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    5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday

    Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:Dow futures rise after Fed keeps rates near zeroLatest GDP, initial jobless claims weaker than expectedRobinhood to make its public debut after pricing IPOFacebook warns about growth, sets vaccine mandateDisney, Apple bring Covid mask requirements back1. Dow futures rise after Fed keeps rates near zeroA trader works behind plexiglass on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, New York, U.S., July 28, 2021.Andrew Kelly | ReutersDow futures rose more than 100 points Thursday, one day after the 30-stock average and the S&P 500 dipped slightly and the Nasdaq rose modestly. All three benchmarks finished less than 1% away from Monday’s record closes after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said at his post-meeting news conference that substantial economic improvement would be needed for the central bank to start dialing back its easy-money policies. On the fiscal side, the Senate voted to advance a bipartisan infrastructure plan Wednesday evening, a critical step toward Democrats passing their sweeping economic agenda.In stocks to watch: Dow stock Merck fell in the premarket after the drugmarker matched estimates with quarterly earnings and topped expectations on revenue. Amazon reports earnings after the bell Thursday.Trevor Milton, founder of Nikola, has been charged with three counts of fraud by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan in connection with its investigation into the embattled electric vehicle start-up. Shares of Nikola, which lost more than half their value in the past 12 months, were down 6% in Thursday’s premarket trading.Uber Technologies dropped 5.1% in premarket trading after sources told CNBC that Japanese investment giant Softbank is selling a chunk of its stake in Uber to cover losses related to its investment in another ride-hailing company, Didi Global.Didi itself is in the news, denying an earlier Wall Street Journal report that it was considering going private. Didi had been up well over 30% in the premarket before that denial, before trimming that still-large gain to 17.5%.2. Latest GDP, initial jobless claims weaker than expectedIn the latest snapshot of the economic recovery from the Covid pandemic, the Commerce Department said Thursday morning that its first look at second-quarter gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 6.5%, a big miss compared to estimates for 8.4% growth.The Labor Department also reported before the opening bell on Wall Street that initial jobless claims came in at 400,000 last week, slightly worse than expectations. The previous week’s level was revised up to 424,000. Initial claims for the week ended July 10 of 368,000 matched last month’s Covid-era low.3. Robinhood to make its public debut after pricing IPOVlad Tenev, CEO and Co-Founder, Robinhood in his office on July 15, 2021 in Menlo Park, California.Kimberly White | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty ImagesRobinhood, whose stock trading app surged in popularity among retail investors, is expected to make its debut on the Nasdaq on Thursday. The initial public offering was priced Wednesday night at the low of the range at $38 each, raising about $2 billion and valuing the firm at about $32 billion. However, the company is not without controversy.Earlier this year during the initial meme stock frenzy, Robinhood angered some investors and lawmakers when it restricted trading in some popular stocks following a tenfold rise in deposit requirements at its clearinghouse.The company disclosed this week that it has received inquiries from U.S. regulators about whether its employees traded shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment before trading curbs were placed at the end of January.In June, Robinhood agreed to pay nearly $70 million to settle an investigation by Wall Street’s own regulator.4. Facebook warns about growth, sets vaccine mandateA giant digital sign is seen at Facebook’s corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California, on October 23, 2019.Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty ImagesFacebook shares fell roughly 3.5% in Thursday’s premarket, the morning after the social network said revenue growth will slow during the second half of the year. Facebook cited a change in Apple’s privacy policies, which it said will hurt the social network’s ability to target ads. In its second quarter, Facebook reported earnings of $3.61 per share on revenue of $29.08 billion. Both topped estimates. Daily active users and monthly active users each matched expectations.Facebook will require workers returning to its U.S. offices to be vaccinated, the company said Wednesday. “How we implement this policy will depend on local conditions and regulations,” Facebook executive Lori Goler said in a statement. Facebook will create processes for those who can’t be vaccinated for medical or other reasons, Goler said, adding the company will continue to evaluate its approach outside the U.S.5. Disney, Apple bring Covid mask requirements backGuests wear masks. as required. to attend the official re-opening day of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on Saturday, July 11, 2020.Joe Burbank | Orlando Sentinel | Getty ImagesDisney has amended the mask policy at its U.S.-based theme parks in the wake of new guidance from health and government officials. Starting Friday, the company will require all guests, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks in indoor locations at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and the Disneyland Resort in California. Children under age 2 are exempt.People walk past an Apple retail store on July 13, 2021 in New York City.Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty ImagesApple will require vaccinated and unvaccinated customers as well as staff members to wear masks in many of its U.S. retail stores starting Thursday, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC’s Josh Lipton. Earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC the company had pushed back its return-to-work plans for corporate employees from September to October and that it could be delayed again.— Reuters and CNBC Peter Schacknow contributed to this report. Follow all the market action like a pro on CNBC Pro. Get the latest on the pandemic with CNBC’s coronavirus coverage. More

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    Why businesses use so much jargon

    NO CHILD ASPIRES to a life talking the kind of nonsense that many executives speak. But it seems that, as soon as managers start to climb the corporate ladder, they begin to lose the ability to talk or write clearly. They instead become entangled in a forest of gobbledygook.The first explanation for this phenomenon is that “jargon abhors a vacuum”. All too often, executives know they have nothing significant to say in a speech or a memo. They could confine their remarks to something like “profits are up (or down)”, which would be relevant information. But executives would rather make some grand statement about team spirit or the corporate ethos. They aim to make the business sound more inspirational than “selling more stuff at less cost”. So they use long words, obscure jargon, and buzzwords like “holistic” to fill the space.Another reason why managers indulge in waffle relates to the nature of the modern economy. In the past, work was largely about producing, or selling, physical things such as bricks or electrical gadgets. A service-based economy involves tasks that are difficult to define. When it is hard to describe what you do, it is natural to resort to imprecise terms.Such terms can have a purpose but still be irritating. Take “onboarding”. A single word to describe the process of a company assimilating a new employee could be useful. But “to board” would do the trick (at least in American English, which is more comfortable than British English with “a plane boarding passengers” and not just “passengers boarding a plane”). The only purpose of adding “on” seems to be to allow the creation of an equally ugly word, “offboarding”, the process of leaving a firm.Overblown language is also used when the actual business is prosaic. Private Eye, a British satirical magazine that often mocks corporate flimflam, used to have a regular column pointing out the absurd tendency of companies to tag the word “solutions” onto a product; carpets became “floor-covering solutions”. (Bartleby has long wanted to start a business devoted to dissolving items in water so it could be called “Solution Solutions”.) Nowadays, the target for mockery is the use of the term DNA, as in “perfect customer service is in our DNA”.In her book about life in the tech industry, “Uncanny Valley”, Anna Wiener used the term “garbage language” to describe “a sort of nonlanguage which was neither beautiful nor especially efficient”. Tech executives spouted a very grand vision of how they would reshape society but their rhetoric often clashed with the hard reality of what they were doing, which was to sell advertising or monopolise users’ time. It is a variation on the old Ralph Waldo Emerson dictum: “The louder he mentioned his honour, the faster we counted our spoons.”The third reason why managers use jargon is to establish their credentials. What makes one person fit to manage another? It is hard to identify any obvious attributes; managers are not like doctors, who prove their expertise through passing exams and practical training. If you can speak the language of management, you appear qualified to rule. If others don’t understand terms like “synergy” and “paradigm”, that only demonstrates their ignorance. In a sense, managers are acting rather like medieval priests, who conducted services in Latin rather than in the local language, adding to the mystical nature of the process.Once corporate jargon is established, it is hard for managers to avoid using it. The terms are ever-present in PowerPoint slides, speeches and annual reports. Not to use them would suggest a manager is not sufficiently committed to the job. Junior staff, for their part, dare not question the language for fear of damaging their promotion prospects.Of course, new words will inevitably be coined in the world of business, as in other areas of life. Technology has ushered in a range of terms, such as hardware and software, which were once unfamiliar but are now widely understood. But a lot of the more irritating jargon has been brought in from other areas of life, like the self-help movement.All this matters because the continued use of obscure language is a sign that the speaker is not thinking clearly. And if those in charge aren’t thinking clearly, that’s bad for the business. People who are in real command of the detail are able to explain things in a way that is easily understood. And if a manager’s colleagues understand the message, they are more likely to get the right things done. Jargon gets in the way.This article appeared in the Business section of the print edition under the headline “Jargon abhors a vacuum” More

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    Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group to require indoor diners show proof of Covid shots

    Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group will require indoor diners and drinkers at its restaurants to show they’ve been vaccinated against Covid. The mandate also applies to current employees and new hires.The announcement, which Meyer made Thursday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” comes as concern around the highly contagious delta variant increases and U.S. officials try to combat Covid vaccine hesitancy and resistance among some Americans.”This is the most logical thing I’ve ever seen,” Meyer said. “I’m not a scientist, but I know how to read data and what I see is that this is a crisis of people who have not been vaccinated, and I feel strong responsibility, on our part as business leaders, to take care of our team and our guests, and that’s what we’re doing.”Meyer, founder of Shake Shack and chairman of the fast casual chain’s board, said that company will set its own policy regarding vaccines. “Shake Shack will make the appropriate decision for them at the appropriate time,” he said.At Union Square Hospitality Group, the “vast majority” of workers are already vaccinated, Meyer said, adding the company offered eight hours of pay per Covid shot.”We’re going to give our employees 45 days to make the choice and hopefully this will be the incentive that really makes them say, ‘You know what, now I’m going to do it.'” Union Square Hospitality Group has a large presence in New York City and its restaurants include Gramercy Tavern, Manhatta, and Union Square Cafe. It also operates Anchovy Social in Washington, D.C.Recently, a number of government and private-sector entities like Google and Facebook have taken a harder line on vaccine requirements for employees in recent days, steps some believe is critical to increase the vaccination rate in the U.S. after it has slowed dramatically from its spring peak.President Joe Biden is expected to announce later Thursday that all federal workers will need to be vaccinated against Covid or be subject to strict coronavirus testing requirements. The Department of Veterans Affairs said Monday all of its health-care workers must be vaccinated.Earlier this week, the San Francisco Bar Alliance recommended its nearly 500 member bars ask customers to prove they’ve been vaccinated or provide results of a negative Covid test from the past three days.About 57% of the U.S. population has received at least one Covid vaccine dose and 49.3% are fully vaccinated, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Coronavirus cases have surged in recent weeks, prompting the CDC to reverse course on its prior mask guidance. The public-health agency is now recommending fully vaccinated Americans in places with high Covid infection rates start to wear face coverings indoors again.Meyer said Union Square Hospitality Group employees will continue to wear face coverings in the kitchen. However, he said masks are not a panacea for diners. “You cannot eat or drink with a mask on,” he said. “The one thing you can do is be vaccinated.”Asked how he would advise other corporate leaders on Covid vaccine policy, Meyer said: “I think every business has to make its own decisions, and we’re proud of the one we’re making right now.”The restaurateur said he was fortunate his company is based in New York City, where government leaders are supportive of strict vaccine requirements. He noted states such as Florida have passed laws that bar businesses and government entities from demanding proof of Covid vaccination.Some health experts believe vaccine mandates will become more commonplace once the Food and Drug Administration grants full approval. Currently, the drug regulator has cleared three Covid vaccines on an emergency use basis. Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine requires two shots for full immunity protection, and both companies have applied for full approval. Johnson & Johnson has not yet applied for its single-shot vaccine.Biden said last week he thinks full FDA approval could arrive in the fall. More

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    ‘Not clear yet’ if booster shots of Covid vaccine are needed, AstraZeneca CEO says

    In this articleAZN-GBOntario Premier Doug Ford receives the Astrazeneca-Oxford coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine from pharmacist Anmol Soor at Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto, Ontario, Canada April 9, 2021.Nathan Denette | Pool | via ReutersAstraZeneca is not yet sure whether a third dose of its Covid-19 vaccine will be necessary for continued protection against the virus, CEO Pascal Soriot told CNBC on Thursday.Soriot told “Squawk Box Europe” that the company did not have a “precise answer” on whether booster shots would be needed.”There are two dimensions to this immunity — antibodies [which] decline over time, but the second, very important dimension of vaccination is the so-called T-cells. They tend to protect people against severe disease, but they also provide durability,” Soriot explained.”With the technology we use, we have very high production of T-cells. We’re hoping we can have a durable vaccine that protects for a long period of time. So whether we will need a third booster or not is not clear yet, only time will tell.”T-cells are a kind of white blood cell that play different roles in defending the body against an invading virus. For instance, they may attack the pathogen or support different white blood cells in the production of antibodies.Antibodies prevent viruses from invading cells but don’t last as long as T-cells.Soriot added that the only way to be sure whether booster shots would really be needed was to watch whether the vaccine’s efficacy declined over time.”We know that [our vaccine] has a decline of antibodies [over time] — we haven’t seen yet a decline of efficacy but it’s a bit early to judge, only time will tell, and I hope the T-cells will provide this durable, long-term protection.”On Wednesday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC’s “The Exchange” that the company was “very, very confident” that a third dose of its vaccine would provide enough immunity to protect against the faster spreading delta variant of Covid.Bourla’s comments came after a study found the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine declined by an average of 6% every two months, and that the vaccine was most effective between one week and two months after receiving the second dose of the shot.Bourla also told CNBC on Wednesday that efficacy of the vaccine dropped to around 84% four to six months after the second dose.Vaccine earnings boostAstraZeneca’s revenue from its Covid-19 vaccine reached almost $1.2 billion in the first half of the year, the company announced on Thursday.The income from the vaccine sales helped the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant increase its total revenue for the first half by 23% to $15.5 billion, AstraZeneca announced in its earnings report.Its earnings from the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in the second quarter more than tripled from the previous three months.Without vaccine revenues, the company’s half-year income rose 14% from the first half of 2020.Following its acquisition of U.S. pharmaceutical company Alexion, AstraZeneca updated its full-year guidance, predicting total revenue to increase by a low 20s percentage. Income from its Covid-19 vaccine was not factored into the guidance, given “heightened risks and uncertainties from the effects of Covid-19, including the impact from potential new medicines for Covid-19 in clinical development.”The company also noted that variations in its financial performance could be expected to continue between quarters.Almost 4 billion shots of Covid-19 vaccines have been given worldwide, data collected by Bloomberg shows.According to Our World in Data, vaccination programs have now started in 214 countries and territories, most of which have approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for use.CNBC Health & Science Read CNBC’s latest global coverage of the Covid pandemic:Delta variant: The epidemic will sweep across the U.S. at different times, Dr. Scott Gottlieb saysFully vaccinated U.S. and EU citizens will no longer have to quarantine when traveling to EnglandPfizer’s CEO says Covid vaccine effectiveness drops to 84% after six months Here’s a map of the Covid hot spots subject to the CDC’s new mask guidance in U.S.Pfizer sells $7.8 billion in Covid shots in the Q2, raises 2021 guidance on vaccine sales  More

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    Yum Brands tops earnings estimates as sales rebound at Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut

    In this articleYUMSignage is displayed outside a Yum! Brands Inc. Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesYum Brands on Thursday reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped analyst predictions as same-store sales grew at all of its major brands, and it opened new restaurants at a record pace.Shares of Yum rose more than 2% in premarket trading.Here’s how the company did for its second quarter ended June 30 compared with what analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were anticipating:Earnings per share: $1.16 vs. 96 cents expectedRevenue: $1.6 billion vs. $1.48 billion expectedDuring its second quarter, the company reported a net income of $391 million, or $1.29 per share, compared with $206 million, or 67 cents per share, from a year earlier.Excluding refranchising gains and other items, Yum earned $1.16 per share, beating the 96 cents per share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.The company’s revenue grew 34% from last year to $1.6 billion, and outpaced expected revenue of $1.48 billion. Worldwide same-store sales grew 23% in the quarter.Yum said it opened 603 net new locations during the quarter and it plans to pick up the pace of its expansion by reinstating its long-term growth targets. Yum said it plans to grow the number of restaurants it operates by between 4% and 5% over the long term. KFC’s same-store sales grew 30% in the quarter, led by growth in the U.S. On a two year basis, same-store sales were up 2%. KFC’s international same-store sales fell 1% over the two-year period as 2% of KFC stores remain temporarily closed as of the end of its second quarter. U.S. same-store sales grew 19% on a two-year basis as pandemic restrictions ease and diners came back.Pizza Hut’s same-store sales grew 10% this quarter. The brand’s same-store sales grew 1% on a two-year basis. Only 2% of its stores were still temporarily shut during the quarter. U.S. same-store sales jumped 9% on a two-year basis, while international same-store sales shrunk 6%.Taco Bell’s same-store sales grew 21% in the quarter. On a two-year basis, its same-store sales rose 12%.Read the full press release from Yum Brands here. More

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    To understand why Texas and Oklahoma want to move to the SEC, follow the money

    Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Theo Wease (10) catches a pass over Florida Gators defensive back Jaydon Hill (23) during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Florida Gators on December 30, 2020 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.Matthew Pearce | Icon Sportswire | Getty ImagesIt’s the talk of the college sports world — two top football programs shifting alliances to a superior football conference. And the most notable sports network is awaiting to reap the benefits from a significant investment.The University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma combined forces and officially requested entry into the NCAA’s Southeastern Conference on Tuesday. The news came after they notified the Big 12 the schools would not be renewing media contacts after they expire in 2025. If Texas and OU joined the SEC, the conference could attract higher media fees, given the marketing muscle of the schools in college football and basketball.The SEC’s $55 million package with CBS expires after 2023. Last December, ESPN reportedly agreed to pay the SEC $300 million per season starting in 2024. The package includes higher-tier SEC games in a deal that runs 10 years. Disney’s ESPN also owns the SEC Network, a cable network dedicated to SEC sports.The finger pointing has already started, and other Big 12 schools aren’t happy. But invitation meetings are scheduled, and this move is about positioning for what’s ahead.When discussing the move, several execs used an old quote from legendary sports TV executive Don Ohlmeyer: “The answer to all your questions is money.”ESPN anticipating the future The Texas and OU move is the first step to creating super conferences throughout college sports. The SEC, Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten have elite football programs that include Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, and Clemson. These conferences would almost emulate a mini-NFL development league by adding more powerhouse programs, with highly touted prospects emerging from the schools annually.ESPN would benefit from the reshuffling.The network has a stake in the Longhorn Network, dedicated to University of Texas sports, and holds Big 12 streaming rights. But the LHN has failed to lure subscribers because of cord-cutting and because Texas hasn’t been dominant for the last decade.Adding Texas and OU to the SEC would also provide access to high-value matchups for ESPN’s Saturday afternoon and prime-time slots during the college football season. Additional ad dollars would also flow for the annual UT versus Texas A&M game, should the A&M Aggies stick around in the SEC.”That would renew an old rivalry and it’s a high-intensity game,” said former CBS Sports president Neal Pilson. He added that “national matchups … would have more value — Texas vs. Georgia, Texas vs. Florida, Alabama-Oklahoma.”Expanding the conference would help ESPN justify its $3 billion investment in the SEC. There’s still a lot for lawyers to discuss, but the move could happen even sooner than 2025.In their joint statement declining Big 12 rights renewals, Texas and OU said they “intend to honor” existing deals. “However,” they added, “both universities will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving collegiate athletics landscape as they consider how best to position their athletics programs for the future.”When discussing the new SEC deal last December, ESPN executive vice president of programming Burke Magnus was asked about buying out CBS’ remaining years.”We’re open to that possibility,” Magnus responded, “but obviously, it would have to be a circumstance that works for all involved. It’s not for me to comment because it’s an existing relationship, but we’re perfectly comfortable to let it run its course.”On Wednesday, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby sent a cease-and-desist letter to the network, accusing it of meddling in efforts to get the teams to the SEC faster. ESPN denied wrongdoing, telling The Associated Press: “The claims in the letter have no merit.”Tight end Jelani Woods #89 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys dives into the end zone for a nullified overtime touchdown against defensive back Caden Sterns #7 and linebacker DeMarvion Overshown #0 of the Texas Longhorns at Boone Pickens Stadium on October 31, 2020 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.Brian Bahr | Getty ImagesAlways follow the moneyTexas and OU each received about $34 million from the Big 12 over the last year, according to AP. That figure could jump to over $60 million annually if they move to the SEC. In addition, early speculation already points to the SEC eventually soliciting an even higher rights fee should things align. The SEC already gets about $497 million in TV and radio fees, according to USA Today. The newspaper estimated that figure could be more than $500 million in 2024-25, factoring in 3% increases.”A company like Disney doesn’t throw money around,” Pilson said. “When you talk about big numbers, they’ve done the math, analyzed the marketplace and figured out revenue projections (subscriber growth, ads, and new distribution avenues). Adding Oklahoma and Texas creates additional value, and they’ll put a number on that as well.”Name, image and likeness licensing provides additional revenue opportunities.Athletes are now allowed to capitalize on their intellectual property following a Supreme Court ruling last month. Hence, top football schools need to create competitive marketplaces to solicit the best recruits who can then capitalize from their exposure. When Alabama coach Nick Saban hinted that quarterback Bryce Young reached the $1 million mark via NIL opportunities, that comment served almost like a recruitment pitch.The message behind the message: Play football at Alabama and earn top dollar with NIL.”I agree with that notion,” said sports attorney Edward Schauder of law firm Phillips Nizer. “The better the school, the more valuable the name and likeness rights.”Also, programs could use the extra money by aligning with top conferences to fund reimbursable items that student-athletes can now receive. Things like premium Apple Macbooks and other education-related items are up for grabs, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association can only sit and watch thanks to the Supreme Court.Schauder, who has negotiated endorsement deals involving top athletes including Tiger Woods, predicts the NCAA will eventually get a piece of the action. “I can see the NCAA offering to handle the NIL rights of certain players or other collegiate sports (outside of football and basketball),” said Schauder. He predicted multilicensing agreements in college sports, with companies adding team logos to their NIL rosters.”The conferences and NCAA will catch up and benefit from this the same way pro leagues benefit from deals made by the player associations,” Schauder said.The future of college sports is beginning to take shape. To figure out the next moves, just follow the money, media deals and NIL opportunities. The SEC, Texas and Oklahoma started the new trail. More

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    Volkswagen posts record first-half earnings and raises profit margin target

    Technicians work in the assembly line of German carmaker Volkswagen’s electric ID. 3 car in Dresden, Germany, June 8, 2021.Matthias Rietschel | ReutersVolkswagen posted record first-half earnings on Thursday while also raising its target for profit margin.The results are a marked improvement from the same period last year when demand was ravaged at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.The German automaker saw first-half operating profit before special items hit 11.4 billion euros ($13.5 billion), exceeding pre-pandemic levels on the back of increased demand for premium cars in Europe and the Americas, while electric vehicle deliveries almost tripled.As a result, Volkswagen upped its profit margin target for the second time in three months. The company now expects an operating return on sales of between 6% and 7.5%, having previously projected 5.5% to 7%.”The record result in the first half of the year is clear proof of how strong our brands are and how attractive their products are,” CEO Herbert Diess said in a statement.”The premium segment performed especially well with double-digit returns, as did Financial Services. Our electric offensive is picking up momentum.”The group lowered its forecast for deliveries in 2021, however, amid “challenging market conditions.””Challenges will arise particularly from the economic situation, the increasing intensity of competition, volatile commodity and foreign exchange markets, securing supply chains and more stringent emissions-related requirements,” it said in the earnings report. Like many major automakers, Volkswagen is feeling the pinch from a global shortage of semiconductors.Diess told CNBC on Thursday that while the shortage had not impacted earnings significantly so far, it was beginning to come through now.”We have production bottlenecks just now for the next two, three weeks, and then we believe in improvement of the situation,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe.””So we will see worsening figures in quarter three, and then recovery in Q4.”Diess suggested that the rebound in demand would be enough to offset the various challenges to the outlook in 2022.”We can’t really definitely say how Covid is to come back in several of our markets, but our order intake is really high, electric vehicle sales are strong, premium brands are doing excellently and we have a very good order book,” he said.”If we don’t see a big setback from Covid, we should continue growing first quarter of 2022.”Here are the quarterly highlights:Second-quarter deliveries came in at 2.55 million vehicles, up from 1.89 million in the first half of 2020.Quarterly group sales revenues were 67.29 billion euros, up from 41.08 billion euros for the same period last year.Operating result before special items was 6.55 billion euros, up from -2.39 billion euros last year.Half of Volkswagen’s sales are expected to be battery-electric vehicles by 2030, the German carmaker said in a recent strategy update, while almost 100% of its new vehicles in major markets should be zero-emission vehicles by 2040.Those objectives are part of Volkswagen’s wider aim to be fully carbon neutral by 2050, and Volkswagen has earmarked 73 billion euros for the development of future technologies between 2021 and 2025, around 50% of the company’s total investments.Volkswagen stock is up more than 34% year-to-date.Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC ProHere’s what every major Tesla analyst says about its second-quarter earningsCramer says ‘Elon Musk ended the magic,’ making Tesla sound like a regular car companyTesla and more: Goldman Sachs names 10 electric vehicle stocks to buy right now More

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    Here's how much Olympic athletes earn for winning medals

    Hidilyn Diaz of Team Philippines competes during the Weightlifting – Women’s 55kg Group A on day three of the 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo International Forum on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.Chris Graythen | Getty ImagesThe Philippines clinched its first ever gold medal in Tokyo this week, making Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz the country’s first Olympic gold medalist.As a reward for her historic achievement, Diaz will reportedly receive at least 33 million Philippine pesos (around $600,000) from the Philippine Sports Commission as well as the country’s top businessmen. She has also been offered two homes and free flights for life, according to reports.While the International Olympic Committee does not pay prize money to medalists, many countries offer monetary rewards to their athletes for the number of medals they win at the Olympics.Here’s a look at how much money medalists from 12 countries could take home, based on data compiled by CNBC from various national Olympic committees, sport associations as well as personal finance site Money Under 30.Why some athletes earn moreMore than 600 U.S. athletes are competing at the Tokyo Olympics, and the United States has so far won 11 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze.The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee rewards athletes $37,500 for every gold medal won, $22,500 for silver and $15,000 for bronze. Most of that prize money is not taxable unless athletes report gross income that exceeds $1 million.U.S. athletes also receive other forms of support including health insurance, access to top-tier medical facilities and college tuition assistance.In comparison, Singapore rewards its gold medalists nearly 20 times more than the U.S. Players who clinch their first individual gold medal for the city-state stand to receive 1 million Singapore dollars ($737,000). The prize money is taxable and awardees are required to return a portion of it to their national sports associations for future training and development.The country sent only 23 athletes to Tokyo.The sporting economy in the U.S. allows athletes to better monetize their talents as most of it is driven by the private sector, according to Unmish Parthasarathi, founder and executive director at consulting firm Picture Board Partners.In places like Singapore, India and elsewhere, many of the national sporting initiatives are driven by governments that sometimes use higher monetary rewards to encourage a growing sporting culture, he told CNBC.Malaysia also has hefty rewards for its Olympic winners.Athletes who win gold receive 1 million ringgit ($236,149), while silver winners are awarded 300,000 ringgit, and 100,000 ringgit is given to athletes who win bronze. In dollar terms, a Malaysian Olympic bronze winner will receive a higher performance reward than a gold winner from Australia or Canada.How athletes make moneyBeyond receiving monetary and non-monetary rewards from their countries for winning medals, Olympians rely on other revenue streams for their sporting endeavors.Athletes from bigger, more competitive countries receive stipends or training grants from their national sports associations. Top performers collect prize money by winning national and international tournaments. Others draw regular salary by holding a variety of jobs.Some, like U.S. badminton player Zhang Beiwen, reportedly relied on crowdsourcing to finance their trip to Tokyo. Most Team USA athletes are not represented by sports agents and some have no sponsors or endorsements at all, according to a Forbes report.Naomi Osaka of Team Japan serves during her Women’s Singles Third Round match against Marketa Vondrousova of Team Czech Republic on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Tennis Park on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.David Ramos | Getty ImagesA handful of athletes may score multimillion dollar endorsements or sponsorship deals, either before competing at the Olympics or after achieving success in the Games. For example, tennis star Naomi Osaka reportedly made $55 million from endorsements in 12 months, and was named the highest-paid female athlete ever, according to reports.But scoring lucrative deals is rare, and hardly the norm.Parthasarathi pointed out that one profitable career move for some athletes is to go into coaching after retirement as people are willing to pay a premium for former Olympians.Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the U.S. broadcast rights holder to all Summer and Winter Games through 2032. More