Stifel Bits

August 16, 2023

The Appetizer

“Let me reiterate again to everyone that I am a Malayan sun bear – not a black bear, not a dog – a Malayan sun bear!”

  • The statement from a Chinese zoo after people on social media speculated that the zoo’s sun bear was a human in disguise based on the way it was standing.

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

  • 67%: The percentage of parents who spend 20% or more of their household income on child care, up from 51% in 2022, according to
  • 5% to 11%: The cost savings that AI could provide to hospitals for simplifying administrative processes, which account for ~25% of healthcare costs.
  • 13 years, 5 months, 13 days: The age of Da’vian Kimbrough, who has become the youngest professional soccer player in U.S. history. He signed with second division team Sacramento Republic.
  • 2,400 gallons: The amount of oil that is equivalent to about a gram of fuel for nuclear fusion.
  • $45 billion: The increase in U.S. credit card indebtedness for the April-June period, a 4% increase. Full indebtedness is now at $1.03 trillion, the highest amount since the Federal Reserve started tracking it.

Dig In
Logistics Strikes: Disrupting the Flow

We haven’t talked about logistics in a while, but recent headlines have us thinking about the supply chain again.

Last month, UPS reached a $30 billion deal with the Teamsters union to avoid a labor shutdown. That was huge news for consumers and retailers everywhere: UPS moves $3.8 billion worth of goods every day, which is approximately 5% of the U.S.’s gross domestic product. With supply lines finally normalizing from the pandemic disruptions, that could’ve been a problem.

July also saw the FedEx pilots reject a new contract that included a 30% raise. Fortunately for us, the Railway Labor Act ensures service will continue.

Most recently, Yellow (the trucking company whose orange and black logo makes us question our eyesight) filed for bankruptcy. Yellow was the third largest business in the “less-than-truckload” space, which carries goods for several customers, such as big box stores, on the same trailer. It’s great news for the competitors who will absorb Yellow’s 10% market share, but creates a void at the lowest-cost end of the trucking industry.

Taking it all in, shipping goods might get a little more expensive in the shorter term, but it appears the supply chain will keep flowing.

Weekly Specials

Video review is standard in most sports these days. Now it’s coming to tennis at the U.S. Open, where umpires in just over 50% of the tournament’s singles matches will be able to check if a ball bounced twice. The U.S. Open is the first Grand Slam event to try it, and results will dictate its expanded use next year.

Hank the Tank is back in the news! We first heard about the 400-pound, pizza-stealing black bear last year after a string of 21 home break-ins around Lake Tahoe. California wildlife officials plan to release her in a 33,000-acre sanctuary in Colorado.

What do Tom Brady, LeBron James, Michael B. Jordan, and Ryan Reynolds have in common (… besides being celebrities)? They own soccer teams. With soccer being the most popular sport in the world, some may find team ownership to be a little more exciting than their traditional investments and a boost to their personal brands.

Not too long ago, there were the Big Six conferences in college football. Then the Power Five … Now cue Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust,” after the Big Ten and Big 12 raided the Pac-12 a couple weeks ago. Oregon and Washington will be joining the Big Ten next year, while Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah join the Big 12.

The Wall Street Journal must be a Bits reader – they recently compared and contrasted the convenience, security, and benefits of using credit cards, digital wallets, peer-to-peer payments, and bank transfers.

Corporate Lunch

Airbnb posted its most profitable second quarter as the company found out guests were willing to pay higher nightly rates.

Wells Fargo faced technical issues that made some customers’ direct deposits disappear from their bank accounts. Pay day is supposed to be great day.

Apparently Apple does read suggestions from customers. The company is finally releasing the ability to leave FaceTime voicemails next month with its new software update.

Apple also wants to switch things up, as it plans to move the hang up button to the lower right side of the screen to prevent accidentally hanging up on calls – a problem Gen Z solved a long time ago by only texting each other.

Target wants you to stay awake while you wait for your items, so it’s now offering Starbucks as part of your curbside pickup.

Taco Bell is giving away free tacos in celebration of “liberation” of the “Taco Tuesday” trademark. The Giveaway is valid everywhere in the U.S., except New Jersey, where the trademark still stands.

Nvidia revealed a new AI chip that it claims will cut the cost of running large language models.

General Motors revealed its 2025 all-electric Cadillac Escalade, which ranges 450 miles and starts at $130,000.

PENN Entertainment sold Barstool Sports back to founder Dave Portnoy for $1, after just fully acquiring the company for around $550 million at the beginning of 2023.

Eli Lilly stock rose 15% after the company raised its annual forecasts as demand surged from Novo Nordisk’s weight loss drug.

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