Here are five things you need to know this morning:

Toronto-based autonomous driving startup Waabi raises US$200M: Autonomous driving company Waabi has raised US$200 million in series B funding; money which will be used to put the company’s self-driving truck technology to the test on Texas roads starting next year. The capital is coming from some big names in the automotive and technology spaces, including Uber, Nvidia and Volvo, some of which already participated in previous rounds. But the funding is a major step toward the company’s ultimate ambition of driverless trucks transporting goods across long distances all over North America. Barely three years after its founding, the company says its technology is at the precipice of what’s known as Level 4 autonomy, whereby the vehicle is able to drive completely autonomously under certain conditions.

Brookfield buys stake in Dubai-based education firm GEMS for US$2B: TSX-listed Brookfield is leading a consortium of investors buying into GEMS Education, a Dubai-based business that has grown to become the biggest single provider of K-12 education in the world. Financial terms have not been disclosed, but Bloomberg reports that Brookfield is paying roughly US$2 billion for its stake in the company that operates more than 60 schools with 130,000 students primarily across the Middle East and North Africa.

Canada to buy rare earth stockpile from miner Vital, scuttling Chinese deal: The federal government is going to buy a stockpile of rare earth materials from Vital Metals Ltd. in a deal that prevents the junior mining company from selling its production to a Chinese buyer. Last year, Vital struck a deal to sell its stockpile of rare earths to China’s Shenghe Resources for about $2.4 million. But instead, the Saskatchewan Research Council will take the assets for roughly $3 million. The move is part of an increased round of scrutiny designed to block Chinese mining companies from buying up more of Canada’s critical minerals sector, Bloomberg reports.

U.S. retail sales flat in May: Retail sales in the U.S. barely rose in May and data for previous months were revised lower; a sign the U.S. consumer may finally be running out of gas. The U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday that unadjusted retail sales rose 0.1 per cent in May, missing expectations. April numbers were revised downward to show a 0.2 per cent decline. Of the 13 categories the agency tracks, five shrank in May. The weak consumer reading increases the odds that the U.S. Federal Reserve will feel confident enough that inflation has tamed enough to start lowering interest rates later this year.

OSFI holds bank rainy day fund level steady: The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institution held the domestic stability buffer steady at 3.5 per cent; a sign the banking regulator thinks balance sheets are strong enough to withstand any trouble to come. OSFI kept the buffer level at 3.5 per cent after previously having raised the level in 2022 and 2023. The stability buffer acts like a rainy day fund that aims to protect the financial system by making sure banks can absorb loses in a downturn. The decision means Canada’s Big Six banks need to have Common Equity Tier 1 capital of at least 11.5 per cent on their books. All of them already exceed that level.