Stifel Bits

June 14, 2023

The Appetizer

“Keep booing. This is the biggest moment in your year seeing me”

  • Soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimović’s response to the away fans booing at him during his farewell retirement speech.

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

  • 8: The number of stocks that account for 30% of the S&P 500’s market cap.
  • 21.6%: The S&P 500’s return since its low on October 12, 2022.
  • 13.65: The level of the VIX (a measure of the expected volatility of the U.S. stock market) on 6/8/23, the lowest reading since February 2020.
  • 6%: The percentage of people who made the switch from Android to iPhone because of iMessage and FaceTime.
  • $675,000: The selling price for the bar set from the popular TV show “Cheers” at a recent auction.
  • 4.5 million: The number of Instagram followers Inter Miami CF gained in one day. The team now has more followers than any NFL, MLB, NHL, or MLS team.

Dig In
Sports Shake-Up

“Transformational” may be the best word to describe last week’s news in the sports world. First, the PGA Tour dropped a bombshell by merging with rival LIV Golf. Despite being huge fans, we’ll admit to being shocked – but that’s golf getting bigger. Lionel Messi choosing Major League Soccer (MLS) … well, that’s next-level stuff.

Now, Messi isn’t joining Inter Miami CF and MLS for nothing. In addition to his club contract, rumor has it the seven-time world’s best footballer will get a piece of the league’s $2.5 billion broadcast partnership with Apple. Oh, and Adidas might throw in some goodies too. Is he worth it? For MLS, that’s a chance worth taking.

Remember when the LA Galaxy signed David Beckham in 2007? That kicked MLS’s growth into high gear and opened the floodgates for other stars such as Thierry Henry, Wayne Rooney, and now Messi. It’s been like a domino effect of superstar power, paving the way for expansion to 30 clubs (for now!) and that sweet Apple TV deal.

The Messi Effect” has already become apparent: Within hours, Inter Miami gained more than 4 million Instagram followers and ticket sales have skyrocketed across the league. Can MLS capitalize on the moment? We can’t wait to find out.

Weekly Specials

It looked like Manhattan had been transported to Mars last week when smoke from more than 400 Canadian wildfires wafted over the U.S. Flight delays, school schedule changes, and orange-hued skies gave us a taste of life on the red planet.

Diet water” doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to us, which might be why listed it as its most unusual room service request. Others on the list include melted ice cream and blowfish, to name a few. Hopefully these people were just distracted when they made their orders!

With the debt ceiling deal passed, the U.S. has some Treasury bills to issue … to the tune of $1 trillion worth. While few investors expect major problems, some worry the flood of new bonds on the market may force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates to entice buyers, making the debt more expensive. We’ll see what happens!

A full employment recession? On one hand, the addition of 339,000 jobs in May suggests things are going swimmingly. On the other, real gross domestic income – a measure of incomes earned and profits – shrank in the last two quarters, a possible sign of recession. Some economists argue this may be the result of businesses hoarding workers in a tight labor market despite lower productivity and profits. It’s an interesting thought, but we still believe the consumer has something left in the tank.

Corporate Lunch

Apple showed off at its Worldwide Developers Conference for 2023. The company announced a new MacBook Air, some new operating systems, and a mixed reality headset that will aim to casually revolutionize entertainment and productivity forever.

General Motors is the latest automotive company to partner with Tesla to use their North American charging network. All of GM’s electric vehicles will come with Tesla charging software starting in 2025.

The SEC is suing Coinbase, the largest crypto trading platform, claiming that the company had broken securities laws by acting as an unregistered broker and exchange.

Uber is going head to head with Turo as the company looks to start a peer-to-peer car-sharing service.

New York is suing Hyundai and Kia for causing a “public nuisance,” alleging the companies failed to install devices that prevent cars from being stolen.

Google Cloud is partnering with Mayo Clinic in an attempt to expand the use of … you guessed it, AI!

J.M. Smucker is spreading joy with some impressive earnings. The company beat quarterly earnings expectations, making $1.7 billion in sales from U.S. consumer retail foods for the year.

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