Stifel Bits

January 18, 2023

The Appetizer

“It just doesn’t work.”

  • Chef/owner René Redzepi on the modern fine dining model and his reasoning for closing Noma, ranked the “World’s Best Restaurant” five times.

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

  • 5%:  The one-year inflation outlook from the New York Federal Reserve (Fed)’s monthly Survey of Consumer Expectations for December, the lowest level since July 2021.
  • 1.7%:  The global GDP growth forecast for 2023 from the World Bank, down from 3% forecast in June.
  • 155 hours:  The average amount of time a commuter lost sitting in Chicago traffic in 2022, making Chicago the worst U.S. city for congestion.
  • 11.5%:  The decline in ozone-damaging chlorine in the stratosphere between its peak in 1993 and 2020.
  • 5”:  The size of the megalodon tooth that a young girl found on a Maryland beach.

Dig In
Speaker of the House

What a start to the year! While not quite at Ali-Frazier Thrilla in Manila level, Kevin McCarthy’s brutal 15-round speakership bout provided tons of drama and entertainment for Washington watchers. So what does the speaker of the House actually do?

The position is actually one of the most powerful in Washington, but not just because it is second in line to the presidency. Without a speaker, the new Congress can’t be sworn in, and many of our government’s basic processes for functioning come to a stall.

The speaker serves as the primary spokesperson for the House majority and helps to set the legislative agenda, including which bills or laws reach the floor for a vote.

He also controls committee assignments and helps to establish and enforce House rules and procedures. No speaker means no working Congress, which means no oversight of the White House, State Department, and Department of Defense.

While markets didn’t react to the House political chaos, the dysfunction clearly signals that House Republicans may struggle to pass budgetary bills and raise the debt ceiling later this summer. The upcoming political brinkmanship could lead to market volatility.

Check out Stifel’s Potomac Perspective to preview what may be in store.

Weekly Specials

Oscar Mayer is currently looking for its next group of “Hot Doggers” – the drivers of the famed Wienermobile. The yearlong gig offers pay, benefits, apparel, and the chance to tour the country. However, if you do score an interview, be sure to ask if the Wienermobile plays the “Oscar Mayer Wiener Jingle” on repeat. 200,000 miles of that? Yeah …

Headlines about gas stoves blew up last week when a commissioner with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission suggested bans could be on the table. A study showed gas stoves release air pollutants that can affect air quality and heighten the risk of health problems.

At last?! Inflation eased in December as consumer prices fell, largely due to lower energy prices. The December consumer price index reading declined 0.1% from November. Could the Federal Reserve raise rates a quarter point at its next meeting, rather than a half point? We’ll see.

New technology can impact sports dramatically … think aluminum bats or carbon-fiber hockey sticks. Game changers. So watch out, bowlers:   “String pins” may be coming to an alley near you. The system hoists fallen pins by a string and lowers them back into place, offering alley owners a cost-saving option over old-school systems. The catch? The pins are harder to knock down.

Corporate Lunch

Disney’s returning CEO, Bob Iger, is already shaking things up. Pricing policies are getting rolled back, and photo downloads from rides will again be complimentary.

Baby, I’m back. Babies R Us is planning a nationwide comeback with its first store set to open this summer at the American Dream megamall in New Jersey.

Amazon’s Alexa will soon help EV drivers find a charging station while on the road. Just remember to bring Alexa with you.

Pepsi is replacing Sierra Mist with a new lemon-lime soda called Starry. Rumor has it, YouTube may be preparing its servers for a flood of blind taste tests upon Starry’s release.

Goldman Sachs posted its largest earnings miss in a decade with profits dropping 69% in the fourth quarter compared to the prior year. The layoff announcement might have been foretelling.

The price of Guinness in Ireland will increase by 12 euro cents per pint, passing rising costs onto consumers. The Irish PM expressed some concern, stating the raise may be a “financial hardship for many” pubs.

drawing of a table setting

LinkedIn Twitter Facebook YouTube Instagram

One Financial Plaza | 501 North Broadway | St. Louis, Missouri 63102
Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated | Member SIPC & NYSE |

If you no longer wish to receive Stifel Bits click here. Please note you will still receive electronic communication as it pertains to your account(s).