Stifel Bits

November 16, 2022

The Appetizer

“Qatar is a mistake”

  • Sepp Blatter, ex-FIFA president, who was in charge when Qatar was awarded the World Cup hosting rights in 2010. The World Cup starts this Sunday, with the first match being Ecuador facing off against the host Qatar.

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

  • +400: The odds of Brazil winning the World Cup.
  • 36: The age of the typical first-time homebuyer in the U.S. in 2022, up from 33 last year.
  • 73%: The percent of anticipated student debt forgiveness recipients who expect to spend their money on nonessential items, according to a recent survey from
  • 55: The number of students who may have to retake the SAT after their tests were lost by a UPS truck.
  • 1.65%: The percent of auto loans that were at least 60 days delinquent in the third quarter, the highest rate in more than a decade.
  • 8 billion: The estimated population on Earth. It’s taken the world a little less than half a century to double its population from 4 billion people in 1974.

Dig In
Red Wave or Low Tide?

High inflation and slowing economy. Check. Low presidential approval rating. Check. History favoring the minority party. Check. The conditions were right, but the “red wave” of Republicans sweeping control of Congress in the 2022 midterms never materialized. So what now?

As of this writing, some races in the House were still too close to call, and we won’t know the balance of the Senate until after the Georgia runoff election in early December.

Regardless of the results, neither party gained a meaningful majority. So get ready for legislative gridlock.

That may be good news for equity markets, since gridlock removes the risk of higher taxes and lowers the growth rate of federal government spending. On the flip side, a divided Congress may bring drama to future debt ceiling standoffs, which could cause increased market volatility. Additionally, a split Congress may struggle to pass fiscal stimulus if the U.S. enters a recession.

For now, sit back and recover from that election fatigue – 2024 is just around the corner.

Weekly Specials

Last week’s inflation reading put a big hop in markets’ steps when the October consumer price index (CPI) reading eased to 7.7% year over year. Equity markets posted their largest one-day gains in more than two years on hopes the Federal Reserve may soon ease its aggressive rate hikes.

As interest rates rise, more executives are looking to pay down debt. Companies in the healthcare, consumer staples, and information technology sectors have cut their median debt load values by 5%, 2%, and 1%, respectively.

Don’t look now, but your dad is actually a trendsetter. Yep, those clunky, bland, super comfy, dad sneakers are one of today’s hottest fashion items. Pairs of New Balance 550s are selling for three times their retail value on the resale market. So what’s next – mom jeans? Oh, wait…

For the first time, researchers in the UK have transfused lab-created blood cells into two patients. The new technology won’t stop the Red Cross from calling for blood donations, but it may allow scientists to manufacture rare blood types to help treat conditions that need regular blood transfusions.

Corporate Lunch

Is it a Christmas tree? Is it a keg? Lucky for you it’s both. Miller Lite is selling a new Christmas Tree Keg Stand this holiday season.

Nvidia is meeting U.S. export regulations and selling a chip in China that limits the country’s access to AI computing.

Lyft needs a lift…after it reported worse-than-expected earnings, Lyft closed down 22% the same day.

Citi is taking initiative to improve its UK working culture by increasing vacation allowances, now offering 27 days of annual leave.

Apple, Pepsi, and Rio Tinto joined a corporate buyers club that’s committed $12 billion to purchasing near-zero-carbon steel, aluminum, and other products to develop cleaner technology.

Sweetgreen, is launching its own take on Rice Krispies Treats, a healthier take, of course, after discontinuing their last dessert option in 2014.

Disney theme parks are still going strong, but Disney+ more than doubled its losses in its fiscal fourth quarter due to higher programing expenses and the cost of global expansion.

13 is living up to the bad luck number superstition. Meta, Lyft, and Redfin each cut 13% of their workforce over the last week.

drawing of a table setting

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