, where he initiated a five-star luxury upgrade from what had been a standard facility. He identified and hired appropriate staff, established best practices, and created an upgraded guest experience. As a result, Nobu Hotel became a standard across the industry, with ratings and reviews drastically improved.

Because of the successes he has contributed throughout the global health crisis, this esteemed personality has been featured in Forbes Magazine and voted ‘Hotel General Manager of the Year by the New York Weekly. Currently, Rhys O’Connell continues to make waves as he leads the unveiling of exclusive resorts in The Hamptons, New York and Moab, Utah.

Even with his established venture and highly lucrative career, Rhys O’Connell shows no signs of slowing down. Determined to keep going, he plans to continue demonstrating excellence and quality service in her future endeavors within the hospitality services industry.

Tension Rises Between Amazon and Staten Island Facilities Union

When workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island voted to form a labor union two months ago, it was the first time that any group had been successful in the major corporation. Leaders of this movement have since worked tirelessly towards achieving their mission, visiting Washington D.C. and presenting testimony before a Senate committee.

Chris Smalls is a labor leader and fashion figure who has been recognized by the public for his role in both of those worlds.

The tension between the company and its employees is at an all-time high as several worker-organizers were fired, and the move by Amazon has sparked a heated response from the union.

Two US senators – Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand – have called on Amazon CEO Andy Jassy to acknowledge the union rather than fight it.

Meanwhile, Amazon is contesting the results of their election in response to more than two dozen objects lodged by concerned parties that accused them and their regional office on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The agency denied the company’s charges against it.

Read also: Wealth Assistants Offers Service that Helps Clients Experience a Financial Breakthrough in Amazon

The Amazon Labor Union announced that they will be traveling to Phoenix, Arizona for a rally calling on the company during a hearing that the company initially requested be held closed to the public but was denied.

The battle to organize Amazon’s warehouse workforce is far from over, but the Staten Island Union victory offers a hopeful sign for organized labor. Other facilities have tried and failed in their bid for recognition before. As a result of the union, Amazon will likely turn to other warehouses instead.

Amazon has been vocal about their opinion that while employees have the freedom to join a union, they prefer communicating directly with workers.

The grassroots union is accused of intimidating employees and leveraging organizing efforts to win the unionization.

The attorney for the union fired back at these objections, calling them “racist and absurd.”

“These objections are insulting to the workers of JFK8 who survived the pandemic and defeated a trillion-dollar company just to see Amazon use their highly-paid lawyers to silence the voices of thousands of their workers,” said union president Chris Smalls.

The Twitter account for the union declared war on Amazon after they fired another worker-organizer.

Kelly Nantel, a spokesperson for Amazon, explained that the employee’s violent workplace behavior was what prompted them to fire him.

Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of Labor Education Research at Cornell University’s School for Industrial and Labor Relations said that Amazon’s actions are unsurprising. She pointed out they have avoided unionization since long before the turn of this century.

“They’re going to fight to stay non-union for a very long time,” she added. “Until the cost of being non-union becomes greater than the cost of being union, and that’s going to take having their customers, and their investors put a great deal of pressure on them.”

Read also: Dave Clark to Bring Two Decades of Experience to Flexport

AC Milan Sees RedBird Take Over Elliott Management As New Owners

RedBird Capital Partners has shown heavy interest in European football, having invested in England club Liverpool and second-tier team Toulouse. Recently they shifted their attention to Italy by securing AC Milan as one of the biggest deals yet with the recently crowned Serie A champions.

The AC Milan club was under the management of yet another New York based investment fund Elliott Management, which took over after former owner Li Yonghong defaulted on €300 million worth high-interest debt.

RedBird’s first project was Toulouse, a French club that recently won the second division to earn a promotion into France’s top flight. The hunt for more European football teams continued as Redbird looked at clubs throughout Europe with executives investing two years in looking at different places until they found what was right for them.

The fund saw an opportunity when talks between Elliott Management and Investcorp continued for months without producing a deal.

Read also: Marcelo Bids Real Madrid Goodbye Following Champions League Victory, Leaving the Club with 25 Trophies to His Legacy

Gerry Cardinale, founder and managing partner of RedBird, swooped in with a €1.2 billion deal to acquire the club. As a result, Elliott Management was provided with €600 million of the funding and will retain a minority stake.

The Italian giants have been revitalized under new management. After more than a decade-long drought, they won their first Scudetto in eleven years thanks to manager Stefano Piolo and technical director Paolo Maldini’s astute decision making skills. RedBird seeks to help the club maintain its momentum.

Although there were concerns regarding Maldini’s role following the takeover, Cardinale has met with the director to discuss his extension with the club.

The stadium has not been remodeled in years, and RedBird plans on building a new, state-of the art venue that will increase club revenue streams while also making matches more exciting for supporters.

“A brand of this scale, like AC Milan, should have infrastructure that is indicative of its football prowess and global potential,” said Cardinale. “We’ve had a lot of experience with stadium projects in the U.S. Milan and Italy deserve a world-class stadium that houses the best of sports and entertainment on a global scale.”

Read also: The USMNT Stood in Solidarity for Gun Control During Their Friendly Against Uruguay


New York Investment Fund RedBird Takes Over Italian Football Giants AC Milan

Inbound International Flight Travelers No Longer Required to Take COVID Test in the U.S.

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, it made traveling abroad difficult for many people. This led countries to close their borders until they could be properly vaccinated while others put up a strict COVID test requirement.

During Trump’s administration, the country put up a testing requirement in 2021. With Biden’s presidency, the requirement grew stricter.

The airline industry required travelers from abroad to present a negative COVID test. Those who were traveling by car were not required to undergo the test.

Read also: UK’s Plan to Deport Asylum Seekers to Rwanda Delayed Due to Legal Challenges

However, the Biden administration recently lifted a requirement on Sunday ending one of most prolonged travel restrictions during pandemic times.

The administration was asked to abandon this requirement by airlines because it significantly reduced demand for international trips.

The CEO of American Airlines, Robert Isom expressed his frustration with the current flight rule in Washington D.C., calling it “nonsensical.”

Several figures in the industry have celebrated this decision, which will undoubtedly be good news for many people looking to travel again.

“The Biden administration is to be commended for this action, which will welcome back visitors from around the world and accelerate the recovery of the U.S. travel industry,” said Roger Dow, president of the U.S. Travel Association. “International inbound travel is vitally important to businesses and workers across the country who have struggled to regain losses from this valuable sector.”

Mike Liptak, the vice president of government relations for the Travel Technology Association, said that travel and tourism are crucial to recovering from pandemic

The CEO of Airlines for America, Nick Calio announced his excitement about the decision and said they are looking forward to working with the Biden administration in order to make sure air travel policies prioritize safety as well as customer experience.

Senior Biden administration officials have announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will reassess their decision after 90 days.

“If there is a need to reinstate a pre-departure testing requirement – including due to a new, concerning variant – CDC will not hesitate to act,” said the official.

Read also: Shift in Grocery Shopping Habits Can Be Attributed to Soaring Food Price


The U.S. Lifts COVID-19 Testing Requirement for Inbound International Air Travelers