If you were jolted by a loud noise this afternoon around 4:30, that just might have been the groans of eager spectators across the world as we learned that the NASA/SpaceX launch was aborted. Sorry for the disturbance — we were just so excited! Read on for more about Wednesday’s events at Cape Canaveral, as well as other headlines you might have missed.
5, 4, 3, 2 … WAIT!
May 27 was about to be declared Elon Musk Christmas. Now we’ll have to wait until at least Saturday.
If there’s one thing the SpaceX CEO loves more than stirring up Twitter feuds and cultivating his eccentric-genius persona, it’s big, ambitious projects like putting humans into orbit.
The NASA/SpaceX launch, when the weather allows, will mark a triple crown of historic accomplishments, including the first time that astronauts have hitched a ride on a commercial vessel. When the day comes, it will be a huge win for the 18-year-old SpaceX, which is running mission control and built the capsule, called Crew Dragon, that will dock with the International Space Station.
Here’s hoping for clear skies this Saturday.
We’ve got full coverage of the event here.
THE ONE WHERE THE GANG RETURNS TO STREAMING
WarnerMedia, our parent company, launched HBO Max on Wednesday, with a lot of buzz and no shortage of challenges in the crowded world of streaming subscriptions: It’s got a smaller library than its competitors, it’s not available on Amazon Fire or Roku, and it’s relatively expensive. But HBO Max has a tool in its arsenal that may not be getting enough attention: exclusive rights to “Friends.” (This is not an ad, we promise)
When “Friends” was streaming on Netflix, people watched nearly 33 billion minutes (that ‘b’ is not a typo) of reruns in 2018, the second most-watched series after “The Office,” according to Nielsen data.
That’s 550 million hours in a single year. Or 230,000 days the world spent with the gang in a year.
The show left Netflix on January 1, 2020, which means its legions of fans have been, um, on a break, for half a year. And 2020 hasn’t exactly been a cake walk so far.
At a time when people are feeling isolated and scared and nostalgic for when we could dance in water fountains with abandon, “Friends” couldn’t return at a better time.
MARKETS KEEP ON PARTYING
Investors kept hitting the punchbowl like there’s no tomorrow. The problem is … there might not be.
The Dow closed 553 points higher and the S&P 500 soared 1.5% after the Trump administration hinted at more stimulus.
Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned economic bailout? Not to be the grumpy neighbor across the hall asking you turn the music down but let’s take a minute to remember why we’re stimulating the economy again. Millions of people lost their jobs in a worldwide pandemic, and that can’t be good for the economy (Ron Howard voice: It’s not).
On Thursday, the US Labor Department is expected to announce 2.1 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment claims. But markets are focusing on the positive, even though the positive is a reaction to the (very) negative.
THE FUTURE: BUYING MANOLOS FROM WALMART
Walmart (WMT) has struck a partnership with ThredUp, the online thrift store that’s been a popular outlet for the world’s collective Marie-Kondo-ing over the past few years.
It’s an interesting tie-up for a few reasons. First, it gives Walmart a chance to bring high fashion labels like “lightly used” Coach and Michael Kors under its retail tent. Those names might seem a bit off brand for a big-box store known for low-cost fast fashion, but given the pandemic’s hit to pocketbooks, it may be an opportunity to bring in shoppers who previously wouldn’t think to seek out luxury labels on walmart.com.
ThredUp and similar consignment fashion sites like Poshmark also benefit from growing concerns about ethical and environmentally conscious shopping, especially among younger consumers.
DISNEY NEEDS SOME MAGIC
Disney World in Orlando is planning to reopen in phases in mid-July, with new safety measures in place to avoid spreading the coronavirus that forced all of Disney’s parks world-wide to close their gates for several months.
Reopening its premiere park is a big deal, with big risks, for Disney and the tourism industry broadly. If Disney can pull off a safe reopening, it sends a message that travel and fun — with face masks and social distancing measures enforced — is possible again. But managing the health risks to customers and staff won’t be easy.
IN OTHER NEWS
- Boeing just laid off nearly 7,000 workers.
- General Electric is saying goodbye to the 129-year-old light bulb business founded by Thomas Edison.
- Times Square will go dark for one minute so businesses can shine light on their fight to get insurance money.
- A judge ruled that the case to extradite Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou from Canada to the United States can continue.