The Fed gave us a pony. Investors wanted 2 ponies.

Thursday, August 1, 2019 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

"Just pretend a 2nd interest rate cut is coming"

Dow Jones
26,864 (-1.23%)
S&P 500
2,980 (-1.09%)
8,175 (-1.19%)
$10,032 (+3.48%)
10-Yr US Treasury

Hey Snackers,

Belated HBD to Harry Potter (now 39 in muggle years).

Markets were busy suffering their worst day in 2 months — the Dow plummeted 334 points after an historic move (yes, it can have an "n") by the Fed.

Snacks forwarded to you from a friend? Subscribe to the daily newsletter here.

1. Scotts Miracle-Gro is kind of a pot company

Willie Nelson's suddenly an investor... Way back in 1868, Scotts Miracle-Gro was founded in Marysville, Ohio. And its mission was simple: help people grow plants. And sales to gardening homeowners and landscaping legends rose 10% last quarter. But overall sales were charged by the other grass — Cannabis.

Hydroponics = growing things indoors without soil... According to Scotts investor presentation, it helps "specialty crops" grow indoors with lighting, nutrients, and other greenhouse-y things. Sales in that division boomed 49% last quarter, courtesy of cannabis (best grown indoors). It even paid $450M to acquire Sunlight Supply, which produces sun-emulating lamps (sales in hydroponics grew 138% if you include that).


Trends are like onions... Layers. So many layers. Cannabis has booming growth potential as the stigma of marijuana use fades and legalization continues. Companies like Scotts hope for a piece of that growth action by enabling the enablers — aka supplying growers with the stuff they need to cultivate the cannabis.


Turn it up... Shares of Swedish music streamer Spotify dipped on word it added fewer paying subscribers last quarter than expected. Here's what Spotify's 232M-strong moshpit of "monthly active users" looks like:

  • The freebies: 129M (up 27%) tolerate an ad every few songs so they don't need to pay any cash money.
  • The premiums: 108M (up 31%) pay monthly for ultimate listening control.
  • Average revenue per user: $5.42. That's a combo of ads and monthly subscription, and it's been declining as Spotify entices broke college students to sign up.

Growth is strong, young Skywalker... CEO Daniel Ek believes his company's 31% user growth is double Apple Music's growth rate. And the percentage of users who canceled their subscription — aka the "churn rate" — hit a record low 4.6%. It's still making a loss though as it focuses on the race against Apple for eardrums.


It's not music. It's "listen"... Spotify prioritized podcasts for key reasons. First, it's easier to work with pod creators than 4 powerful record labels representing most music artists. Second, Spotify's pod listeners stay in the app longer (and we assume are better looking). So Spotify acquired Gimlet's collection of pods in February, along with 2 other pod-cquisitions. Add in some in-app nudging and Spotify has doubled its number of pod listeners since the start of 2019.

PS: You can "festify" the stuff you listen to into a music fest-style lineup poster (don't know how Les Mis soundtrack got in there).


Investors wanted two ponies... But the Fed only gave them one. America's central bank just did something it hasn't done in a decade: Cut interest rates. Fed Chairman Jerome "Jerry" Powell said he's lowering the nation's rates by 0.25%. Doesn't look like much, but the impact is big — if you've got a savings account, car loan, or student debt, this might affect you.

Time-travel back to 2008... That's the last time the Fed lowered rates. With the financial crisis growing, rates were dropped to near zero and stayed there for years to encourage borrowing and boost economic growth. It encouraged us to invest in stocks or other things instead of letting money just sit in savings accounts. This time, the Fed lowered rates for 2 other reasons:

  1. The trade war: Jerry's concerned it could hurt the US economy, so he's preemptively encouraging market-boosting borrowing with lower rates.
  2. Inflation: Prices aren't rising much. And a healthy economy should have about 2% inflation.

December was the big pivot... For years, the economy's had its post-crisis mojo back, so the Fed had been increasing interest rates since 2015. But in December, the Fed changed its tone (see the 2 reasons above). Since then, investors have pumped up the S&P 500 by 29% on expectations rates would drop — But stocks fell yesterday because investors expected even more rate drops to come. Jerry hinted 1 was enough.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Flat: Molson Coors' CEO steps down as Big Beer's sales soften
  • Shiny: SmileDirectClub is reportedly planning an IPO for September
  • Shade: Grubhub's CEO accuses DoorDash and Postmates of price-gouging your late-night pad thai delivery
  • Hit: General Electric revealed that it lost $300M in sales because it makes the engines for Boeing's 737 Max jets
  • Play: Nintendo fell after profits dropped 10%, but its Switch console keeps growing strong
Snacks Daily Podcast
  • Fitbit fell 14% basically because of its one new product — but we've got a prescription: plagiarize Apple's "services" growth strategy.


Subscribe to Robinhood Snacks

Our Editorial Principles
Robinhood Financial LLC and Robinhood Crypto, LLC are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Robinhood Markets, Inc. Equities and options are offered to self-directed customers by Robinhood Financial. Robinhood Financial is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). Explanatory brochure available upon request or at Cryptocurrency trading is offered through an account with Robinhood Crypto. Robinhood Crypto is not a member of FINRA or SIPC. Cryptocurrencies are not stocks and your cryptocurrency investments are not protected by either FDIC or SIPC insurance.

Getting “early access” to options or Web is defined as signing up with a valid email address for a spot in Robinhood Financial’s respective waitlist queues for Web or for options. Getting “early access” to Robinhood Crypto is defined as signing up with a valid email address for a spot in Robinhood Crypto’s waitlist queue. Early access to the waitlist for Web, options, or Robinhood Crypto should in no way be construed as confirmation that a brokerage account with Robinhood Financial has been opened or will even be approved for opening. Priority may be given to Robinhood Gold subscribers and existing customers of Robinhood Financial.

Free trading of stocks and options refers to $0 commissions for Robinhood Financial self-directed individual cash or margin brokerage accounts that trade U.S. listed securities via mobile devices or Web. Relevant SEC & FINRA fees may apply. Please see the Fee Schedule.

Robinhood Financial is currently registered in the following jurisdictions. This is not an offer, solicitation of an offer, or advice to buy or sell securities, or open a brokerage account in any jurisdiction where Robinhood Financial is not registered. Additional information about your broker can be found by clicking here.

Margin trading involves interest charges and risks, including the potential to lose more than deposited or the need to deposit additional collateral in a falling market. Before using margin, customers must determine whether this type of trading strategy is right for them given their specific investment objectives, experience, risk tolerance, and financial situation. For more information please see Robinhood Financial’s Margin Disclosure Statement, Margin Agreement and FINRA Investor Information. These disclosures contain information on Robinhood Financial’s lending policies, interest charges, and the risks associated with margin accounts.

Investors should consider the investment objectives and unique risk profile of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) carefully before investing. ETFs are subject to risks similar to those of other diversified portfolios. Leveraged and Inverse ETFs may not be suitable for all investors and may increase exposure to volatility through the use of leverage, short sales of securities, derivatives and other complex investment strategies.

Although ETFs are designed to provide investment results that generally correspond to the performance of their respective underlying indices, they may not be able to exactly replicate the performance of the indices because of expenses and other factors. A prospectus contains this and other information about the ETF and should be read carefully before investing. Customers should obtain prospectuses from issuers and/or their third party agents who distribute and make prospectuses available for review. ETFs are required to distribute portfolio gains to shareholders at year end. These gains may be generated by portfolio rebalancing or the need to meet diversification requirements. ETF trading will also generate tax consequences. Additional regulatory guidance on Exchange Traded Products can be found by clicking here.

Options transactions may involve a high degree of risk. Please review the options disclosure document entitled the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options available through or to learn more about the risks associated with options trading.

The cash management program is expected to be offered by Robinhood Financial LLC. The cash management program, when operational, will be an added program to Robinhood brokerage accounts and will not be a separate account or a bank account. Robinhood Financial will provide additional information on the cash management program once it is operational to help customers, including those with “early access,” to determine if they want to add the program to their brokerage account.

Robinhood Snacks newsletters and podcasts reflect the opinions of only the authors who are associated persons of Robinhood Financial LLC and do not reflect the views of Robinhood Markets, Inc. or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates. They are meant for informational purposes only, are not intended to serve as a recommendation to buy or sell any security in a self-directed Robinhood account or any other account, and are not an offer or sale of a security. They are also not research reports and are not intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision. Any third-party information provided therein does not reflect the views of Robinhood Markets, Inc., Robinhood Financial LLC, or any of their subsidiaries or affiliates. All investments involve risk and the past performance of a security or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Keep in mind that while diversification may help spread risk, it does not assure a profit or protect against loss. There is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities or other financial products. Investors should consider their investment objectives and risks carefully before investing. The price of a given security may increase or decrease based on market conditions and customers may lose money, including their original investment. Robinhood Financial LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

Testimonials may not be representative of the experience of other customers and are not guarantees of future performance or success. Robinhood Financial LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

Third party information provided for product features, communications, and communications emanating from social media communities, market prices, data and other information available through Robinhood Markets, Inc., Robinhood Financial LLC or Robinhood Crypto, LLC are meant for informational purposes only and are not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument or cryptocurrency or as an official confirmation of any transaction. The information provided is not warranted as to completeness or accuracy and is subject to change without notice. Any information about Robinhood Crypto on any Robinhood website (including and, the Robinhood platform, e-mails, or any other communications, are meant for informational purposes only and are not intended as an offer, solicitation, or advertisement for Robinhood Crypto or any goods or services offered by Robinhood Crypto. The Robinhood website provides its users links to social media sites and email. The linked social media and email messages are pre-populated. However, these messages can be deleted or edited by users, who are under no obligation to send any pre-populated messages. Any comments or statements made herein do not reflect the views of Robinhood Markets Inc., Robinhood Financial LLC, Robinhood Crypto, LLC, or any of their subsidiaries or affiliates.

Investors should be aware that system response, execution price, speed, liquidity, market data, and account access times are affected by many factors, including market volatility, size and type of order, market conditions, system performance, and other factors.

All investments involve risk and the past performance of a security, or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Keep in mind that while diversification may help spread risk it does not assure a profit, or protect against loss, in a down market. There is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities, or other financial products. Investors should consider their investment objectives and risks carefully before investing.

Cryptocurrency is a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a store of value, but it does not have legal tender status. Cryptocurrencies are sometimes exchanged for U.S. dollars or other currencies around the world, but they are not currently backed nor supported by any government or central bank. Their value is completely derived by market forces of supply and demand, and they are more volatile than traditional currencies. Trading in cryptocurrencies comes with significant risks, including volatile market price swings or flash crashes, market manipulation, and cybersecurity risks. In addition, cryptocurrency markets and exchanges are not regulated with the same controls or customer protections available in equity, option, futures, or foreign exchange investing. Cryptocurrency trading requires knowledge of cryptocurrency markets. In attempting to profit through cryptocurrency trading, you must compete with traders worldwide. You should have appropriate knowledge and experience before engaging in substantial cryptocurrency trading. Cryptocurrency trading may not generally be appropriate, particularly with funds drawn from retirement savings, student loans, mortgages, emergency funds, or funds set aside for other purposes. Cryptocurrency trading can lead to large and immediate financial losses. Under certain market conditions, you may find it difficult or impossible to liquidate a position quickly at a reasonable price. This can occur, for example, when the market for a particular cryptocurrency suddenly drops, or if trading is halted due to recent news events, unusual trading activity, or changes in the underlying cryptocurrency system. Several federal agencies have also published advisory documents surrounding the risks of virtual currency. For more information see, the CFPB’s Consumer Advisory, the CFTC’s Customer Advisory, the SEC’s Investor Alert, and FINRA’s Investor Alert.

Robinhood Crypto, LLC has a seller of payment instruments license in Georgia, with reference number 61417.

Robinhood Crypto, LLC has a money transmitter license in New Jersey, with reference number 1803456-C22.

Please note that an Alaska money transmission license does not cover the transmission of virtual currency.

Check the background of Robinhood Financial LLC and Robinhood Securities, LLC on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Robinhood Terms & Conditions    Disclosure Library    Contact Us    FAQ

© 2019 Robinhood. All rights reserved.