Stifel Bits

December 21, 2022

The Appetizer

“It took so long, but here it is. We suffered a lot, but we managed to do it.”

  • Lionel Messi after Argentina won the World Cup final against France.

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

  • 425: The cumulative amount of basis points the Federal Reserve (Fed) has raised rates in 2022, the most since 1980.
  • 7,100: The number of times a cotton bag needs to be used to make it a truly environmentally friendly alternative to a conventional plastic bag. (Source: Columbia Climate School)
  • 5.2%: One-year inflation expectations, according to the New York Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations, the lowest reading since August 2021.
  • 50: The age of Jaromir Jagr, the former NHL legend and owner of Czech professional hockey team who had to play in a game as a result of a widespread illness to the team. He notched two assists.
  • 60%: The percentage of U.S. consumers that have at least four streaming services, up from 40% two years ago. (Source: JD Power, The Wrap)

Dig In
Goodbye 2022

With our latest trip around the sun nearly complete, it’s time to recap the 2022 journey.

We started the year focused on several key Balancing Acts, such as the Fed’s attempt to tighten monetary policy just enough to rein in inflation without causing a recession.

As the year progressed, it became clear that a number of imbalances – the war in Ukraine, China’s zero-COVID policies, and other lingering pandemic effects (looking at you, Supply Chain …) – drove inflation higher, increased volatility, and led to an equity bear market.

Rates rose quickly as the Fed aggressively took the fight to inflation, ultimately hitting 4.25%-4.50% by year’s end, and gross domestic product contracted in the first half of the year.

Fortunately, a hot jobs market and engaged consumer appear to have kept the economy out of recession. Unfortunately, many portfolios didn’t feel the economy’s expected 1.8% growth: Both equities and fixed income were down together for the first time since 1977.

As we sign off for 2022, we’ll leave you with our latest Sight|Lines for a deeper dive into what happened this year. We wish each of you happy holidays – we can’t wait to share more insights and fun in the new year!

Weekly Specials

You can do worse than the City of Light if you’re making 2023 travel plans. Paris took the top spot in Euromonitor’s Top 100 City Destinations for the second year in a row.

It takes just an instant for the world to change – in this case, less than 100 trillionths of a second. The U.S. Energy Department announced researchers briefly achieved a nuclear-fusion reaction that produced more energy than it consumed.

First ashtrays disappeared from cars, then window cranks, and now, maybe AM radio. As electric vehicles gain more market share, manufacturers are increasingly leaving the AM dial out of cars.

The Fed delivered a 0.5% rate increase last week and signaled plans for more hikes next year – newly released projections show most Fed officials anticipate rates peaking between 5% and 5.5% in 2023 and holding above 4.5% through 2024.

Hopefully you enjoyed the World Cup as much as we did. Argentina defeated France in the Finals on Sunday. From a fan’s point of view, the tournament was so exciting that FIFA may have to rethink expanding the tournament’s traditional format from 32 teams to 48 in 2026.

Corporate Lunch

Despite concerns about a possible recession next year, analysts still expect the S&P 500 to grow earnings 5.5%.

As demand for travel picks back up, Air India is close to placing an order of 500 jetliners worth tens of billions of dollars from both Airbus and Boeing.

Recently, shoppers have tightened their spending on clothing and home furnishing, hurting retail giants such as Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Target.

Chipotle opened up its 500th “Chipotlane,” where customers can now pick up their mobile orders through a drive through window in 30 seconds.

Going into effect in 2024, Apple will allow alternative app stores on iPhones and iPads as part of complying with EU requirements.

A Gen Zer claimed the end of the world was coming soon when referencing the new bill from a bipartisan group of lawmakers that could ban TikTok in the U.S. due to potential influence from the Chinese government.

Twitter announced blue accounts are now charging subscribers $11 per month.

It’s a good thing college football season is almost over, as 1.4 million Ram trucks are being recalled over malfunctioning tailgate parts.

drawing of a table setting

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