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December 27, 2023

The Appetizer

“Any notion from TikTok that life was better in 1923 than it is now is divorced from reality.”

  • Columbia Business School economics professor Brett House on one of TikTok’s latest trends, coined the “silent depression.”

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

  • 13.3 million: The number of barrels of oil the United States is set to produce per day during the fourth quarter of this year, a global record, according to a report by S&P Global Commodity Insights.
  • 58%: The growth in the number of branded coffee shops in China over the past 12 months, reaching 49,691 outlets. China has overtaken the U.S. as the biggest branded coffee shop market in the world.
  • 268: The number of consecutive regular season games in which Steph Curry made a 3-pointer, the longest streak in NBA history.
  • $1 billion+: The hopeful price tag for the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant chain amid recent takeover interest. That anthropomorphic rat mascot is about to cash out!
  • 100+: The number of container ships that have been rerouted around southern Africa to avoid the Suez Canal. The diversion potentially adds up to three or four weeks to product delivery times.

Dig In
The grand finale, see you in 2024!

As we wrap up our final Stifel Bits for the year, we aimed for a light-hearted finale. Let’s dive into what awaits us – and no, it’s not about the election or inflation.

First up, more balloons will be inflated, since it’s a leap year. Plus, with two days of the week occurring 53 times, there's an increased chance of your payday landing on one of those days, granting you an extra pay period.

Also, next year promises a spectacular show of northern lights during a peak year for the Auroras. Head out to Alaska or the Netherlands to get the best viewing possible! With the market closed on 10 days next year… that’s a recipe for a three-day weekend getaway! 2024 will also bring the last solar eclipse in the United States for more than 20 years AND the first crewed mission in 52 years when four astronauts will journey to the moon for 10 days!

On the flip side, there are some childhood copyrights that are set to expire. Most notably (and possibly the saddest), the original Mickey Mouse in “Steamboat Willie” and the character Tigger from Winnie the Pooh are about to hit the public domain. But on a more positive note – the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics are on the horizon!

Cheers to a fantastic year of Stifel Bits, and the team wishes you a joyous New Year. Catch you in 2024!

Weekly Specials

Jessica Vincent discovered a piece of hidden treasure at her local Goodwill – a $3.99 vase later revealed to be made by a renowned Italian artist. She successfully sold it for $107,000. The intriguing question: Who originally parted with this valuable vase, and how are they feeling about their decision now?

The rise of lifelike artificial trees has led to a steady decline in the natural Christmas tree industry over the past 40-50 years. With 77% of Americans choosing artificial trees, one critic remarked these people “are satisfied with scrawny, dead, overpriced trees that have no special meaning.” – Clark Griswold

Brock Purdy has had quite the turnaround … he went from being the dead last pick in the 2022 NFL draft to being considered as a favorite for the MVP of the 2023 season. Purdy has a 68.8% percent completion rate, 29 touchdowns, and a 119.0 passer rating … aka he’s good.

Someone stole Abe’s hat! Abraham Lincoln’s top hat is missing from a bronze sculpture along the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky. We have a lot of questions… why steal the hat?

Auto loans have surpassed student loans, emerging as the second-largest debt burden for U.S. consumers after many years. Auto loan debt has climbed to $1.582 trillion, outpacing student loan debt at $1.569 trillion. The trend persists as consumers, despite inflated prices since the pandemic, continue to buy cars.

Corporate Lunch

Hackers leaked some of Sony’s plans for new video games. They are making more Marvel projects, shocker.

Barclays is holding off the final decision on its bonus pool until early 2024 after top bankers asked for the pool to reflect a recent win.

Rite Aid is not allowed to use its secret facial recognition systems for the next five years after wrongfully accusing many of shoplifting.

California-based Adobe has called off the acquisition of California-based Figma due to pressure from the European Commission. Not sure how Europe got involved, but the two companies agreed to go their separate ways.

Vans owner VF Corp. announced that a recent cyberattack could slow their fulfillment during the holiday season. The company declined to answer whether this was a ransom attack so this could be another Caesars or MGM situation.

Southwest was fined $140 million for last year’s holiday meltdown primarily caused by severe winter weather. This comes after the company already paid $600 million to stranded travelers, ouch!

Apple has been forced to stop selling the Apple Watch over a patent dispute. Fun fact: There is a clock on your phone

drawing of a table setting with a fork on the left, plate in the middle, and a knife and spoon on the right

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