**__ Diplomatt’s Daily Digest – May 18, 2022__**
Good morning and happy Wednesday, everyone! What a week it has been, at least for me. Let’s dive into the news, shall we? U.S. stock futures fell after another major retailer warned of rising cost pressures, confirming the fears over inflation that have sent major benchmarks to big losses so far this year. Wednesday’s market reversal comes after shares had been mounting a comeback off the year’s lows. Stocks and other risk assets have been pressured by inflation and the Federal Reserve’s attempt to tamp down price increases through rate hikes, which has led to concerns about a potential recession. On the flip side, some recent economic data, including the jobs report and retail sales data from April, still show the U.S. economy growing.
Quote of the week: “Always deliver more than expected.” — Larry Page, co-founder of Google
• The White House announced that eight more Covid-19 test kits are now available to U.S. households at no charge, as part of a government program that delivers at-home antigen tests through the mail. You can order your tests at http://www.covidtests.gov/
• In his address, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell emphasized his resolve to get inflation down and will back interest rate increases until prices start falling back toward a healthy level.
• The U.S House of Representatives will hold hearings on the baby formula shortage in the U.S., and move to pass legislation to increase Food and Drug Administration inspection staff to ensure that imported products are safe for infants to consume.
• Netflix is set to lay off around 150 employees across the company, less than a month after the company reported its first subscriber loss in a decade.
• The union that represents flight attendants at Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines backed the carriers’ planned merger, clearing a labor hurdle among the biggest worker groups at the airlines.
• Walmart reported quarterly earnings that missed Wall Street’s expectations by a wide margin, as the nation’s largest retailer felt pressure from rising fuel costs and higher levels of inventory.
• Target reported quarterly earnings that fell far short of Wall Street’s expectations, as the retailer coped with pricey freight costs, higher markdowns and lower-than-expected sales of discretionary items from TVs to bicycles.
• U.K. inflation soared to a 40-year high of 9% in April as food and energy prices spiraled escalating the country’s cost-of-living crisis.
• Toyota Motor Europe, CaetanoBus and Air Liquide have signed an agreement related to the development of hydrogen-based transport options, as the race to develop low and zero-emission vehicles heats up.
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