Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures little changed at 6,980.00
  • Dow Average up 0.4% to 32,237.53
  • Aussie down 0.4% to 0.6655 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield fell 5.1bps to 3.3762%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield fell 6.4 bps to 2.85%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield fell 7.5 bps to 3.22%
  • Gold spot down 0.8% to $1,978.21
  • Brent futures down 1.2% to $74.99/bbl

Economic Events

Australia’s center-left Labor party took power in the most-populous state of New South Wales, ending 12 years of Liberal-National rule and sealing a left-wing sweep across the mainland.

Labor leader Chris Minns became the 47th premier of New South Wales following Saturday’s election, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp. His party will win at least 47 seats giving it a majority in the state’s parliament, ABC said. Final vote numbers will be confirmed in coming days.

New South Wales is Australia’s wealthiest state and surrounds the city of Sydney. During the campaign, Minns pledged to end privatization and create an “energy relief fund” to ease cost-of-living pressures on households amid elevated inflation.

“After 12 years in opposition, the people of New South Wales have voted for a fresh start,” Minns told supporters late Saturday after his opponent Dominic Perrottet conceded. “The team that I lead is ready for the challenges and opportunities of government, and we will not let the people of this state down.”

The win in New South Wales gives the Labor Party control at the federal level and in the five state and two territory governments on the Australian mainland for just the second time in 120 years. The southern island state of Tasmania now has Australia’s sole center-right Liberal government.

Still, the rare sweep could create problems for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, given state Labor governments have historically pushed back against their federal counterparts to secure local political interests. Party discipline counts for little in such circumstances, analysts say.

Economists have also warned about the potential inflationary impact of expensive election promises at a time of three-decade high consumer price gains that have prompted repeated interest-rate increases and forced administrations in other states to try to rein in spending.

Other News

It’s 1999. The buttery aroma of popcorn fills your nose as you walk down each aisle, browsing the latest Blockbuster releases. Maybe you’ll pick up a horror flick, or something lighter like “Toy Story.”

It’s a memory the movie rental company’s fans looked back at fondly this week after realizingBlockbuster’s website is still live with a new landing page.

The company’s website appears to tease something new without giving away much information at all. When visiting the site, users are greeted with the company’s iconic ticket stub logo and the words “We are working on rewinding your movie.”

Blockbuster didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

But the site prompted some people to recall the late fees customers incurred if they dared to return a movie past its due date. Others remembered the frustration of not finding the one movie they wanted to rent.

“Remember when you went to rent a new release and it was out?” tweeted one social media user. “So you started looking behind each dvd box just to make sure lol.”

Others had more sentimental recollections.

“It makes me realize how many mundane moments of our lives would soon become nostalgic and iconic,” wrote one Twitter user. “How they felt permanent but were only temporary. We didn’t know it at the time we were living in it.”

Blockbuster’s landing page has undergone changes periodically over the past few months, the archive website Wayback Machine shows.

Blockbuster also has a tendency to troll social media users or post playful messages, prompting the public to engage with the company on Twitter.

On March 15, the company tweeted: “New business idea: We’re going to come back as a bank and use VHS and DVDs as currency. Time to go visit your mom.”

Most recently on Wednesday, a lawyer tweeted about Blockbuster making a comeback, and the retailer nudged the attorney to make a business pitch.

The attorney obliged and suggested Blockbuster open an on-demand mini movie theater experience in which it rents theater rooms with couches, a big screen and surround sound.

The first Blockbuster store opened in October 1985 in Dallas, according to

Stocked with at least 8,000 tapes, the store was much larger-scale than other video stores at the time, the website said. The video rental store had 400 stores around the country in 1988.

But when on-demand movie services, pay-per-view and cheaper rental services such as Redbox began to gain popularity, Blockbuster struggled to retain its customer base.

In 2004, Blockbuster started its own an online DVD rental service to compete with Netflix, but it wasn’t enough to save the company. The company filed for bankruptcy in September 2010.

Stores began to close, and as of 2022, the last remaining store was in Bend, Oregon.

Sandi Harding, the store’s manager, also listed the store as an Airbnb in 2020, allowing guests to rent their favorite movies as well.

“When you call dibs on this stay, you’re booking a night back in the ’90s, but this time you won’t have to beg your parents to rent the latest horror flick – we’ll give you the keys to the entire store!” Harding wrote in the listing.

Last year, she told USA TODAY the store was “doing all right.”

“I think we have a couple more years,” Harding said in November. “But you know, everything could change in a heartbeat.”

(USA Today)