Stifel Bits

April 6, 2022

The Appetizer

“This is where I’ve always wanted to be. And right now my emotions are a bit crazy.”

Christian Pulisic, after the U.S. qualified for the World Cup. The U.S. will face England, Iran, and a to-be-determined team in World Cup group play.

Now, on to the numbers. Drum roll, please …

  • 3.6%: The unemployment rate for March, down 0.2 percentage points from February.
  • 5: The number of NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships for Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
  • 100%: The growth since 2018 in the number of Americans keeping chickens in their backyards.
  • $5.7 billion: The estimated spending on digital audio ads in the U.S. in 2022, up 14% from last year.
  • 10%: The percentage of global electricity generated by wind and solar sources in 2021, the highest ever.

Dig In
The Road Ahead

Automakers are in a race to zero (carbon emissions). To promote the adoption and coolness of EVs, President Biden recently test-drove an electric Hummer.

Electric vehicles (EVs) make up less than 1% of the 250 million cars on the road in the U.S. About 17 million new cars are sold each year. Based on some simple math, even if every new car sold in the U.S. were an EV, it would take 15-20 years to replace the existing gasoline-fueled car fleet.

How “green” are EVs? Experts broadly agree that while EVs are more climate friendly than gasoline engines, they too have a cost. The mining of materials produces emissions and the water required for making batteries makes EV manufacturing about 50% more water intensive than gasoline cars.

An all-electric Chevrolet Bolt produces, on average, 189 grams of carbon dioxide for every mile driven versus 385 grams for a gasoline-fueled Toyota Camry. But if the car is charged on a coal-heavy power grid, the climate benefits actually erode.

The takeaway? Like most things in life, there are positives and negatives, and we’re likely a long way from electric vehicles ruling the road.

Weekly Specials

Just five more minutes, Mom? A New Jersey school district is hitting the snooze button.

Am I right side up or upside down? The yield curve briefly inverted earlier this week, raising concerns among some that the U.S. may be headed for recession. Stifel’s indicators haven’t flipped to recession yet: Read more in our latest Sight|Lines.

After coming together for the Postal Service, the House is at it again. This time, they passed a bipartisan bill that would raise the catch-up contribution limits in retirement accounts and push back required minimum distributions. The final vote tally? 414 to 5.

It’s not just Tom Brady who’s coming out of retirement. February saw the share of retired workers returning to work climb to 3% of total retirees. Labor shortages, remote work, and increased pay may draw even more out of retirement.

The first Fashion Week in the metaverse just happened. Unlike real fashion week, anyone could attend, browser speed permitting. Designers used the opportunity to see how consumers may shop in a digital platform. Our question: Isn’t every week already Fashion Week in Fortnight?

Corporate Lunch

Heads up! FedEx is testing autonomous cargo drones that can carry 300-500 pounds up to 300 miles.

Investors took a bite out of Chewy after the company’s third consecutive quarterly loss and lower-than-expected sales guidance.

A lot of “good boys” made Santa’s list. Freshpet reported a 37.1% revenue increase.

Meme stocks AMC and GameStop have stuck around like Crying Jordan, seeing big swings last week.

Dunkin’ Donuts is working with e.l.f. to make donut-themed cosmetics. The line includes a coffee lip scrub that “leaves lips feeling smooth and smelling like Dunkin’s original blend.” All this time we thought coffee breath was a bad thing.

Walgreens plans to open 22 prescription-filling facilities using robots. A robot can fill a prescription every 12 seconds, aka the length of one snapchat video.

Swatch partnered with Omega to create a line of watches based on our solar system. There’s even a watch for Pluto – miss you buddy, wish you were still a planet. The watches sold out quicker than the Big Bang and are being resold at a high markup.

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