(KRON) — In today’s installment of Winners & Losers, financial expert Rob Black discusses the rising stock market, cooling airfare prices and a struggle for restaurants to maintain their staffs.

Winner: Stocks rise as earnings season picks up

Stocks rose as investors readied for earnings season to ramp up.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Federal Reserve officials “signaled they are likely to raise interest rates by 0.75 percentage point later this month.”  The Fed will meet July 26 and 27.

A strong dollar means it is a good time to book a trip to Europe.

Goldman Sachs has crushed analysts’ expectations but worries about a global recession.

Bank of America benefits from higher interest rates.

Delta buys 100 Boeing Max planes, its first major order with the manufacturer in more than a decade.

Google parent Alphabet has started trading at split-adjusted price after a 20-for-1 split.

71% of TVs have been purchased on sale in the U.S. from January through April in 2022, compared to 18% in the same time period last year.

Winner:  Airfares are finally starting to cool

Peak summer travel season fades. Now what?

Flights, believe it or not, are getting cheaper.

U.S. roundtrip flights as of July 14 averaged $375, down from a May peak of $413 but still up 13% from 2019 prices.

Last-minute tickets across the country are roughly $1,000.

Airfares fell a seasonally-adjusted 1.8% from May to June.

Fares were one of the few categories to decline at a time when consumer prices rose at the fastest clip in more than four decades.

The surge in spring and summer travel — even at sky-high prices — has been a boon to airlines, driving revenue above 2019 levels even as airlines fly less than they did before the pandemic.

Consumers continue to spend on travel. But rising costs can affect household vacation budgets and companies’ appetite to send employees out on business trips.

Loser: Restaurants staffing leaves eating out hungry for more

The experience of eating out is not what it used to be pre-COVID.  

Thirty-minute waitlists are turning into nearly an hour, and then add another 45 minutes for the food to arrive.

It’s a scenario that taking a toll on restaurants, staff and customers.

Restaurant employment is still down 750,000 jobs — roughly 6.1% of its workforce — from pre-pandemic levels as of May.

Customers mentioned short staffing three times more often in their Yelp reviews than in the year-ago period. Mentions of long waits rose 23%.

Staffing shortages can create a vicious cycle of people being unhappy with the service, tipping less and not coming back, leading to decreased sales.

For restaurants, staffing challenges usually mean paying more money for workers and then raising prices on food.

Hiring and retention is focusing on higher wages and better benefits than ever.

And that means the experience of eating out likely won’t be the same as it was pre-COVID, at least for a while.