Why your Memorial Day burgers are so expensive, and four other business stories you need to read today

Is it Summer Friday season already? In that case, just have a quick read of today’s top business news stories and then say hello to your three-day weekend.

CONSIDER THE LOBSTER

Fire up the grill! We may be alone this Memorial Day weekend but that doesn’t mean we can’t mark the holiday with good ol’ American … lobsters?

OK hear me out: The cost of beef right now is up 12% from last year because of coronavirus-related disruptions to the food supply chain. (In fact, grocery prices in general are way up since everyone started panic-buying eggs and toilet paper two months ago) Meat is especially pricey because processing facilities had to slow or shut down because of worker illnesses.

But there’s at least one item where you can probably catch a good deal, and that’s lobster. Grab a bib and a bowl of melted butter and treat yourself this weekend.

BUYER BEWARE

Here’s what you need to know if you’ve been spending hours tapping red dots on your Zillow app lately. Sales of existing homes cratered last month to their lowest level in a decade. That’s not too surprising — sellers are less motivated to move during a pandemic, and buyers may be facing unexpected economic hardships.

That is bad news for motivated buyers, at least for now: With inventory so low, prices are climbing. The median home price in the United States was up 7% last month. CNN Business’ Anna Bahney has more.

THE HONG KONG DISPATCH 

It’s hard to overstate how big of a deal China’s latest move to involve itself in Hong Kong’s affairs is, both for the international business community and for the people who call Hong Kong home.

The former British colony prides itself on being separate from China — a prosperous, international city with its own culture, language and freedoms. Its autonomy has helped make it Asia’s premiere financial hub

Suddenly, all of that looks to be slipping away. CNN Business’ Jill Disis in Hong Kong explains what’s going on.

BIDEN TO AMAZON: PAY YOUR TAXES

Amazon doesn’t seem to have a lot of love in Washington right now. Whether it’s the Trump administration on the right scrutinizing Amazon’s bid for a multibillion-dollar military contract, or Senator Elizabeth Warren on the left saying the company should be broken up.

Now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is chiming in: “I don’t think any company, I don’t give a damn how big they are, the Lord Almighty, should absolutely be in a position where they pay no tax and make billions and billions and billions of dollars,” Biden said in an interview on CNBC. (FWIW, Amazon does pay taxes, though perhaps not as much as the former Veep would like, and it has said it merely follows all applicable tax laws.) CNN Business’ Brian Fung has more.

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL TRASH TALK?

After the wild success of its Michael Jordan docuseries, ESPN is following up with a nine-parter on Tom Brady that everyone in America will either love or hate and absolutely no one will be neutral about.

Such a documentary can only be intended to stoke Patriot pride in equal measure to non-Patriot eye-rolly-ness over the adoration of the (alleged) greatest quarterback ever. We’ve got the details here.

IN OTHER NEWS