US mortgage rates have soared to a 21-year high, US retailer earnings reports send mixed messages on consumer spending, and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are buying up thousands of the high-performance Nvidia chips crucial for building artificial intelligence software.

Mentioned in this podcast:

Walmart sales rise as inflation keeps consumers hunting for bargains

Target sales hit by Pride backlash and consumer caution

Saudi Arabia and UAE race to buy Nvidia chips to power AI ambitions

‘People were losing their mind’: Russia’s bootleg Barbie viewings

FT Weekend festival promo code: FTPodcast

The FT News Briefing is produced by Fiona Symon, Sonja Hutson and Marc Filippino. Additional help from Josh Gabert-Doyon, Monique Mulima, Monica Lopez, Peter Barber, Michael Lello, David da Silva and Gavin Kallmann. Topher Forhecz is the FT’s executive producer. The FT’s global head of audio is Cheryl Brumley. The show’s theme song is by Metaphor Music.

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