Don’t Break Your Stride
Great Ones, last night I had the strangest dream.
I sailed away to China … with a little portfolio to find ya. And you said you had to deal with inflation and needed someone to help you through.
What does that mean? And you said…
Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride! Nobody gonna slow me down!
Oh no! You got to keep on moooooving!
Yes, inflation is nasty right now. Yes, prices are soaring, and Main Street is feeling it harder than Wall Street.
You can tell because Wall Street got excited about the core consumer price index (CPI), when we all know that gas, food and housing are … well, essential.
Heck, today we found out that the March producer price index (PPI) jumped 11.2% from last year — the largest increase on record.
It certainly doesn’t look pretty, that’s for sure.
Mahir Rasheed, U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, had this to say about the latest PPI data:
The severe imbalance between robust demand and handicapped supply will persist throughout Q2, keeping producer price inflation sticky and elevated until price pressures start to decelerate in the latter part of 2022.
With a new wave of lockdowns in China and the war in Ukraine raging on, however, risks to the inflation outlook remain firmly to the upside, reaffirming our view that the Fed must proceed with a faster pace of policy normalization in the months ahead.
Looks bad, right?
Well, ya negative Nancys, there is a light at the end of the tunnel in both the CPI and PPI data. Just as the CPI indicated that inflation could be at its peak, the PPI is hinting at inflation relaxing in the latter half of this year.
That’s just great, Mr. Great Stuff, but it does nothing for me right now!
Oh, but it does. It does!
It proves that this situation is transitory. That we aren’t going to be locked in a high-price environment for forever.
That’s what “transitory” means.
And it allows you to prepare, to take profits on risky investments, to hold on to stocks in outperforming companies ‘cause you know things are gonna change.
I mean, the party doesn’t go on forever … but the road never ends. And there will be another party around the next bend or over the next hill. And Great Stuff will be there to help you through … and we’ll even bring the balloons and party favors.
Dude, you are really bad at this reassuring, inspirational stuff. Can we get back to the snark?
Well … at least I tried. Let’s take a station break and hear from one of our sponsors, and then we’ll get back to the snark.
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If Facebook … erm, Meta Platforms (Nasdaq: FB) has its way, the metaverse might be DOA. Well, Meta’s Horizon Worlds is probably DOA, anyway.
Horizon Worlds is Meta’s version of the metaverse, complete with cartoony Nintendo Mii-looking avatars and virtual merchandise.
On Monday, Meta said that it would allow a select group of Horizon Worlds content creators to sell virtual assets within their virtual worlds.
But while the worlds may be virtual, the cost is most certainly real … and Meta plans to take up to 47.5% of your very real currency for everything you sell in Horizon Worlds.
First, there’s a 30% “hardware platform fee” for sales in Meta’s Quest Store, and then there’s a 17.5% Horizon Worlds fee. And you thought Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) 30% App Store fee was bad.
I was going to get snarkier on this one, but I’ll let Meta content creators take the ball here. Here are a few choice comments on Twitter following the news:
Just because you changed your name to Meta doesn’t mean you understand the value of Web3.
47.5% Creator Fees👀
I hate you Facebook.
If Meta wants 47.5% of NFT sales they gotta talk to the IRS because I don’t even have that after taxes 😭
Just when you thought it was safe to go back on Twitter (NYSE: TWTR)…
When was it ever safe to go on Twitter, Mr. Great Stuff?
OK, you got me there. How about this: Just when you thought the Elon Musk/Twitter drama was over…
Oh … that’s much better!
Thanks! I write for a living, you know. Anywho, Twitter and Elon Musk are back in the headlines today after a group of Twitter shareholders decided to sue Mr. Musk. Why? Well, because Musk broke the rules … again.
You see, the SEC says you have to disclose any new company stake of 5% or more within 10 days. Musk did not do this with his 9.2% TWTR stock purchase and made $156 million because of it.
According to Alon Kapen, a corporate transaction lawyer at Farrell Fritz:
For his part, Musk has yet to comment on the lawsuit. He’s probably too busy doing his best Scrooge McDuck impression right now…
New York City customers had some harsh words for ride-hailing hulks Uber (NYSE: UBER) and Lyft (Nasdaq: LYFT) after yesterday’s mass shooting on a Brooklyn subway.
According to social media members, both companies saw an immediate, city-wide price surge following the incident as people took to different means of transportation … and they only rolled back those price hikes after complaints starting coming in.
This isn’t the first time either company has had to pump the brakes on price gouging following high-profile disasters … but damn if it isn’t disappointing to see businesses benefiting off other peoples’ pain.
Adding to the cringe factor, both LYFT and UBER were trading 2% higher this morning.
Activist investor Blackwells Capital gave Peloton (Nasdaq: PTON) a paddlin’ over the bike peddler’s “poor progress” under new Chief Executive Barry McCarthy.
It’s only been two months since McCarthy came out of retirement and joined the company as CEO, but Blackwells claims “shareholders are worse off now than before” under Barry’s watchful eye.
Personally, I’m not sure what progress Blackwells expects Peloton to make, seeing as it’s a stationary bike company … but hey, that’s just me.
Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) cruised into the earnings confessional this morning and delivered upbeat guidance despite fiery fuel prices, which Wall Street was convinced would eat into the company’s profits.
Technically, they did … but Delta still defied gravity by posting a loss of $1.23 per share on revenue of $9.3 billion in the first three months of the year.
That may sound substandard to you, but keep in mind that consensus estimates called for a loss of $1.27 per shares on sales of $8.8 billion. So, by failing less, Delta actually won more. Yeah … let’s go with that.
Undeterred, Delta also called for rising, double-digit revenue in Q2 that could put it back at pre-pandemic levels. By pushing prices higher, Delta feels confident that it can curb any short-term fuel fiascos.
While time and travel demand will tell … I commend Delta’s confidence, at the very least. DAL stock soared 4% higher on the day.
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What, you thought you could sneak by without sharing your thoughts? Oh, nay nay! Poll day is upon us once again, Great Ones.
As we noted about four seconds ago, Delta speaks of accelerating consumer demand with more Americans taking to the skies … by plane, if it wasn’t obvious.
So it’s high time we, you know, polled consumers about this demand … that’s you, if it wasn’t obvious.
Between business travelers and leisure flights, Delta’s almost running at pre-pandemic capacity — 84% of the way there. My question is this: Are you a part of that highfalutin’ number?
For business, pure fun or simply to get out of the house … have you traveled on the airways this year?
Click below and let us know!