The Reason Apple Sold 13 Mil iPhone 6s Already, Plus The Kardashians Made How Much Money Off Their Apps?

morning-brew

“It will provide major tax relief for middle income and for most other Americans. There will be a major tax reduction. It’ll simplify the tax code, it’ll grow the American economy at a level that it hasn’t seen for decades.” Donald Trump, in a Monday press conference at the Trump Tower (how fitting) in New York, as he unveiled his plan to revamp the tax code.

MARKET SNAPSHOT 

Pharmaceuticals Not Immune to Market Trends

  • Pharmaceutical and biotech stocks continued their gut-wrenching plunge, dragging all U.S. stocks down in the process. Biotech is suffering from fears that politicians will put an end to the steep drug price hikes that the sector has been enjoying (and profiting from) of late. The biotech index took a 6 percent hit, its largest drop since 2011, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals (targeted by Democratic politicians for jacking up prices of two of its heart drugs) fell a hefty 16.5 percent.
  • European markets were just as weak, dropping across the board. Continued carmaker concerns (see Volkswagen) are one issue, but mining companies are also to blame—none more than Glencore. The commodity giant plummeted a whopping 30 percent with analysts now expecting significantly reduced metal prices. Also not helping matters: Glencore’s massive $22 billion debt burden.
  • The selloff didn’t end in Europe: Asian markets, including Japan and China, tumbled last night to 3-week lows. And with oil dipping 3 percent and the U.S. 10 year treasury yield falling as investors flocked to safety, you could say it was quite the bloody Monday.
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U.S. MACRO 

New Data and Yellen’s Watchful Eye

Some updated U.S. economic data was released yesterday, with plenty of mixed signals to go around:

  • After existing home sales took a surprising tumble in August, pending home sales were quick to follow, decreasing 1.4 percent on the month. What does this mean for the housing market? Looks like housing contracts won’t bounce back anytime soon, and are also expected to decline slowly for the next couple of months.
  • On a more optimistic note, consumer spending increased 0.4 percent since July. Combined with stable employment rates and a 0.3 percent rise in personal income, and the U.S. in a pretty good place compared with other economies globally—and don’t think the Federal Reserve hasn’t noticed. Despite their recent decision not to raise interest rates, chairwoman Janet Yellen is confident that the U.S. economy is on the right track—and she’s always watching.
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CORPORATE PRIMER

Volkswagen vs. the World

At the rate this scandal is unwinding, Volkswagen might need to start handing out blank checks to get things back under control. Reminder: the carmaker admitted to some serious number fudging to make 11 million of its vehicles seem more environmentally-friendly than they were. Volkswagen initially set aside $7.3 billion to deal with the fallout, and that may be put to use soon: the company is now facing a barrage of litigation that seeks to recompense owners affected by the declining value of Volkswagen cars, to the tune of up to $6,000 per car. Welcome to scandal infamy, Volkswagen.

Alcoa Splits Under Pressure

Yesterday, aluminum-making powerhouse Alcoa announced it’s splitting in two. If that sounds painful, it is: the price of aluminum has taken a hit this year, and Alcoa has subsequently lost 40 percent of its market share. The split will likely occur in about nine months, and if you happen to be an investor of Alcoa, no worries—you’ll own shares in both companies: one focused on its parts-making business, and the other on its not-so-profitable aluminum business.

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TODAY IN TECH

Apple Does It Again

The consumers have spoken: they still love Apple. The tech giant announced yesterday that it sold 13 million models of its iPhone 6s and 6 Plus in its first three days, beating last year’s iPhone 6 by over 30 percent. What’s so special? iPhone enthusiasts will claim enhanced features across the board. But the real reason may be China (who else?)—unlike last year, when it took China a month to start selling the iPhone 6, this year the new models were available on day one. And if they aren’t being sold in your country yet, don’t worry: they’ll be available in over 130 countries by year’s end.

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OTHER STORIES

  • Whole Foods cutting 1,500 jobs
  • Microsoft announces major change to its financial statements
  • McCarthy announces run for House Speaker
  • Puerto Rico officials to testify on debt crisis before Senate
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ECONOMIC CALENDAR

  • Monday: Personal Income and Spending
  • Tuesday: Consumer Confidence, Home Price Index
  • Wednesday: Private Payrolls
  • Thursday: ISM Manufacturing Index, Weekly Jobless Claims, September Auto Sales, Micron earnings
  • Friday: August Jobs Report

GAMING WITH THE KARDASHIANS

The Kardashians: whatever your feelings (or lack thereof) regarding America’s most controversial family, you can always indulge them in the App Store. Let’s take a look at the profitability of the family’s suite of phone games:

  • Kim Kardashian’s so-called “Hollywood Game” has apparently grossed $200 million since it was released in mid-2014.
  • The other sisters (Khloe, Kendall and Kylie, for those not familiar) released apps that have started off well—early projections predicted the apps could gross $32 million in their first year. Kylie’s app alone hit 1.75 million downloads in its first week.
  • Kylie’s app has a subscription service with a 7-day free trial—and reached a 6 percent conversion rate from downloads to paying subscribers. This meant Kylie made a little over $100,000 on the app’s first day (not bad), which translates to a potential $15 million in gross revenue for the year.
  • If you’re a Kardashian hater, here’s some consolation: download growth has slowed—by September 27, downloads were below 30,000 for Kylie’s app (compared to 600,000 on September 14).

INTERVIEW QUESTION OF THE DAY

How do you get 24 from nine, six, 11 and three using addition, subtraction, multiplication or division? (Answer)

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BUSINESS TERM OF THE DAY

Receivables Turnover Ratio — An accounting measure used to quantify a firm’s effectiveness in extending credit and in collecting debts on that credit. The receivables turnover ratio is an activity ratio measuring how efficiently a firm uses its assets.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Did you know that just yesterday, NASA confirmed that there are signs of flowing water on Mars, indicating possible niches for life?

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