Today in the Market (6/22/2022)

Good Evening. On Wednesday, US equities declined but hardly moved, with none of the three major averages recording shifts greater than 0.2%.

The S&P 500 fell 0.13%, while the Dow and Nasdaq both suffered 0.15% declines to end the day.

FDA

Following news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) intended to order Juul Labs to remove its e-cigarettes from the U.S. market, Altria shares (MO) dropped 9.19% at closing.

To assess if vaping items can still be sold in the United States, the FDA has been examining them. Their safety profile is being evaluated by regulators. Additionally, they are comparing their potential advantages as a less dangerous substitute for regular cigarettes for adults against their dangerously high teen use.

In the latter part of 2018, Altria paid $12.8 billion for a 35% share in Juul. The manufacturer of electronic cigarettes at the time held a dominant position in the vaping business.

Critics, however, asserted in later years that Juul’s marketing activities specifically targeted teenagers. Investigations and legal actions came next. Juul reacted by limiting its use of social media and stopping the majority of its American advertising activity. Additionally, the business stopped marketing its sweet-flavored goods.

What would all of this mean? In response, Altria reduced the value of its ownership holding in Juul to under $2 billion. Altria would probably be obliged to lower that valuation even further if the FDA decided to require Juul to withdraw its remaining e-cigarettes from the American market.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE AUCTION

Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov sold his Nobel Peace Prize medal at auction for an astounding $103.5 million; the money went directly to UNICEF to help support Ukrainian children who are refugees.

The Norwegian Nobel Institute granted Muratov a medal last year for protecting free expression in Russia while serving as editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta. This is the first time the institute has given its approval for the sale of one of its medals. After nearly 30 years of pushing media boundaries in a nation that is unfriendly to independent journalism—particularly during the present conflict in Ukraine—the independent publication announced its closure in March.

  • Media outlets that use the phrase “war” when the Kremlin prefers “special military operation” risk fines or closure.
  • It is criminal by up to 15 years in prison to disseminate “fake” information concerning the war.

These are merely the authorized, state-sanctioned tactics used in Russia to silence dissident voices. In April, an unidentified attacker said, “This is for our lads,” in reference to Russian forces in Ukraine, and splashed red paint mixed with acetone at Muratov.

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