If you spent much of Tuesday, as many of us at CNN Business did, gazing into the eyes of Jerome Powell and Steve Mnuchin as they faced a grilling by the the Senate Banking Committee, here are some other headlines you might have missed in the world of business and finance.
STOCKS FALL BACK DOWN TO EARTH
Markets may have been a little too euphoric Monday as investors gobbled up optimism about a potential coronavirus vaccine and seized on a “60 Minutes” interview in which Fed Chair Jerome Powell signaled the central bank would do more to help the recovery along — nothing new from our pal Jay, but investors didn’t seem to care.
On Tuesday, reality set in, and US stocks finished lower, seemingly unfazed by the (frankly pretty snooze-worthy) testimony from Powell and Mnuchin on Capitol Hill.
IN YOUR FACE
We’re honestly kind of surprised it took brands this long to get their logos and characters printed directly onto our PPE.
For all you Disney-heads, there are now official cloth face masks featuring Anna, Elsa, Woody, Buzz Lightyear and Baby Yoda. Capitalism is just so dependable, you know? The NBA’s getting in on the game too, so you can prove you’re a true fan by strapping your team’s logo right across your mouth and cheeks as you avoid touching produce at the grocery store.
You may be thinking: Isn’t profiting from PPE a little, déclassé? Yes, which is why most big names are donating the proceeds to charities. (Still, you pretty much can’t get more prominent placement for walking advertisements than human faces)
Spotify just secured exclusive rights to one of the most popular podcasts in the world, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” for an undisclosed amount. This is a big get, considering the size and cult-like devotion of Rogan’s fan base.
Big picture thoughts: Spotify is flexing some serious muscle in the podcast space lately. After a splashy acquisition of the startup Gimlet Media last year, Spotify went on to acquire Bill Simmons’ The Ringer in February. It now boasts exclusive deals with Rogan as well as the creators of “The Last Podcast on the Left.” Meanwhile, Apple seems to have taken its dominance as a pod platform for granted, because it just keeps ceding ground to smaller rivals like Spotify.