Stifel Bits

November 9, 2022

The Appetizer

“I thought the bags [used in the Cornhole games] were too thin,”

  • Devon Harbaugh, when referring to the 2022 American Cornhole League World Championships that were rocked by the “BagGate” cheating scandal.

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

  • 100 million: The amount of songs that are now available to Amazon Prime members ad-free, up from 2 million.
  • -7.8%: The median loss for endowments and foundations in the fiscal year ended June 30, the worst return since 2009.
  • 1.2 miles: The length of the world’s longest passenger train that recently set a new record with its 15.5-mile journey through the Alps.
  • $75: Price for a multiple-course doggie dinner in a San Francisco restaurant. Dishes include chicken skin waffles and filet mignon steak tartare with quail egg.
  • 155,000: The number of members in the American Cornhole League, up from 125,000 in 2021.

Dig In
FAANG Losing Its Bite?

Remember when it seemed the FAANG trade couldn’t lose? Well, fortunes are reversing. Let’s look at Big Tech’s rise over the past 20 years.

Flash back to October 2002: Apple’s iPod is a year old, the dot-com bubble is bottoming out, and Microsoft and IBM are the only tech companies in the world’s largest 10. In fact, Big Tech (encompassing the information technology and communications services sectors) makes up only 17% of the S&P 500.

Since then, Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his dorm in 2003, Netflix began streaming in 2007, and Apple became the first $1 trillion company in 2018, then the first $2 trillion company in 2020. Now, Big Tech makes up 32% of the S&P 500 and has become a main driver of overall market performance.

This year’s rising rates and falling demand have investors reconsidering fundamentals and pushing valuations lower. Through the end of October, the information technology and communications services are down 27% and 39% for 2022, respectively.

While the party may be over, for now, Big Tech isn’t going anywhere. Longer term there are several tailwinds that should be supportive, and we’re excited to see where innovation takes us in the next 20 years.

Weekly Specials

Hello darkness, my old friend. Only 17 more weeks until daylight saving time is back … but who’s counting? Congress seems split on whether or not to make it permanent.

The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates another 0.75% to a target range of 3.75%-4% as the fight with inflation continues. The main question is “Are we there yet?” It seems not. Chair Jerome Powell said that it’s too early to think about pausing. Read more in our Sight|Lines.

It’s all fun and games until money is on the line. With $15,000 at stake, officials caught the top-ranked team at the American Cornhole League World Championship using illegal beanbags. As it turned out, their opponents’ bags were illegal, too.

Who’s that at the top? “It’s me. Hi!” – Taylor Swift became the first artist in Billboards’ 64-year history to take all top 10 spots on the Hot 100 list at the same time. Each song comes from her “Midnights” album.

NYC’s salary transparency law requires companies to post the minimum and maximum salary range for a job. The problem? Companies are posting pay bands that span $100,000 or more.

Corporate Lunch

Disney+ is giving subscribers the chance to buy new toys and merchandise before everyone else. Hide the iPad from the baby.

Chipotle is testing a robotic tortilla chip maker named “Chippy” that can help streamline operations.

Adobe’s bid for Figma is being investigated by the DOJ. Adobe expects the transaction to close in 2023.

Johnson & Johnson will buy heart pump maker Abiomed for about $16.6 billion in cash.

Honda said it is considering a line of small self-driving electric vehicles targeted at elderly persons or individuals who don’t like driving but still need to get from point A to point B.

Electronic Arts (EA) struck a three-game deal with Marvel. The first game EA plans to make is a single-player action-adventure game based on Iron Man.

Anheuser-Busch expects more beer will be consumed during the World Cup tournament than what is typical for an entire year in Qatar.

Apple wants to change the “Hey Siri” command to “Siri,” but this simple change is proving to be a technical challenge. BTW, Siri is a Scandinavian name, which in Norwegian means “beautiful woman who leads you to victory.”

drawing of a table setting

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