On Tuesday, voters in Missouri will decide the fate of the state’s so-called right-to-work law, which, if it went into effect, would ensure that private sector workers no longer had to join a union or pay a fee if their workplace was unionized. The measure was signed into law last year, but labor groups blocked its enactment through a petition drive that placed the measure on a statewide ballot. If voters reject the law, the momentum of nationwide right-to-work efforts would be slowed after several neighboring states passed similar laws, and after the Supreme Court struck down mandatory union fees for public sector workers in June. If the law survives, it is likely to deprive unions of significant revenue and further weaken the labor movement in a state where union membership is already below the national average.
— NOAM SCHEIBER
Two Hollywood companies that will soon be one, Disney and 21st Century Fox, will report earnings this week.
Disney will go first (on Tuesday) and may give an update on its plans to absorb the assets it is buying from Fox for $71.3 billion. (Disney must wait for the deal to clear overseas regulatory hurdles to begin taking action on those plans, however.) Analysts expect Disney to report per-share earnings of about $1.96, a 24 percent increase from the same quarter last year. Whether Disney delivers will largely depend on results from its film studio, which released the high-cost “Avengers: Infinity War” during the quarter; Walt Disney Studios also suffered a rare misfire in May with “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”
On Wednesday, analysts expect Fox to report per-share profit of 54 cents, up from 36 cents a year earlier. Growth will probably come from improved film results — “Deadpool 2” arrived in the quarter — and rising domestic cable fees. Wall Street also hopes that Fox executives will provide insight into the company’s duel with Comcast for control of Sky, the British media company. For now, Comcast has the higher bid. Under British law, Fox (backed by Disney) must file paperwork by Thursday if it plans to counter.
— BROOKS BARNES
Samsung’s financial earnings took a beating last quarter largely because of slowing smartphone sales. So the South Korean tech giant will try to expand sales by introducing a new version of its big-screen Galaxy Note phone earlier than usual. The product, which Samsung says will offer “exceptional performance for a reasonable price,” is expected to be unveiled Thursday in New York.
— BRIAN X. CHEN
Unemployment is low, the economy is hot and tax cuts and federal spending increases are adding billions of dollars of fuel to the fire. That combination is making some policymakers nervous that inflation could be next to ignite. Consumer prices have been rising a bit faster as of late, and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday is likely to show that the trend continued in July. Economists surveyed by FactSet estimated that prices rose 3 percent from a year earlier. That is partly because of higher oil prices, but inflation has been edging upward even excluding the volatile food and energy prices. A modest acceleration probably will not rattle the Federal Reserve, which is on track to raise interest rates at its next meeting in September. But consumers may be less pleased — wage growth, already sluggish, has failed to keep pace with faster inflation in recent months.
— BEN CASSELMAN
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