Stifel Bits

May 25, 2022

The Appetizer

“The times I was told ‘no’ or wasn’t included, wasn’t chosen, didn’t win, didn’t make the cut – looking back, it really feels like those moments were as important, if not more crucial, than the moments I was told ‘yes.’”

Taylor Swift during her speech at New York University’s commencement ceremony.

Now, on to the numbers. Memorial Day Edition …

  • 3:00 p.m.: The time for the National Moment of Remembrance, which asks Americans, wherever they are on Memorial Day, to pause for one minute to remember those who have died in military service to the United States.
  • 25: The number of cities that claim to have been the birthplace of Memorial Day. In 1966 Waterloo, New York, was given the distinction by President Lyndon Johnson.
  • 95%: The percent of companies surveyed that will close their offices on Memorial Day.
  • 818: The number of hot dogs Americans consume every second from Memorial Day to Labor Day (7 billion total).
  • 34.9 million: The number of people that will drive to their destination over the holiday weekend.

Dig In
The College Grad

You just graduated, time to make a decision: spend your last free summer at the beach or get a job? While the beach may sound better, don’t be selfish, there’s a labor shortage and the economy needs you!

Going back to 1990, the average unemployment rate for recent graduates has been 4.5%; today it’s 4%. But the unemployment rate ranges between 0.7% (for medical technicians) and 11.4% (for the social sciences). There’s also a teacher shortage in the U.S. so unemployment in early childhood education, elementary education, and general education is fairly low among recent graduates.

Looking at your potential earnings, the median starting wage for graduates was $55,000 in 2021. The highest-paying jobs right out of college were for those that required degrees in computer engineering ($74,000) and chemical engineering ($70,000).

Besides earning a well-deserved pat on the back, graduates can get a free dozen donuts from Krispy Kreme. Those eligible include NBA superstar Steph Curry, who graduated this year, along with honorary doctorate recipient Taylor Swift.

Congratulations, class of 2022!

Weekly Specials

In honor of Memorial Day we will not be publishing Stifel Bits next week. We’ll be back at it again starting June 8.

Southern California port officials claim the threat of a penalty fee (which has never been imposed) has kept cargo moving. The amount of cargo sitting for more than nine days has declined by nearly 50% since the fall. The New York-area ports are a different story…

Just weeks after announcing the end of his (short) retirement, Tom Brady signed a 10-year, $375 million deal to become an analyst on Fox when he’s done playing. That’s more money than he’s made on the field. Maybe the return was a negotiating tactic? Well played.

At an average of $4.56 per gallon, Americans will spend $5,000 on gas this year. That’s up from a $2,800 projection a year ago. Despite higher prices, consumers spend less of their “wallet” on gasoline and other energy products.

A planeload of more than 70,000 pounds of baby formula arrived in the U.S. from Europe and will start hitting shelves as early as this week. The formula will address 15% of the overall national demand.

Corporate Lunch

Target missed the analysts’ target on its latest earnings. The company said it’s not raising prices, but instead absorbing the higher costs to potentially take market share from other retailers.

Walmart said workers came back faster than they expected during the omicron wave, so the company ended up with weeks of overstaffing.

Gucci and Adidas faced backlash over a $1,600 umbrella that’s not waterproof. To be fair, the umbrella is intended for sun protection or decorative use.

Goldman Sachs offered senior employees unlimited vacation and required all employees to take at least 15 days off per year. A UK recruiting firm recently tried a similar policy and found that it caused anxiety for workers.

McDonald’s, along with Starbucks and Exxon Mobile, is exiting out of Russia completely. On their opening day in Russia in 1990, the golden arches served 30,000 in Moscow.

Amazon announced a new Fire 7 tablet that will only set you back $60, or the price of a tank of gas.

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