Sears Caves In And Decides To Work With Amazon, Plus What You Need To Know About The Hyperloop

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“Cleanliness and hygiene are a top priority for the Burger King brand.”
That might be true, but it’s always a tough blow to morale when you find fecal bacteria in the ice (don’t worry, it was just in the U.K.).


Market Corner

Market Snapshot

  • The Nasdaq finished up, matching its longest winning streak since Feb 2015.
  • The Dow and S&P dropped with Home Depot (-4.09%) leading the pack.
  • Apple closed lower, missing a record-tying ten straight days of gains.
  • Oil fell after hitting a seven-week high.

Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em

2009: Sears (+10.60) and its subsidiary Kmart own 2,224 locations.

2017: That number is now 1,242—*thanks Amazon.

Nobody wants to suck up to the company that stole all its business, but sometimes you need to when you’re in a bind. Sears is in a bind.

Yesterday, the retailer announced it’s finally listing its line of Kenmore refrigerators and stoves on Amazon—the first time it’s selling home appliances beyond its own stores.

At the very mention of the two pairing up, investors were giddier than Elon Musk getting ready for a Mars convention, sending the stock up 12% in pre-market trading and washing out its 6% loss since January.

The decision gives Sears access to a new set of customers as it looks to combat the rise of Best Buy (-3.93%) and Home Depot in a shrinking brick-and-mortar marketplace.

And if you think that’s promising, the new Kenmore appliances come with some pretty cool Alexa-enabled skills as well.

Those house parties are going to be a hell of a lot more fun once the refrigerator starts getting better at Taboo.

Not So Boring

Elon Musk just got verbal approval from the U.S. government to merge Boring Company tunneling capabilities with Hyperloop technology. A one-two punch that would take you from New York to DC in 29 minutes.

Just stop and think about that.

The fully underground network links NYC, Philly, Baltimore and DC and reflects the vision of the current Office of American Innovation, which hopes to fuel economic growth through “transformative projects [like] high-speed rail systems.”

All of it sounds promising, but nothing is set in stone.

For now, just expect Elon to keep popping his head up everywhere as he convinces transit regulators not to bop him back down.

Either way, everyone wins with a good game of Whack-a-Musk.

All Sweet, No Sour

President Trump’s got some yuge news for the American public—for the first time ever the U.S. will be allowed to export rice to China.

Before you get out those sparklers and pop the champagne, let’s break out the spreadsheet and crunch the numbers.

China is the world’s largest rice importer consuming more rice than the U.S. produces every 13 days.

And with a $347 billion trade deficit we better hope those rice-guzzlers keep at it.

But there’s even more meat to this—just last month China agreed to a $5 billion deal for 12.5 tons of soybeans and 371 tons of beef.

We’ll chalk this one up in the win column.

Next Stop

“Sir, if you could please not vomit on the touch screen.”

Citymapper, a popular navigation app for daily commuters in big cities, is rolling out its first nightly bus line in London: the CM2.

Securing approval from a city transportation authority is no simple task. Bus routes are complex and optimizing stops for commuters is a headache. Still, Citymapper got the green light on the strength of its day one promise…data.

With a new state-of-the art bus line—complete with touch screens, Apple Pay and other high-tech gizmos—Citymapper offers the most efficient “hop on hop off” bus points, while getting rid of bus bunch-ups by analyzing traffic data.

If all goes as planned, this could give it access to London’s ecosystem of ten billion annual bus rides.

Not that it’s worried—most experiences feel pretty luxurious when you’re a drunk passenger at 3:00am.

What Else Is Happening…

  • Over 100 people have now reported illness from the Chipotle location in Sterling, VA.
  • PepsiCo (+0.17%) promoted Ramon Laguarta to President after leaving the seat vacant for three years.
  • Bank of America (-0.50%) exec Anne Finucane is being considered as Uber’s new CEO.
  • YouTube TV expanded into ten more U.S. cities.

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Economic Calendar

Water Cooler

(Netflix Spending Spree) By the Numbers

2014 (Q2)—the last time Netflix had positive free cash flow.

Since then it’s been on a vicious two-part mission to grow its subscriber base and release new content.

Here’s just how much cash they’ve been burning through to get there:

2014 (Q3): -$58.5 million

2015 (Q1): -$140 million

2015 (Q4): -$257 million

2016 (Q1): -$237 million

2016 (Q4): -$618 million

2017 (Q2): -$599 million

So was all this money worth it? Until they turn a profit, it’s hard to say. But here’s what we do know:

  1. Netflix has grown to 104 million subscribers.
  2. Netflix won 91 emmy nominations for its original content.
  3. Netflix’s stock price has risen from $68 to $183.

That being said, they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. This year Netflix plans to spend $6 billion on content alone.

And as long as that means a little more Netflix and Chill, we say keep it coming.

The Breakroom

Question of the Day

If u > t, r > q, s > t, and t > r, which of the following must be true?

I. u > s

II. s > q

III. u > r

(Give Up?)

Who Am I?

  1. I hold business degrees from the University of Freiburg and Saarland University.
  2. I am the CEO of a company that makes everything from water filters to garbage bags.
  3. I was voted the most beloved CEO in the US with an approval rating of 99%.
  4. My company experienced a social media snafu when trying to use emojis in a creative way.

(Any guesses?)

Stat of the Day

$3.03 trillion

That’s how much Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft combined are worth. If you aren’t impressed yet, consider this: Australia’s GDP is 1.2 trillion.