🦃 Thanksgiving travel-palooza

Monday, November 22, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks |
When the flight's still on time [Bymuratdeniz/E+ via Getty Images]

When the flight's still on time [Bymuratdeniz/E+ via Getty Images]

Last Week’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
35,602 (-1.38%)
S&P 500
4,698 (+0.32%)
16,057 (+1.24%)
$57,991 (-9.80%)

Hey Snackers,

The world's wealthiest dog just listed his Miami mansion (once owned by Madonna) for nearly $32M. And you thought your pooch was spoiled.

Stocks ticked up for the week, led by tech companies. Investors were jazzed about signs of a holiday spending boom, after retailers like Walmart, Target, and Home Depot dropped strong earnings.


Pumpkin pie in the sky... The TSA is prepping for what it expects to be the busiest travel day of the year (FYI: this Sunday). Just a year ago, the vaccine rollout hadn't even begun in the US. Now, 80% of Americans over age 12 have been vaccinated thanks to early vax access, and 18% of adults have received a booster. On Friday, the FDA and CDC cleared Pfizer and Moderna boosters for all adults, making them widely available in time for the holidays.

Bags packed, potatoes mashed... The vax rollout has benefited travel companies, as Americans make up for lost vacays. US travelers are splurging 46% more on trips this year compared to pre-pandemic.

  • By air... Domestic air travel has almost completely recovered from its pandemic plunge, and Thanksgiving flyers are expected to hit pre-corona levels. Delta and American have returned to profitability. But they still expect revenue to be down by about 20% from pre-pandemic to end the year.
  • By road... T-giving trips are coming up for over 48M Americans. Too bad car-rental prices are up 75% from 2019. Not bad for companies like Hertz, whose sales soared 62% last quarter from the start of this year. With US gas prices at seven-year highs, oil giants like Exxon and Chevron could also benefit from holiday mileage.
  • By stay... Only about 22% of Americans plan to stay in hotels this season. Room prices have jumped as demand recovers, but sales at Hilton and Marriott are still down from pre-pandemic. Marriott’s international bookings plunged a whopping 40% from 2019, as overseas travel continues to lag US leisure. On the flip side, Airbnb just had its best quarter ever, as travelers embraced longer-term stays in rural cabins and yurts.

The recovery journey isn't over... While US domestic leisure travel is expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2022, business and international travel — which makes up the bulk of airline and hotel sales — isn’t expected to fully recover until at least 2024. But President Biden’s recent announcement that vaccinated tourists can enter the US bodes well for the travel industry.

Zoom Out

Pump anxiety intensifies… Biden asked the FTC to look into whether oil powerhouses have been illegally boosting gas prices, which have soared 60% from last year. It’s part of Biden’s anti-monopoly push, which also targets other industries, but experts doubt the FTC will find evidence to blame gas giants. The president has asked OPEC to increase oil production to ease shortages as the global economy revs up — so far OPEC has said “nah.” The Biden admin is running out of options to lower gas prices ahead of winter, when most American homes will rely on gas for heat.

Big Apple meets blockchain... NYC will be the second US city after Miami to get its own crypto: NYCCoin. Gotham will keep 30% of each NYCCoin that’s mined to support city initiatives, while users keep the rest. Users can trade NYCCoin or use it to mint NFTs or build blockchain-based apps. MiamiCoin has already earned the city $21M+, which it plans to spend on crypto education, underprivileged communities, and green initiatives. “City coins” could be the next step in crypto mainstreamification. Austin also has one in the works.


Out of meeting minutes… The Zoom boom may be over. A year ago, Zoom’s quarterly sales quadrupled from 2019 as businesses scrambled to WFH. Last quarter, Zoom posted record sales thanks to its 500K+ corporate customers. But growth has slowed dramatically as IRL work returns, and Zoom’s stock has plunged by half since its pandemic peak. Now it’s branching into licensing its video tech to other apps (think: dating) and letting people host paid events, like virtual Pilates. We’ll see if that’s helping when Zoom reports today.

Lined up at 5 a.m.… Retailers are bracing for Black Friday. Gap and Urban placed orders as early as six months ago to avoid supply backlogs, and retailers like Amazon and Target launched BF deals last month. Consumer spending has boosted sales at Urban, Abercrombie, American Eagle, Gap, and Nordstrom — which all report this week. Meanwhile: Walmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s, and TJ Maxx posted strong quarterly sales last week. Despite soaring supply and labor costs, Target, TJ Maxx, and Walmart all said they’re stocked up.

  • Red: T Swift’s rerecorded version of her bombshell album “Red” is racking up more streams than the 2012 original, which she doesn’t own — and it’s making record labels sweat.
  • Shiny: Lucid’s $169K electric sedan was crowned Motor Trend’s “car of the year.” The luxe EV maker is now worth more than Ford, though its cars have barely hit driveways.
  • LeBron: Crypto exchange Crypto.com struck a 20-year deal (reportedly worth $700M) to rename LA’s Staples Center, LeBron’s home stadium, in a bid to crypt-ify sports fans.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • Cryptic: Crypto fans are buzzing about “Web3,” a potential internet of the future that runs on public blockchains and is owned by its users.
  • #Local: “Neighborhood nukes” — tiny nuclear reactors that look more like cute Airbnbs than factories — could be the next step toward a green-energy future.
  • Liftoff: A small island in Indonesia has become an unlikely contender for a SpaceX spaceport, but a local indigenous clan wants to protect its home.

Calling all Snackers: You hear from us every day, but we want to hear from you. If you have a second, let us know what you think about Snacks with our quick survey.

This Week

  • Monday: Earnings expected from Zoom and Urban Outfitters
  • Tuesday: Earnings expected from Autodesk, Dell, HP, Best Buy, Dollar Tree, Dick's Sporting Goods, Gap, Nordstrom, American Eagle, and Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Wednesday: Earnings expected from John Deere and Cracker Barrel
  • Thursday: Thanksgiving Day
  • Friday: Native American Heritage Day. Black Friday

Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Ford, Walmart, Amazon, Delta, Moderna, and Pfizer

ID: 1930877