Stifel Bits

June 21, 2023

The Appetizer

“No, I need to go home.”

  • Denver Nuggets player and NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokic when asked if he was excited for the championship parade in downtown Denver after the Nuggets won the finals.

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

  • 4.1%: The one-year inflation expectations for May, according to a survey from the New York Federal Reserve (Fed). That’s the lowest since May 2021.
  • 125%: The used car loan-to-value ratio in the first three months of this year, up from 104% in 2021, meaning the car loan is worth more than the car.
  • 17 inches: The width of an average airplane seat, a decrease from 18.5 inches around two decades ago.
  • 23: The number of Grand Slam titles that Novak Djokovic has after recently winning the French Open. He now holds the men’s all-time record.
  • $2.2 million: The average net worth needed to be considered “wealthy” based on a survey in which respondents gave an estimate for other people. However, people who felt they were wealthy themselves had an average net worth of $560,000.

Dig In
Connecting the Dots

If you followed the interest rate news last week, you may have heard about something called the dot plot. Now, it’s clearly not Pinky and the Brain’s plan to take over the world. So what is it, and why were investors making a big deal about it?

Back in 2011, the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) – the rate setters – wanted to warn the markets that it was ready to move away from the easy money policies used after the financial crisis. So the committee came up with the dot plot to give investors a heads-up to where future rates may go, and it’s been a useful tool ever since.

The chart is simple – up to 19 FOMC members can anonymously place a dot where they think rates will be at the end of the next three years, plus a longer-run projection.

Most investors weren’t expecting a June hike, but markets seem to think the skip is actually a pause as inflation continues to fall. Not so fast. The dot plot shows most FOMC members think we need two more hikes this year. With inflation falling, but the economy still chugging along, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Weekly Specials

Move over, China – India will soon have the most people on earth. According to United Nations projections, India’s population should reach 1.4286 billion people by the middle of the year, surpassing China’s population by nearly 3 million people. Overall, the two countries make up more than a third of the world’s estimated 8.045 billion people. Number three on the list? The U.S. with 340 million.

With summer now in full swing, lifeguards, camp counselors, and ice cream scoopers are in high demand as Americans continue to spend on travel, dining out, and day camps. Summer interns … that’s a different story. With many white-collar companies slowing their hiring process or cutting jobs this year, postings for summer interns are down 14.7%.

If you’re looking to sign a new lease, some relief may be coming your way. Last month, new-lease asking rents rose just 2% compared to the double-digit increases of last May. With soaring prices keeping some renters out of the market, and lots of new units under construction, there’s a chance the rental market could swing in tenants’ favor.

PGA Tour golfer Adam Hadwin was pretty pumped when fellow Canadian Nick Taylor won the Canadian Open in a four-hole playoff. In his excitement, Hadwin rushed the hole and boom! Security lowered the hammer. Luckily, no one was hurt and the incident was chalked it up to a misunderstanding.

The Beatles are probably the last group we were expecting to drop new material, but here we are. Paul McCartney announced artificial intelligence was used to pull John Lennon’s voice from an old demo to make “the last Beatles record.” The new song will be released later this year, and it leads us to wonder … what’s AI going to bring us next?

Corporate Lunch

Get ready to sip in style: The infamous 7-Eleven Slurpee is about to look a lot different. Check it out here.

To appeal to driving enthusiasts, Toyota is developing an electric vehicle with a simulated stick shift.

Louis Vuitton is partnering with the creator of Fortnite in an attempt to draw in customers with fitting rooms and fashion shows in virtual worlds.

An ex-Samsung exec was charged with stealing trade secrets to create a copycat chip factory in China. Another argument for why the iPhone is superior.

We know everyone has been eagerly awaiting the result of this case … the Supreme Court sided with Jack Daniel’s in a poop-themed dog toy trademark fight.

After Nike broke up with retail partners to sell more of their products directly to consumers, they are now trying to get them back. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone is the saying, right?

There are a lot of Netflix updates … the company is opening its first-ever restaurant featuring food from “Chef’s Table” and “Iron Chef” stars and has now entered live-streamed sports with a celebrity golfing event. And there’s a “Squid Game” reality competition coming this November.

drawing of a table setting

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