Study: People Are Wasting A TON Of Time Talking About Politics At Work


Enjoy your February 8th hand-crafted Brew!


“You know, I think a lot of people bet against Tom Brady the other night, too” — Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, discussing Under Armour’s (-0.63%) recent performance. The company’s shares were absolutely pummeled last week after a disappointing earnings report, but it sounds like Plank sees a Brady-esque comeback on the horizon.

Market Snapshot

  • U.S. stocks moved higher midday but had a rough close, with investors awaiting more information regarding the Trump administration’s spending and tax plans
  • Oil prices dropped after data showed a massive spike in U.S. inventories that were well above analyst expectations. More inventories = more oil supply = lower oil prices. That’s Econ 101 for you

Twitter Fights Back

…And announces new tools to help combat abuse on its platform. A few months ago, Twitter (+1.78%) expanded its Mute tool, allowing users to block words or phrases they deemed hurtful. But that was only the beginning. Yesterday, Twitter looked to silence the haters by rolling out three new tools to curb abuse on its network. Here goes. (1) Twitter will work hard to prevent banned users from creating new accounts. That one seems like a given. (2) A new filter will hide “abusive or low-quality” tweets by default. Not bad. (3) Safer search results will ensure that you don’t see tweets from accounts you’ve blocked or muted when you run a search. Nice. Online trolls, consider yourself warned.

You Are Now Live

…On YouTube. The Google-owned video network announced its plan to go head-to-head with live mobile competitors Facebook (-0.17%) and Periscope. YouTube already supports live streaming from a computer, but this new feature will add a live button to your mobile app. And mobile is all the rage these days. So what’s in it for YouTubers? Well for starters, they’re being offered a hefty cut of the generated ad revenue, and they’re already offered a 45-55% split for regular videos. How does a YouTuber get on this level? The 10,000 followers or more rule. The rest of us will have to wait for a specified launch date for the lay-tuber. The differentiator vs. competitors? Viewers will be able to talk to YouTubers during live videos, using a new Super-Chat feature. Caveat? You bet. This service comes with a price tag. Sounds pretty exclusive to us.

Disney Keeps on Swimming

…With ESPN in tow. The Happiest Company on Earth (-0.52%) reported earnings yesterday, beating profit projections but missing the mark on revenue in most of its business segments. Luckily, things weren’t as bad as they looked. Disney has been killing it at the box office thanks to recent hits like “Rogue One” and “Finding Dory.” But last year’s insanely successful “The Force Awakens” is a tough act to follow, so it’s no wonder the company fell a bit short this time around. As for the all-important ESPN? Declining subscriber numbers have investors in a tizzy, but CEO Bob Iger gave vague reassurance of the network’s “strengthening position” despite the cord-cutting trend. Fingers crossed that he’s right about that.

Investors Stopped Asking What Have You Done for Me

…And started asking what will you do for me? Despite two years of record profits for General Motors (-4.70%) and beating earnings and revenue estimates yesterday, GM’s stock took a few step backs after analysts started forecasting a flat 2017. Oh, and all the uncertainty around the Trump border adjustment tax that could drive GM manufacturing out of low-cost labor spots certainly didn’t help. But hey, let’s look on the bright side—CFO Chuck Stevens “couldn’t be more pleased” with the record-breaking financial performance of 2016. Glass half full, right?

Michael Kors Weighs In on Earnings

…And ends up the biggest loser. Back in the day, Michael Kors (-10.80%) used to be America’s favorite growth stock. To keep the growth rollin’, the luxury fashion designer expanded too fast by utilizing department stores, and diluted the prestige of its brand as retailers would often heavily discount its merch in an effort to bring back foot traffic. That was bad news, but Kors’ response may have been worse. Kors yanked most distribution from department stores…and we mean yanked. Yesterday, Kors revealed a near 18% drop in wholesale revenue and a cut in forward earnings guidance, sending shares plummeting over 10%, the worst performer of the day on the NYSE.

Other Stories

Economic Calendar

Politics Are Getting in the Way

“Workplace politics” has taken on an entirely new meaning as of late. According to a new survey, workers spend on average two hours a day talking or reading about politics, with 22% spending three or more hours on the topic. The results make the workplace seem like a 24-hour cable news network:

  • Nearly a third of respondents hear their co-workers talking more about politics than work. Goodness. What’s worse: since the election, half of those surveyed have seen a political conversation lead to a full-blown office argument.
  • Beyond heightened tensions between workers, the election has had an impact on individuals too. 29% of workers admitted to feeling less productive at work since November.
  • Unsurprisingly, human resources is feeling the strain. Many reported increased hostility in the workplace despite managers working hard to keep discussions civil. Maybe the rule banishing politics from the dinner table should extend to the workplace, too.

Interview Question of the Day

If you add the age of a man to the age of his wife, the result is 91. He is now twice as old as she was when he was as old as she is now. How old is the man and his wife? (Answer)

Business Person of the Day

Another CEO bites the dust, this time in the pharma industry: Teva Pharmaceuticals (-6.29%) CEO Erez Vigodman stepped down yesterday. The world’s largest generic drugmaker has been reeling after some ambitious acquisitions failed to pay off and as some high-profile drug launches were delayed. Case in point: Teva’s stock has been nearly cut in half since this time last year. Yikes.

Food for Thought

Harambe is back, and the hype is still very real. A flaming hot Cheeto resembling Harambe the Gorilla sold on eBay for a whopping $99,900 yesterday. The listing attracted 132 bids. Gone but never forgotten, Harambe.

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