The Chicago Journal

Walmart will trust automation to improve profits

WalmartIncreased prices and rising interest rates have altered the economic landscape, causing firms to reevaluate their strategies.

To boost profitability, Walmart, an international retailer, has extended the use of automation throughout its supply chain.

The future of Walmart

Walmart detailed its automation goals during its investor presentation last week.

Automation would allow the organization to better manage inventory, replace shelves, and respond to online inquiries.

The company’s 1.4 million-square-foot factory in Brooksville, Florida, was exhibited to investors.

This is the first automated distribution facility for packaged foods and other shelf-ready household items in the world.

In addition, Walmart plans to deploy the same Symbotic automation in all 42 regional distribution centers.

Walmart will purchase a majority stake in Symbotic, a warehouse technology firm, in 2022.

According to the corporation, by the end of January, more than a third of its facilities will have automated delivery.

A broader plan

Walmart’s automation is part of a bigger plan to increase profits.

According to CEO Doug McMillon, revenue will grow at a 4% annual rate in the next years.

Nonetheless, the proportion is lower than the 8% reported in the three years preceding the pandemic.

It is, however, faster than the 3.1% and 3.6% growth rates observed in the three years preceding the global pandemic.

McMillon also forecasted that over the next five years, profitability will climb faster than sales as Walmart focuses on automation while expanding higher-margin categories such as:

  • Advertising
  • Last-mile delivery
  • Fulfillment services

New ways to shop

According to Doug McMillon, Walmart has given customers more options for online transactions and speedier delivery of items.

The firm now has a bigger product offering, including distinctive brands in a number of industries.

Furthermore, more suppliers are utilizing the company’s third-party marketplace.

“We’re now in a phase that is less about scaling store pickup and delivery, e-commerce assortment, and e-commerce FC [fulfillment center] square footage and more about execution and operating margin improvement,” said McMillion.

Within three years, Walmart plans to automate more than two-thirds of its shops.

Automated facilities will handle more than 55% of fulfillment center tasks, and unit prices may decline by 20%.

Read also: Meta will charge users for its subscription service

A shift in workforce

Walmart is widely regarded as one of the largest employers in the United States, and the company’s 1.6 million employees may be laid off as a result of the automation effort.

Only a few individuals were present on the distribution center floor during the Brooksville facility tour.

The total number of staff, however, has remained unchanged.

According to David Guggina, executive vice president of Walmart’s US supply chain operations, automation is about increasing capacity rather than eliminating jobs.

Guggina claims that because the work is less physically demanding, retention has improved.

While he was unable to provide specific turnover data, he did state that no employees left the factory in the year after its automation.

Meanwhile, Doug McMillon is certain that the retailer’s employees will be retained.

However, he did hint that the structure will be changed.

Walmart, for example, may require fewer employees to transport pallets in warehouses but more employees to complete online purchases.

Layoffs and automation spending

Hundreds of thousands of Walmart employees have been laid off around the country.

According to McMillon, the layoffs were prompted by a rise in internet sales during the early years of the pandemic, with the company seeking to determine their sales pattern outside of the holidays.

Walmart has not disclosed the amount of money it intends to invest in automation initiatives.

According to Chief Financial Officer John David Rainey, the company forecasts capital expenditures to be somewhat higher than in 2022, ranging between 2.5% and 3% of revenues.

Rainey also claimed that 90% of the company’s capital expenditures will go toward high-return industries including e-commerce, retail enhancements, and supply chain.

Changed routines

Some employees’ behaviors have already changed as a result of Walmart’s extended rollout.

Beginning in 1995 at the Brooksville distribution facility, James Molina documented his narrative.

He added that he had previously managed inventory for years but had become tired of carrying massive boxes with a pallet jack or forklift.

Molina, on the other hand, may witness the robots unloading the container and intervene if something goes wrong.

He wouldn’t need a pen and paper because scanners catch everything.

Molina is also able to leave work without feeling tired, allowing him to teach high school soccer.

“I even kick the ball sometimes,” said Molina.

Electric vehicles improve in sales for 2022

Electric vehicles:Electric vehicles have become more popular than ever before, and manufacturers besides Tesla are becoming more recognized.

Matt Degen, an editor at Cox Automotive, a website and company devoted to cars, described the situation best.

“It’s not your eyes tricking you,” highlighted Degen.

“For the longest time, the majority of the EVs on the road were Teslas, and they still get the lion’s share of sales.”

“But they’re now hardly the only game in town.”

The numbers

5.6% of the automobiles sold in 2021, according to Kelley Blue Book, were electric vehicles.

Two years ago, only 1.4% of EVs were sold.

Norway was referenced by BloombergNEF expert Corey Cantor in connection to the performance within the global markets.

The 5% market share underlined a crucial turning point for greater adoption.

dBloombergNEF added that markets like China and Europe experience similar changes.

Although plug-in hybrids were listed among the “electric vehicles” by Bloomberg, battery-power vehicles account for the majority of them.

A norm

5% can seem like a little amount, but it could signal the beginning of something becoming common.

For instance, according to Cox Automotive, Hyundai’s overall US market share and the market share for electric vehicles are comparable.

Purchasing a Hyundai doesn’t feel out of the ordinary, and the same is true for electric cars.

However, the main obstacle to buying an electric vehicle is the convenience.

“I think now the demand is definitely there,” said Cantor.

“It’s just been more a supply side of automakers not being able to ship enough.”

Read also: Tax credit for EVs in 2023 leads to confusion

Supply & demand

The distribution of parts has been a problem for the entire year 2022 in the global car industry, which has hindered production for a range of vehicles.

The unexpected popularity of a few electric vehicle models caught the manufacturers off guard.

As an example, the 2021 Mustang Mach-E was the first electric vehicle to compete with Tesla sales.

Since then, Ford has had trouble keeping up with demand.

According to Darren Palmer, vice president of electric vehicle initiatives at Ford, every Mach-Es produced by the company was made in response to a specific customer order.

“We could sell it out at least two or three times over,” said Palmer.

“We have held back from launching more global markets because we’re completely sold out.”

The F-150 Lightning is a later version of the F-series pickup truck made by Ford.

The factory where the Lightning is made in Michigan is also being expanded by the manufacturer.


The selection of electric vehicles on the market has also been expanding.

Eleven electric vehicle models sold more than 1,000 units in 2019, claims Kelley Blue Book.

This year, there were 26 different models.

Hyundai and Kia launched new models for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6 even though they already sold electric vehicles.

The R1S SUV and R1T truck were released by Rivian.

General Motors also observed an increase in sales after the Bolt EV and Bolt EUC were brought to the market after a battery fire recall.

The market currently provides electric cars from the premium manufacturers listed below:

  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Genesis
  • Mercedes
  • Volvo

“There’s different segments, there’s different price levels,” said Matt Degen.

“It’s not just having to spend $50,000 or $100,000 on an EV anymore.”

According to Tony Quiroga, editor-in-chief of Car and Driver, cheaper electric vehicles have become better as a result of longer driving ranges and faster charging periods.

Additionally winning the 2022 Car and Driver Electric Vehicle of the Year award was the Hyundai Ioniq 5 ($41,000 starting MSRP).

“It’ll go from 10% to 80% on a fast charger in 18 minutes,” said Tony Quiroga. “Which is something that only the luxury brands were doing.”

Read also: Robots prove clinical to restaurant industry this year

Inflation Reduction Act

Despite the availability of a wider choice of electric vehicles, it is predicted that EV sales will rise as production problems are resolved.

However, several questions remain unsolved.

According to Jessica Caldwell, industry analyst for, gas prices may have something to do with the rise in interest for electric vehicles earlier this year.

The recent steep drop in gas prices may make consumers think twice about purchasing electric vehicles next year.

The consequences of the Inflation Reduction Act, meanwhile, remain undetermined.

The terms under which electric vehicles might be eligible for consumer tax credits were changed by the act, which was passed this year.

Furthermore, it establishes a limit on the car’s price based on the buyer’s income.

A few requirements also support indigenous production of the batteries that power electric vehicles.

The question isn’t how many electric vehicles will be eligible, says Corey Cantor, but rather which one.

“So, if a Tesla Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt, and the Tesla Model Y, and a Ford Mach-E and an F-150 Lightning all qualify, those are high volume vehicles,” said Cantor.

Due to their popularity and high sales, incentives may lead to an increase in the sale of electric vehicles.


Electric vehicle sales hit a tipping point in 2022

Flavored tobacco banned in California, stores required to add warning signs

Flavored tobacco: On Monday, the Supreme Court denied a request by RJ Reynolds to challenge a California law banning the sale of flavored tobacco products.

RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company

RJRT (RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company) is the second-largest tobacco company in the United States.

The company’s cigarette brands account for over a third of the country’s cigarette sales.

RJRT offers products in all segments of the cigarette market and manufactures many of the best sellers in the United States, including:

  • Newport
  • Camel
  • Snus
  • Pall Mall

The ban

In November, voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 31.

It bans the sale of most flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes.

Menthol cigarettes are one of the company’s biggest sellers, and RJRT has argued that the new California law conflicts with tobacco control law.

The Tobacco Control Act provides authority for the federal Food and Drug Administration to regulate the sale of cigarettes.

The court first passed the law two years ago.

However, the tobacco companies successfully funded a campaign blocking its implementation and raised the issue in the 2022 statewide vote.

The judges upheld the law without explanation or opinion from the public.

The ban will take effect on December 21.

The law

In November, Californians went to the polls to approve the ballot initiative by a majority of 63.5% to 36.5%.

The law, SB 793, states:

“Proposition 31 (SB 793) prohibits in-person stores and vending machines from selling most flavored tobacco products or tobacco product flavor enhancers.”

“The proposition does not ban shisha (hookah) tobacco sold and used at the store, certain cigars, or loose-leaf tobacco.”

Additionally, the law defines flavors as anything beyond the regular flavor of tobacco., including:

  • Fruit
  • Menthol
  • Honey
  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla

The law imposes a $250 fine on store and vending machine owners who violate the requirements.


Lawyers for RJ Reynolds argued that the lower court wrongly ignored federal law and allowed states to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products outright because they failed to meet tobacco product standards.

Further, the attorneys noted that in 2009, Congress passed a sweeping regime to divide tobacco product regulatory powers between the FDA and state and local governments.

They also said the law gives the FDA primary authority to regulate tobacco products.

During the legal briefs, California urged the judiciary not to interfere in the dispute.

They argued that states had exercised their authority to protect the health of their citizens for more than a century.

California attorney Rob Bonta said the law was needed, saying:

“Flavored tobacco products are the central cause of unfavorable trends in youth addiction to tobacco.”

Bonta also pointed out that the tobacco industry spent tens of millions of dollars persuading voters to repeal California’s ban, which it did not.

Furthermore, the attorney said that when Congress passed the Tobacco Control Act 13 years ago, it protected established state authority over selling tobacco products.

Read also: Carvana faces bankruptcy after cutting workforce

California ban conclusion

Following the ban on flavored tobacco products, attorney Bonta applauded the Supreme Court for rejecting Big Tobacco’s recent attempt to block California’s common sense ban.

“The voters of California approved this ban by an overwhelming margin in the November election, and now it will finally take effect,” said Bonta.

“I look forward to continuing to defend this important law against any further legal challenges.”

Health warning signs

Last week, the Justice Department announced that cigarette manufacturers would be required to post warning signs at retail locations about the health effects of smoking.

The ordinance will come into effect on July 1, 2023.

It is the latest in a long line of court-ordered actions in a 1999 lawsuit against cigarette manufacturers.

Past lawsuit

The order stems from a 1999 lawsuit filed in the District of Columbia by a coalition of anti-tobacco and public health advocacy groups.

This led to a ruling that cigarette manufacturers were misleading consumers about the health risks of smoking.

Since 2017, similar health warnings have appeared in newspapers, television, cigarette packs, and company websites.

The order

The Justice Department order requires the following brands of cigarettes to show the signs for two years.

  • Philip Morris USA Inc
  • RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company
  • Four cigarette brands under the ITG Brands

Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta released a statement, writing:

“Justice Department attorneys have worked diligently for over 20 years to hold accountable the tobacco companies that defrauded consumers about the health risks of smoking.”

Read also: Cannabis shops to open in New York with challenges

The signs

The ordinance requires retail signs to have an eye-catching design that includes warnings such as:

“Smoking cigarettes causes numerous diseases, and on average 1,200 American deaths every day.”

“The nicotine in cigarettes is highly addictive, and that cigarettes have been designed to create and sustain addiction.”

According to the Justice Department, the order applies to more than 200,000 outlets in the United States that have merchandising agreements with cigarette manufacturers.


Supreme Court declines to block California’s ban on flavored cigarettes

Supreme Court upholds California ban on flavored tobacco

Cigarette companies ordered to display health warning signs at retailers

Foxconn production is back, reviving iPhone city

Foxconn, Apple’s supplier, has announced plans to gradually restore manufacturing capacity at its sprawling campus in central China.

Covid-19 restrictions and worker protests hit the site two months ago.


Known as iPhone City, Foxconn has hundreds of thousands of employees.

The Taiwanese contractor said that they recently brought the factory’s epidemic situation under control.

“We have also started to recruit new employees,” the statement said.

“And [we] are gradually moving toward the direction of restoring production capacity to normal.”

The Foxconn statement says that the fourth quarter outlook likely aligns with market consensus.

Read also: Elon Musk wary of Twitter removal from Apple


Continued supply disruption to Foxconn’s Zhengzhou campus is costing Apple more than $1 billion a week in lost iPhone sales, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives.

Ives estimates that Apple will be short on just over 10-15 million iPhones before the holiday season.

The disruptions came in October after workers left the campus over concerns about working conditions and food shortages.

The factory offered bonuses to employees due to worker shortages.

However, protests erupted in November when newly hired employees claimed management had not kept its promises.

As a result, employees clashed with security officers before the company offered them cash to quit and leave.

Analysts say the iPhone city’s manufacturing woes are speeding up Apple’s supply chain diversification outside of China.

Read also: Apple to see iPhone 14 models shipment setback

Production shift

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple recently accelerated plans to move production out of China.

Additionally, the tech giant is telling suppliers to move Apple product assembly to other countries like India and Vietnam.

Daniel Ives wrote a report on Sunday, saying:

“The shift out of China will not be easy and come with clear logistical, engineering, and infrastructure hurdles as the aggressive move to India and Vietnam now begins with the Apple ecosystem alerted.”

If Apple acted aggressively, more than 50% of iPhone production could come from India and Vietnam by the 2025/2026 fiscal year.


Foxconn says it’s restoring production at the world’s largest iPhone factory

Billy McFarland creates another “big” music festival

Billy McFarland has tarnished his name by attempting to host one of the biggest parties in the world: the Fyre Festival.

However, the whole world witnessed the event flop.

You’d think Billy McFarland would learn his lesson, but he’s now ready to create a new event.

This time the next event takes place in the virtual world.

The news

Billy McFarland is currently trying to rebuild his name with another major music festival.

However, for the brave few who want to hear about the creator of the Fyre Festival and enjoy the music festival, they should shell out $250.

Even stranger is the revelation that McFarland will use the $50 from ticket sales to pay off his debt.


Billy McFarland shared his plans online with a video from TikTok.

He announced to the world that the music festival would be called PYRT (pronounced pirate).

In a short video, the creator of Fyre Festival explained that PYRT would partner with a remote destination.

They welcome artists, content creators, entrepreneurs and others willing to join the PYRT crew.

Read also: Sam Bankman-Fried, ‘Look, I screwed up’

The virtual aspect

Although PYRT is strongly reminiscent of the Fyre Festival, prospective audiences need not fear being stranded on a tropical island.

Billy McFarland dubs the event a “virtual immersive and decentralized reality.”

However, he said the event would not be part of the Metaverse.

Instead, McFarland says the technology is very close to the Metaverse.

The Fyre Festival creator added that the event would be held in either the Bahamas or a similar location.

The latter is more probable since the Bahamas government does not want to ally itself with Billy McFarland.

The Bahamian reception

Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper released a statement following McFarland’s teaser in November.

Cooper wrote:

“The public is advised that no application has been made to the Government of the Bahamas for consideration of any event promoted by Billy McFarland or any entity or parties known to be associated with him.”

“The Government of the Bahamas will not endorse or approve any event in the Bahamas associated with him.”

The Bahamian politician also called McFarland a fugitive, noting he had several pending charges filed by the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

Read also: The Federal Reserve resort to smaller hikes

Fyre Festival aftermath

The creator of the Fyre festival has since written to the government to apologize for the damage it has caused.

“My main focus is how I can right the wrongs and how I can make the Bahamas and Family Islands, a region I care so deeply about, whole again,” wrote McFarland.

Billy McFarland was sentenced to six years in prison for fraud in 2018.

He was also ordered to pay $26 million for the mess of a music festival.

McFarland was accused of defrauding investors from $27.4 million and was later convicted of selling festival tickets and other events.


Fyre Festival creator Billy McFarland launches new virtual music festival that costs $250 per ticket

Federal Reserve continues with another rate hike

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday approved another consecutive rate hike, one of the most recent and serious moves to fight inflation.

The hike

The Federal Reserve approved a fourth consecutive rate hike of three-quarters of a percentage point.

The hike takes the average central bank lending rate to a new range of 3.75% to 4%.

This is the highest interest rate in more than a decade since January 2008.

The Fed’s rate hike is the latest aggressive attempt to rein in the inflation plaguing the US economy.

The decision

Wednesday’s decision comes after the Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day policy meeting.

It also marks the Federal Reserve’s most challenging policy move since the 1980s.

The decision threatens to increase the economic pain for millions of US businesses and households by increasing the cost of borrowing.

It can potentially trigger a recession.

Read also: Stock market movement largely positive in October this year

Soft landing

At a press conference after the meeting, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged that the road to a soft landing was narrowing.

Despite the narrowing lane, he assures people that it is still possible.

Soft landings are a process to cool the economy while avoiding a recession.

“The inflation picture has become more and more challenging over the course of this year,” said Powell.

“That means we have to have policy be more restrictive, and that narrows the path to a soft landing.”

Jerome Powell reiterated his commitment to reducing inflation.

Furthermore, he asserted that continued inflation would cause more economic suffering compared to a recession.

New language

The Fed’s November statement included a new section added by officials, which came as a surprise.

The Federal Reserve generally repeats the same language on every release.

In its latest statement, the Federal Open Market Committee assumes that further increases in the target range are needed to adopt a monetary policy stance.

Monetary policy is tight in an attempt to bring inflation back to 2%.

Fed watchers might speculate that adding “over time” to their inflation target would have fewer negative consequences.

Further, it could mean the Fed would revert from aggressive rate hikes to lower rate hikes over the longer term.

The statement further stated:

“In determining the pace of future increases in the target range, the Committee will take into account the cumulative tightening of monetary policy, the lags with which monetary policy affects economic activity and inflation, and economic and financial developments.”

Cooling economy

The new language also paves the way for lowering interest rates, recognizing that monetary policy can cool the economy.

Despite the economic data showing strong growth, the cooling economy appears to be working.

Wall Street may also see the new language as a response to the criticism regarding the Fed over-correcting with high rate hikes that could harm the economy.

Read also: Huge rally in the stock market a good sign in October


Recent data shows that mortgage rates are reaching levels not seen in 20 years and are starting to weigh on the housing market.

New home sales in September were down 10.9% from August.

They are also down 17.6% compared to 2021.

However, inflationary pressures are also easing.

Wages and salaries increased by 1.2% in the third quarter after 1.6% in the second quarter.

However, despite the changes, the labor market remained tense.

The number of vacancies increased in September to 1.9 vacancies per available employee.

Friday’s job report is expected to show the economy will add 200,000 jobs in October.

While it is lower than last month, the number remains at an all-time high.


The Fed makes history with a fourth straight three-quarter-point rate hike

Apple continues positive streak amid inflation

Apple beat Wall Street analysts’ sales and earnings forecasts for the September quarter despite a tough earnings season.

September quarter revenue overcame fears that demand for the latest iPhone series was weaker than anticipated.


Apple posted revenue of more than $90 billion in the fourth fiscal quarter, up 8% from the same period last year.

In addition, revenue reached $20.7 billion, a gain of less than 1% from the same quarter in the year before.

Apple CFO Luca Maestri also released a statement:

“Our record September quarter results continue to demonstrate our ability to execute effectively in spite of a challenging and volatile macroeconomic backdrop.”

Following the report, the company’s shares fell more than 1% after hours.

Read also: Workers at an Apple store in Oklahoma vote to unionize

Apple products

Sales of the company’s products increased 9% year-over-year to nearly $71 billion.

The growth shows a decrease in the growth rate compared to the previous year, but it was already expected.

Consumers are currently grappling with fears of a possible recession amid high inflation.

Meanwhile, the significant dollar value still raises doubts about Apple’s success in convincing international users to upgrade their devices.

Apple CEO Tim Cook says the company set an iPhone sales record on an analyst call in September.

Services segment

Apple’s service segments posted revenue of $19.2 billion, up 5% from the quarter a year ago and a year-over-year decline.

The Services segment includes paid subscriptions, such as Apple TV+ and Apple Music.

It is a powerhouse for Apple and compensates for the slow growth of Apple’s hardware business.

According to Maestri, subscriptions to paid services are more than 900 million.

Last year, there were only 155 million paid subscriptions.

Read also: Flash report: EU looking to phase out Apple’s Lightning connector in favor of USB-C

Raised prices

The company raised the prices of its music and TV streaming services this week to boost sales. analyst Jesse Cohen issued a bullish statement, saying:

“Like other major tech companies, even Apple is suffering from the negative impact of a worsening macro backdrop and ongoing supply chain woes.”

“Though, it has done a better job of navigating through the challenging environment,” Cohen added.

According to Luca Maestri, Apple expects revenue growth to slow in the December quarter from a year earlier.

He cites the strength of the US dollar and continued macroeconomic weakness as factors behind the slowdown in growth.


Apple is weathering the economic downturn better than fellow tech giants

NFL All Day comes out as a dark horse with more sales generated in the NFT space


The NFL is the newest sports league to join the NFT space, and the sale of the NFL All Day platform has shown great results.

Since the public launch, NFT’s sales have hit the 24-hour sales chart.

NFL All Day

NFL All Day had months of closed beta development and opened to the public in August.

Developed by Dapper Labs, the officially licensed collection launched alongside the NFL regular season and achieved amazing results.

In the first weeks of the season, surveys showed users buying more stream-based NFTs on Sundays. It is usually played on Sundays.


The current cryptocurrency bear market is having a significant impact on NFT prices and sales volume.

However, NFL All Day has skyrocketed and sales are increasing.

On September 12 and 19, NFL All Day topped CryptoSlam’s overall 24-hour NFT market rankings.

In a series of exceptional events, NFT managed to outperform Bored Ape Yacht Club and other blue-chip projects.

The average selling price of Bored Apes in September was around $110,000.

The average retail price for the NFL All Day is now $31.

On September 11, the first big slate of the season, the NFL recorded a one-day secondary market worth nearly $1.17 million.

The number showed an increase of almost 283% from the previous day.

The momentum of the platform continued the next day, reaching over $1.1 million on September 12.

This happened on September 18, when the platform managed to generate over $905,000 in NFT sales, a 204% increase from the previous day.

Sales rose slightly to nearly $906,000.

More than two weeks later, Tuesday’s overall sales volume dropped significantly.

As more NFL All Day NFTs have been selling out on Sundays and Mondays, the average retail price has increased over time.

On September 10, over 10,900 NFTs were sold on the platform for $28 each. The next day, nearly 29,400 NFTs were sold at an average price of less than $40.

NFT buy bumps

Dave Feldman, senior vice president of marketing at Dapper Labs, said the company is seeing increased engagement every game day.

Data from CryptoSlam shows a slight increase each day from Wednesday to Thursday since the start of the regular season.

“That doesn’t come as a surprise to us,” Feldman said.

He pointed out a few possible reasons why collectors buy more during games.

According to Feldman, Dapper has completed a playbook feature dedicated to weekly challenges involving acquiring NFTS and interacting with the platform.

Users who complete challenges can earn rewards ranging from NFT packs to cosmetic discounts for their profile, including trophies and banners.

From interacting through social media to playing in fantasy leagues, Feldman sees life in the NFL as a complement to the lives of football fans.

“We’re not asking anyone to change their behavior,” he said.

“Instead, we’re just giving them the opportunity to own a piece of the action that they are already so passionate about.”

Online community traffic

Dave Feldman also credits the playbook feature with increasing traffic for the NFL All Day community.

Week after week since launch, traffic on Discord servers grew by 53%, in line with the first week of the season.

There was also a 65% increase in Discord chat activity.

Dapper Labs

Dapper Labs promotes its NFT collectibles on the official NFL network with ads featuring Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The company also uses paid advertising on social networks to attract new users.

NFL All Day follows the same approach as NBA Top Shot, which was successful during the NFT boom in early 2021.

Both platforms take existing video clips of their respective sports and turn them into limited-edition digital collectibles.

However, the two sports are also very different as the NBA offers games throughout the week while NFL games usually take place on Sundays.

Some games are played on Mondays and Thursdays, allowing Dapper Labs to deliver content and announcements on certain days.


NFL All Day NFT sales surge on Sundays during football games

Even used cars are becoming more unaffordable as CarMax suffers losses

With higher prices and rising interest rates amid inflation, shoppers find it hard to dream of big purchases.

Houses, cars, and even gadgets have become unaffordable luxuries for most people.

Used cars are also plagued by inflation for car buyers.

The findings

CarMax, the largest used car dealership in the United States, saw its sales drop sharply.

On Thursday, the company said its profits fell 54% as the number of cars sold in the quarter fell 6.4% from 2021.

CarMax attributes the decline to “vehicle affordability challenges” resulting from inflationary pressures, rising interest rates, and low consumer confidence.

Although higher prices boosted the company’s overall sales, the results lagged analysts polled via Refinitiv.

The figures alarmed investors.

Shares across the industry

On Thursday, shares of CarMax (KMX) plunged more than 24%.

They weren’t the only ones, as the shares of other auto dealers all fell.

Shares of competitor Carvana (CVNA) fell 23%, while AutoNation (AN), the country’s largest new car dealer, fell 10%.

Meanwhile, other automakers such as General Motors (GM), Ford (F) and Tesla (TSLA) also had lower stakes.

Car prices

Car prices have risen steadily over the past two years.

The shortage of parts, especially computer chips, has limited supply due to increased consumer demand.

Rising prices have played a major role in general inflationary pressures, as roughly 40% of US households buy a car every year.

In recent months, the Federal Reserve has aggressively raised interest rates (at a historic pace) to keep prices in check.

The central bank has also tried to reduce consumer demand and slow the economy.

Used car prices today

According to the Consumer Price Index, a key measure of inflation, used car prices have fallen 2% from their all-time high in January last month.

However, the numbers are still 48% higher than in August 2019.

Meanwhile, new car prices hit a record high in August this year, rising 30% over the past three years.

According to CarMax, the average car price for the three months to August was $28,657, up 9.6% year-over-year.

However, it was also down 1% sequentially.

However, CarMax executives said it’s not just the cost of buying and financing a car that’s been dragging down sales.

General pressure on household balance sheets due to general inflation has also been a problem.

William Nash, the CEO of CarMax, was addressing investors when he pointed out that the prices were higher than before.

“Consumer confidence, certainly during the quarter, [reached] all-time low as far as recent history, I mean even lower than the height of the pandemic,” he said.

“So I think consumers are prioritizing their spending a little differently.”

Due to the increase in reserves to cover any credit losses in the financial sector, CarMax’s results also suffered.

The company more than doubled the $35.5 million it had in reserve a year ago, reaching $75.5 million at the end of the final quarter.


Used cars have become unaffordable

Housing prices set for another hit as mortgage rates surge to 7%

Inflation hit home prices hard and mortgage rates continued to rise, hitting 7% for the sixth week in a row.

For the week of September 29, the 30-year mortgage was at 6.70%, up 6.29% from the previous week.

Mortgage rates are at their highest since July 2007.

Mortgage rates

Inflation has risen since the start of this year, lowering the Federal Reserve’s borrowing costs.

As a result, mortgage rates more than doubled. The campaign and central bank efforts to contain inflation have fueled investor concerns about runaway bond markets.

“The uncertainty and volatility in financial markets is heavily impacting mortgage rates,”  said Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddi Mac.

According to Freddie Mac, the average mortgage rate is based on a study of conventional mortgages to purchase homes for borrowers with excellent credit and a 20% down payment.

Why are interest rates rising at such a furious pace?

The Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate hikes are producing the results needed to reduce demand, especially in the real estate sector.

Rising interest rates caused house prices to drop, leading to a drop in sales.

However, there is still a shortage of owner-occupied homes, which keeps prices high.

According to Bob Broeksmit, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Fed’s efforts to curb inflation are having a major impact on the mortgage market.

“Mortgage rates have increased more than a percentage point in the past six week,” said Broeksmit.

“Refinance and purchase applications continue to decrease on both a weekly and annual basis.” executive and economist George Ratiu said rates should continue to rise, stating:

“While even two months ago rates above 7% may have seemed unthinkable, at the current pace, we can expect rates to surpass that level in the next three months.”

While the Fed does not directly set the interest rates that borrowers pay on mortgages, its actions do have an impact.

For example, mortgage rates are generally based on the yield of 10-year US Treasury bonds.

When investors see or expect interest rate increases, they sell government bonds, which results in higher yields and higher mortgage rates.

Ten-year government bond yields hit 4% this week, a level last seen in 2008.

According to Ratiu, financial market volatility is an indicator of uncertainty, driven by solid economic activity and expectations of a slowdown in 2023.

“The main concern is Americans’ ability to weather 40-year high inflation, which is shrinking paychecks amid sharp rent increases and still-rising home prices, not to mention high interest rates, which are curbing households’ ability to borrow,” said Ratiu.

Deterioration of affordability

Would-be buyers are grappling with the most inaccessible housing market in the past four decades, driven by stubbornly high house prices, rising interest rates and falling wage values.

According to a calculation by Freddie Mac, buyers who paid 20% for a $ 390,000 home in 2021 and financed the rest with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at an average interest rate of 3.01% had a monthly mortgage payment of $ 1,317.

Today, homeowners who pay 6.70% interest for the same home would pay $ 2,013 per month in principal and interest, or $ 696 more per month.

According to, mortgage rates have increased significantly this year, costing typical buyers $ 107,000 in purchasing power.

Families earning an average income on a 20% down payment could afford homes for $ 448,700 at the beginning of the year when the interest rate was 3.1%.

According to data from, the same family can only buy a $ 341,700 home with interest rates up to 7%.

“The huge surge in mortgage rates over the last nine months have squashed many buyers’ budgets, leading to a significant pullback in transactions,” said Ratiu.


Mortgage rates surge, closing in on 7%