“I’m 5’8”, and when I’m walking, I see nothing but wall” — Hawaii resident Donna Mcmillen expressing her frustration with Mark Zuckerberg’s construction of a six foot wall around his over 700-acre property. What is it with 2016 and walls?
- Markets were up for a second day in a row with all sectors of the S&P finishing positive and the Dow erasing nearly half the losses suffered from the Brexit
Alternatives to Watch
- Positive markets didn’t stop gold from gaining, as lingering uncertainty kept the safe-haven asset in demand
- Shares of Esperion Therapeutics crashed 40% after announcing that the company failed to reach an agreement with the FDA on a clear route to approval for its cholesterol-lowering drug, leading to downgrades from Wall Street
GE Ain’t Important Anymore
…At least according to the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council. The FSOC removed General Electric’s financial services unit from its list of “systemically important” financial institutions. If someone did that to us, we would be a bit offended, but it’s actually pretty good news for GE. The “systemically important” label was created after the 2008 crisis for companies that posed a significant threat to financial stability and therefore deserve stricter oversight and regulation. GE becomes the first company to be taken off the list after dramatically shrinking its financial arm. Could other banking giants follow suit? GE shares rose 2% on the news.
…We thought we were done with Kanye West and his Yeezy Boost sneakers. Turns out he’s back for good, recently announcing a long-term partnership with Adidas. How does Adidas feel about it? Pretty darn good, labeling it “the most significant partnership ever created between a non-athlete and an athletic brand.” While Kanye works with Adidas to produce what’s sure to be some exorbitantly expensive apparel and accessories, Adidas intends to open up stores that exclusively sell Yeezy products.
Facebook Puts Family First
…Publishers second. Zuck and Co. are making big changes to Facebook’s news feed algorithm in an effort to promote posts from family and friends over posts from publishers. Good news for Facebook’s over one billion users, not so great news for BuzzFeed and major newspapers. Many publishers have become heavily reliant on the social media powerhouse, and with these changes, Facebook expects some publishers to see significantly less traffic to their sites. With fewer articles clogging the news feed, maybe people besides your mom will start posting statuses again.
U.S. Banks Passed Stress Tests
…In flying colors. After being clobbered by the Brexit, the financial sector caught a much needed break. 31 out of 33 big U.S. banks passed the final round of the Fed’s annual stress tests, which help determine how banks would fare in a financial crisis. The results will likely further the Fed’s view that U.S. banks are much more resilient than they were pre-2008. The reward for passing? Banks can increase dividends and buybacks that they are returning to shareholders. Banks can hang those grades on the fridge.
- Walmart is giving everyone a month of free shipping
- Uber’s app will soon begin tracking driving behavior
- Toyota recalls 3.37 million cars
- DoorDash will soon bring you alcohol
- Monday: International Trade (-)
- Tuesday: Nike (+/-), Carnival (+) Earnings; U.S. Q1 GDP (3rd Estimate) (+)
- Wednesday: Monsanto (-), General Mills (+) Earnings; Personal Income and Outlays (+)
- Thursday: Constellation Brands, ConAgra, Micron, Darden Restaurants Earnings; Weekly Jobless Claims
- Friday: ISM Manufacturing Index; June Auto Sales; Construction Spending
HOT DOGS, BEER AND FIREWORKS
Independence Day…do we need one now that the country we freed ourselves from apparently has its own? The answer is a resounding yes. As usual, there will be a massive uptick in consumption around July 4th, and this year is predicted to be even bigger and better than the last. Citizens are celebrating America’s birthday in style:
- Americans will likely eat an estimated 150 million hot dogs this July 4th, washed down with over 23 million cases of beer. Fun fact: in 2014, two million of those cases were craft beer.
- Households will spend an average of $71.34 on food for barbecues and picnics, resulting in a nationwide total of close to $7 billion spent on holiday festivities, up 1.4% from 2015. Party on.
- And in case you haven’t heard, Anheuser-Busch plans to replace all mentions of the word “Budweiser” with the word “America.” Hey, could you pass me an America?
- And let’s not forget the best part of July 4th: the fireworks. Sales for these are expected to reach $710 million.
INTERVIEW QUESTION OF THE DAY
A windowless room has three light bulbs.You are outside the room with three switches, each controlling one of the light bulbs. If you can only enter the room one time, how can you determine which switch controls which light bulb? (Answer 3)
BUSINESS TERM OF THE DAY
Profit/Loss Ratio — A portfolio’s average profit on winning trades divided by its average loss on losing trades over a specified time period. The lower the number, the worse the system is at predicting future movements in stock prices.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Historian Gudni Johannesson was elected president of Iceland earlier this week after earning 39% of the votes. The elections, however, were tainted by a remarkably low turnout since about 10% of the country’s population was in France supporting Iceland’s national soccer team at the Euro Cup 2016. Johannesson’s first act as President? Go to France to cheer for the team himself.