Stifel Bits

July 12, 2023

The Appetizer

This week’s Stifel Bits is being brought to you by our CIO Office summer interns. Enjoy!

“You awake from a deep trance, step away from the phone to see your friends and family.”

  • Elon Musk’s tweet following backlash to the company’s cap on the number of tweets that users can see on a daily basis.

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

  • 6.2: The number of hot dogs per minute that Joey Chestnut consumed at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4.
  • 1,610: The number of days between Rickie Fowler’s PGA Tour win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on July 2 and his previous win at the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
  • 60,000: The number of firework shells that exploded over the East River in the spectacular Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks display.
  • 12: The number of times that the average person sighs per hour, often as an unnoticed involuntary reflex.
  • $1 billion: The estimated gross revenue of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour over a total of at least 106 dates.

Dig In

On June 30, 2023, the Supreme Court thwarted the Biden administration by blocking their student loan forgiveness plan. Looks like those poor interns will have to keep surviving on ramen noodles and secondhand textbooks for now!

Economists, ever the fun-ruiners, predicted that the student loan forgiveness plan wouldn't do much for the U.S. economy anyway. Apparently, giving people an extra $20,000 to spend might have caused vendors to go bonkers and raise prices, turning us all into walking ATMs. Talk about inflation on steroids!

But fear not, my debt-ridden comrades! If Uncle Sam isn’t exactly showering you with financial favors, why not consult your advisor about financial planning?

And for all you folks out there who have dreams of being parents or are already knee-deep in dirty diapers, it’s time to chat with your advisor about 529 plans. They help you save for your little ones’ education.

Weekly Specials

The biggest fight of all time??? Elon Musk will soon face Mark Zuckerberg in a cage fight. Musk’s preferred location? The Vegas Octagon. As this fight comes closer to fruition, sportsbooks such as DraftKings have projected Zuckerberg as the favorite to win the fight. Will Zuckerberg come out on top as the favorite, or will Musk take the crown as the underdog?

If your current job isn’t paying you enough, consider moving! Coming this summer, four more states plan on increasing their minimum wages, making 27 states in total that have enacted an increase this year. Many of these boosts are directly linked to inflation; the raises are higher than they usually would be due to higher prices overall.

Move over Alex Morgan, you’ve got some competition! Stifel recently announced it has signed soccer phenoms Alyssa and Gisele Thompson to sponsorship deals. The sisters, ages 18 and 17, have been making a big splash in the soccer world. “Alyssa and Gisele are just beginning their promising journeys – personally, professionally, and financially – and we are proud to welcome them to the Stifel family at such a crucial time in their careers,” said Stifel CEO Ron Kruszewski.

What do you mean I’m not really 21?! – In South Korea, the nation’s parliament has decided to change the way individuals calculate their ages. According to South Korean culture, people are considered to be one year old when they are born, and every year after that is a normal year. Now, on standardized documents, Koreans ages will start at 0.

As world heats up, the market for personal cooling devices is taking off. Many office workers in Tokyo and Hong Kong are buying a secret weapon to beat the heat: the Sony Reon Pocket 4. This device rests a metal pad on the back of the neck and cools the wearer using a thermoelectric phenomenon called the Peltier effect. Pretty cool stuff if you ask me!

Corporate Lunch

Tesla beat its second quarter delivery estimates and was met with a 6% jump in its stock price. Investors attribute Tesla’s increase in production to its price cuts.

Goldman Sachs is looking to ditch its partnership with Apple, as it has been in talks to offload its Apple Card product to American Express. Goldman helped Apple break into the world of finance but is now leaving it in the wind.

Apple is cutting its Vision Pro headset production forecasts because manufacturers are struggling with the complexity of the design.

Netflix is cracking down on sharing passcodes. “Account is meant to be shared in one household.”

Walgreens reported earnings that beat Wall Street’s estimates, but it still got punished. Its previous $5.2 billion settlement for opioid-related litigation upset investors and led to the stock getting hit.

Meta is looking to deliver a hit to Musk with its new Twitter clone, Threads. Zuckerberg claimed that Threads already has 30 million users and counting. Musk may struggle to retain a larger user base. See a trend?

Amazon said it would soon roll out Rivian’s electric vans in Europe as Rivian hit more than 200% year-over-year production growth. Along with Tesla’s strong deliveries, EV adoption is becoming more of a reality.

Nike beat Wall Street’s expectations for sales, yet profits were lower than expected. Nike’s margin drop is its first miss in three years. They may need to rely on Gen Z Air Force 1 sales.

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