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Brexit Vote, Facebook Meeting, and NBA Champs—5 Things to Know for the Week Ahead

June 19, 2016, 7:57 PM UTC
European Leaders Summit Continues Following Late Night Talks On UK Membership Terms
Photo by Bloomberg—Getty Images

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

By Monday morning, the NBA will have crowned a champion and Facebook’s shareholders will be gathering for the company’s annual meeting, with votes concerning Mark Zuckerberg’s majority voting control planned. Later in the week, Fed chair Janet Yellen will testify before Congress on the state of the U.S. economy while Britons will turn out for a major referendum that will determine their country’s future in (or out of) the EU.

Here’s what you need to know for the week ahead.

1. Brexit vote

Britain’s long-awaited referendum on whether or not the U.K. exits the European Union will finally happen on Thursday. After months of polls showing that a narrow majority of Britons favored staying with the E.U., recent surveys have muddled the picture as some show the country’s voters leaning toward leaving the 28-nation politico-economic union despite the potential for economic aftershocks in the U.K. and across Europe. The lead-up to the referendum has been highly politically charged, with the tense atmosphere reaching its apex in the tragic murder of a Labour party lawmaker last week—a heinous act with seemingly political motivations that has cast even further doubt over this week’s vote. What is certain is that global markets are likely to see heavy trading on Friday, the day after Britain’s vote, as investors could adjust their holdings based on the country’s decision.

2. Yellen testifies

A week after the U.S. Federal Reserve opted to leave the country’s interest rates unchanged for the time being, Fed chair Janet Yellen is set to testify before Congress on U.S. monetary policy. Yellen’s semiannual testimony in front of Congress will last two days, starting Tuesday. While Yellen had hinted recently that further rate hikes were imminent, the Fed chair announced last week that the benchmark rate would hold steady and that future increases would come more slowly than the Fed originally planned. The recent slowdown in job market growth, along with other factors such as the U.K.’s upcoming Brexit vote, have contributed to the central bank’s more cautious approach.

3. Facebook shareholders

On Monday, Facebook holds its annual shareholder meeting and this year’s gathering features a vote on creating another new class of company stock that could help ensure that co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg can maintain his majority voting control even if he sells his shares or transfers them to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic endeavor started by Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. However, Facebook’s board is also proposing to remove Zuckerberg’s majority control should he one day exit any management role at the company. Another wrinkle in this year’s meeting comes from the recent revelations that board member Peter Thiel has been privately funding lawsuits against Gawker Media, including the recent Hulk Hogan suit that resulted in a $140 million judgment against the news website that sent Gawker into bankruptcy.

4. Earnings

Global consulting company Accenture reports third-quarter financials on Thursday and the company is likely to post quarterly profits that meet the expectations of Wall Street. Meanwhile, Adobe Systems, which makes the Photoshop software and has been expanding its cloud software business, is expected to beat analysts’ forecasts for second-quarter revenue when the company reports its latest numbers on Tuesday. And, smartphone-maker BlackBerry reports its own quarterly results on Thursday, with the company’s future firmly in question as the company nears CEO John Chen’s September deadline for reaching its goal of posting profits for its hardware business. Chen said last year that, if the hardware unit can’t turn a profit by September 2016, then he will have to consider a shift into being a software-only company.

Other companies reporting quarterly earnings this week include Bed Bath & Beyond, ConAgra, and FedEx.

5. NBA Finals Game 7

The 2015-2016 NBA season will come to an end on Sunday night, as either LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers or Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors will be crowned champions after the seventh and final game of this year’s NBA Finals. This year’s series is the first to go to seven games in three years and only the fourth since 2005. The long series has proven to be valuable for Walt Disney and ABC, as the network home of the NBA Finals has seen its ratings climb throughout the series. Game 7 on Sunday could be the most-watched of the series, with the potential for more than 20 million viewers, while fans in the Bay Area are already shelling out cash to watch the game in person. The average list price for tickets to the final game approached $3,000 each on the secondary market on Friday.


—Reuters contributed to this article.