Apple To Shut Down Beats Music, Plus Campbell Soup Recalling 355,000 Cans Of SpaghettiOs

By 11.16.15

morning-brew

Late Thursday evening, a pair of allegedly ISIS-inspired suicide bombings in Beirut killed 43 people and left 239 wounded. Then on Friday, a series of coordinated attacks by Islamist militants in Paris left 129 dead. As global financial markets reopen and react today, it’s worth noting that while markets generally sell-off in the short term following major “shock” events, there is typically little long-term effect. The Brew’s thoughts are with the victims and all those affected by the tragedies.

 

MARKET SNAPSHOT 

Rough End to a Rough Week

  • It wasn’t the end to the week that investors were hoping for: after falling sharply on Friday, U.S. stocks snapped their six-week winning streak and the S&P 500 turned negative for the year. At the top of the worry list: retail is in freefall. J.C. Penney’s disappointing holiday forecast (which sent shares tanking 15%) ended a brutal week for retailers, and retail sales (a major component of consumer spending) logged a surprise decline in October.
  • Also not helping matters: slumping commodities prices. Oil in particular had its worst week in eight months—falling over 8%. More bearish news: the International Energy Agency said there was a record 3 million barrels of oil in tanks worldwide—yes, that’s a lot.
  • It wasn’t just American stocks feeling the pain: European markets collectively finished down 2.7% last week, Chinese stocks fell over 1% on Friday and Japan was off half a percent.
  • In a merciful conclusion to a hostile takeover that truly embodied the word “hostile,” pharmaceutical giant (and EpiPen-maker) Mylan’s $26 billion bid for drugmaker Perrigo was rejected by a majority of Perrigo shareholders. Despite Perrigo executives cheering the rejection, shares of the company fell 6%, while Mylan actually jumped 12%.
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WORLD MACRO 

Yuan Joins the Club

The International Monetary Fund announced on Friday that they are considering adding the yuan, China’s main currency, as a reserve currency. If approved by the IMF board, the yuan will join the elite company of the dollar, yen, pound and euro. What does this mean? While China will likely continue to restrict the international use of the yuan, such a move may allow greater foreign access to the Chinese economy. Some analysts have gone so far as to say that this may help to stabilize the country’s currently shaky financial sector, and who can argue with that?

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CORPORATE PRIMER

Volkswagen Usurped

Along with worldwide respect, its share price, profits and its CEO, scandal-ridden Volkswagen has yet another thing to kiss goodbye: its spot as the #1 auto manufacturer in the world. Yesterday, the company reported that car deliveries plummeted by 5.3% to 490,000 vehicles last month, with executives citing shrinking demand in key markets like Brazil and Russia. Analysts now believe that Toyota will overtake the industry crown as the top selling manufacturer at year’s end.

Uh-Oh, SpaghettiOs

If you’re a ‘90’s kid, you may want to look away. Campbell Soup is recalling 355,000 cans of SpaghettiOs due to a choking hazard. What’s it take to issue a nationwide recall? Small pieces of red plastic on the cans were finding their way into the food, a dangerous fact discovered by 50 angry customers. Ouch, right in the childhood.

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TODAY IN TECH
Apple Ends Beats

Well, Apple didn’t miss a beat. On Friday, Apple announced plans to shut down its music streaming service, Beats Music, which it acquired for $3 billion only 18 months ago. Apple is encouraging Beats subscribers to join Apple Music and take their playlists with them. The announcement is far from shocking—Beats hadn’t taken on any new subscribers since June (that’s right, June)—but don’t forget to add headphones to your Christmas list, as the successful product line will still be available after the November 30 Beats shutdown.

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OTHER STORIES

  • U.S. Postal Service posts 5.1 billion dollar loss
  • AstraZeneca’s potential $3 billion cancer pill wins early approval
  • Japan’s economy falls back into recession
  • Holly Holm stuns Ronda Rousey with second-round KO
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ECONOMIC CALENDAR

  • Monday: Dillard’s Earnings
  • Tuesday: Consumer Price Index; Walmart, Home Depot, Dick’s Sporting Goods Earnings
  • Wednesday: Fed Minutes; Housing Starts; Lowe’s, Target, Staples Earnings
  • Thursday: Best Buy, Gap Earnings; Weekly Jobless Claims
  • Friday: Abercrombie & Fitch, Foot Locker Earnings

THE BIG QUESTION ON CAMPUS

If you’ve been on social media this past week, you’ll know that a lot has been going on at schools such as Missouri, Yale, Ithaca College and Claremont McKenna. The main goal of the protests has been to address issues of racial discrimination and a lack of diverse representation across college campuses. So, does the data back up these claims? A closer look says yes:

  • Data from universities similar to Missouri show that black students are underrepresented when compared to the college-aged black resident population of the university’s state—for example, only 8.5% of Mizzou’s undergraduates are black, as compared to 15% of all 18-24 year olds in the state.
  • The discrepancy is even starker at private universities: at Yale, 6.9% of undergraduates are black, in comparison to 14.9% of college-age residents in Connecticut as a whole and 25% in New Haven. It’s worth noting private universities typically recruit from a much more widespread (and selective) set of regions.
  • Data on graduation rates also show a grim picture: at private universities, 85% of black students graduate within 6 years, as compared to a 90% rate for all students.
  • The facts are clear, but whether it’s due to disparities that start well before the college application process or not, the question remains: why does such a gap exist?

INTERVIEW QUESTION OF THE DAY

You stand at a fork in the road. Next to each of the two forks, there stands a guard. You know the following things: first, that one path leads to paradise and the other leads to death. You cannot distinguish between the two paths. You also know that one of the two guards always tells the truth and the other always lies. You have permission to ask one guard one question to discover which path leads to paradise. What one question would you ask to guarantee you take the path to paradise? (Answer)

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BUSINESS TERM OF THE DAY

Kremlinomics — A financial buzz word used to describe economic policies that some view to be overly leftist. Kremlinomics alludes to the communist policies of the Russian government during the Cold War and is by all accounts considered an unwanted connotation in industrialized nations.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT
25 mph: a Google driverless car was pulled over Thursday for driving too slow. Google caps speeds for the vehicles at 25 mph.

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