Trump’s Bringing Jobs Back To The U.S., Plus Twitter Rolled Out New Live 360-Degree Video Feature
Enjoy your December 29th hand-crafted Brew!
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Runaway success” — Apple CEO Tim Cook, commenting on the AirPods, which hit the shelves just days before Christmas after numerous shipping delays. Happy holidays, Tim.
- Despite the Dow coming within mere points of 20,000 early on Wednesday, U.S. stocks finished with heavy losses across the board
- Though all 11 sectors ended down, significant losses in the financial, materials and real estate sectors resulted in the S&P 500’s worst day since October
- On the other hand, Chinese stocks rebounded from a five-month low, spurred by bank stocks and rising commodity prices
What Goes Up
…Must come down? NVIDIA (-6.88%) shares tumble following a tweet. For the past couple of months, Wall Street has been enamored with NVIDIA, a chipmaker that many believe is perfectly positioned for a future of machine learning and autonomous vehicles. Oh, and NVIDIA’s been the top gainer in the S&P 500 this year, up a staggering 245% year-to-date. No big deal. However, a tweet yesterday from Citron Research, a firm founded by activist short seller Andrew Left, led many investors to facepalm yesterday. Citron, which is best known for predicting the downfall of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, believes NVIDIA will “head back to $90” in 2017 (that’s down 21%) and listed “six risks that shareholders are discounting.” Haters gonna hate.
Qualcomm Under Fire
…From regulators all over the world for its allegedly anti-competitive business practices. The government taking its shot this week? South Korea, which just levied a whopping $854 million fine on the semiconductor giant (-2.23%). The charge? Abusing its dominant market position by forcing its customers (often smartphone makers) to pay royalties on an unnecessarily large set of patents, many of which are unnecessary. And remember, because Qualcomm controls many of the key patents necessary for wireless networks, the mobile industry has to comply with these terms. Qualcomm will appeal the charge, but the case might set a not-so-kind precedent for other governments inspecting the semiconductor maker. Not to worry, though. With its pending $38 billion acquisition of automotive chipmaker NXP, Qualcomm is diversifying its business away from this pesky wireless licensing ordeal.
Trump’s Bringing Jobs Back to the U.S.
…With the help of massive Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. Sprint (+0.35%) and OneWeb, a U.S. satellite internet company, have committed to bringing back 8,000 total jobs to the U.S. This may mark the first wave of 50,000 jobs promised earlier this month by Trump and Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s billionaire CEO (SoftBank owns a majority stake in Sprint, FYI). So why is SoftBank/Sprint agreeing to do this? Well, there’s speculation that the Japanese telecom giant might be fishing for favorable regulatory benefits, like the ability to complete a Sprint/T-Mobile merger.
Kate Spade Outfits Investors, Not Just Fashionistas
…Call in the quants. And no, we don’t mean the tailors. Kate Spade saw its highest surge in over five years on Wednesday (+23.09%) amidst news the fashion designer is exploring selling itself. Potential buyers include some big names: PVH (think Calvin Klein), Coach, Michael Kors…well, you get the point. With the S&P Global Luxury Index down 2.6% this year, the luxury giants may be better off combining to form synergies rather than fighting solo. But wait, what about namesake fashion designer Kate Spade herself? Well, she sold the last of her personal shares in 2006. Whoops, at least her name is still famous.
Twitter’s At It Again
…Yesterday, Twitter (-1.32%) rolled out its new live 360-degree video feature. Feeling a bit of deja vu here? It’s all the rage these days: Facebook recently tested 360-degree broadcasts on Facebook Live. Caveat? You bet. While all Twitter users can watch video in 360-degrees, only “select partners” can actually go live via 360 Periscope. The company has had a troubled 2016, and this is yet another new feature release for Twitter as it tries to reinvent itself for the new year.
- Amazon plans a big digital-only sale for December 30
- Hottest toy of the holiday season is making kids cry
- Facebook, Google dominate the list of 2016’s top apps
- GNC closes 4,500 stores for a day for new pricing, POS systems
- Monday: Markets Closed (Christmas Observed)
- Tuesday: Consumer Confidence (+); Case-Shiller Home Price Index (+)
- Wednesday: Pending Home Sales (-)
- Thursday: Weekly Jobless Claims; International Trade
- Friday: Chicago PMI
For Retirees, Japan is the New Florida
As the cost of living continues to rise in the U.S., retirees are looking for new places where they can live off their social security. Florida and Arizona aren’t cutting it anymore. Here’s more:
- Nearly 400,000 American retirees are currently living abroad. That number has increased 17% since 2010 and is projected to continue growing over the next decade.
- Where are they going? Canada, Japan, Mexico, Germany and the U.K. are the five most popular spots for retirees to spend their sunset years.
- Japan saw the greatest increase in the past five years (42%) largely due to its access to healthcare and large U.S. military presence.
- The main challenge for these destinations is the language barrier. Research shows that many of the retirees going to Mexico claim to know how to speak Spanish, but in reality, they don’t even speak enough to meet their basic needs. Well, at least it’s warm.
Interview Question of the Day
5 13 10 16 20 19 40 ___? What number comes next? (Answer)
Business Person of the Day
Well, she’s not technically a business person, but Scarlett Johansson is officially the highest-grossing actor of 2016, with her movies grossing $1.2 billion (almost all from Captain America: Civil War). Johansson had already cemented herself as the highest-grossing actress of all time, and this year’s haul only extends her lead. Speaking of rich people getting richer…
Food for Thought
The world’s wealthiest people are ending 2016 with $237 billion more than they had at the start. This volatile year included disappointing economic data from China back in January, the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union over the summer and the election of billionaire Donald Trump to close things out. The wealthiest whipsawed through $4.8 trillion of daily net worth gains and losses during the year, but they came out on top.