To recession or not to recession?

Monday, October 7, 2019 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

"What do ya think of the econ data, Stu?"

Last Week’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
26,574 (-0.92%)
S&P 500
2,952 (-0.34%)
7,982 (+0.53%)
$7,829 (-2.54%)
10-Yr US Treasury

Hey Snackers,

WeWork's ex-CEO Adam Neumann is reportedly selling off some of his homes to pay off a giant loan now that the unicorn canceled its IPO. Yes, that includes the $21M Bay Area pad with a guitar-shaped room.

Markets were focused on the big September jobs report — Here's America's labor report card in 1 chart (and more below).

1. So is the economy headed toward a recession?

Today's data says "hell no" — Tomorrow's says "maybe"

It's like the weather... When the economy is expanding, it's sunny out for businesses as you spend more money and companies grow profits more easily. The US economy's been sunny since June 2009 — a 10+ year streak of econ growth with no recession (a recession = 2 consecutive quarters of economic shrinkage). After a bunch of data came out last week, we'll just ask it: Is the economy heading toward a recession?

Our Magic 8 ball is "leading indicators"... A couple of them arrived last week in the form of 2 econ reports — they revealed that your boss probably isn't feeling great about where the US economy is heading:

  • Factory Folks: A survey of over 300 managers at manufacturing companies showed the worst sentiment since 2009. For 2 straight months, more factory managers are planning to shrink their business than grow them.
  • Everyone Else: The same survey, but for non-manufacturers (picture restaurants, law firms, and the rest of the 80% of our economy not happening in factories) hit its worst point since 2016, but is still in "growth" mode.

If you look at the economy now, things look incredible... "Current indicators" like the monthly employment report must have joined Crossfit: The economy added 136K new jobs in September and the unemployment rate hit a 50-year low at 3.5%. If you want to celebrate a booming economy and near-record-high stocks, do it now — business managers worry the Trade War could crash the growth party.


The Uber for able-bodied humans... Now a thing. Uber unveiled its 4th major app: Uber Works. Launching first in Chicago, it's pure gig economy, connecting businesses with temp workers — like when you're desperate for a bartender or need two more hands on an assembly line. Gig-ifying the staffing industry faces competition from freelance apps and temp agencies. But Uber needs a profit puppy, badly, as it loses billions of bucks per year.

New product, who dis?... Microsoft pulled its best Steve Jobs by revealing an entirely new product category by surprise (just don't call it a phone). The Android-powered Surface Duo is hybrid laptop/tablet/phone and arrives next year, featuring 2 smartphones connected in the middle. We're calling it "The Phonebook," and it shows Microsoft's got its swagger back since shutting down Windows phone in 2017.


Get these guys some CBD gummies... Constellation Brands already owns top-shelf labels locked up in your parents' liquor cabinet. But with beer sales slowing, it just announced a new spiked seltzer to catch the summer spritz wave. Alcohol-infused seltzer sales tripled from last year, led by White Claw and Truly, so Constellation's now got "Corona Hard Seltzer" in 4 Spring Break-worthy flavors. Constellation stock still dropped because its $4B cannabis investment in Canopy Growth fell by $1.3B the last 3 months.

Zero is the new black... Discount broker Charles Schwab will stop charging $4.95 on stock, options, and ETF trades starting today, offering them commission-free instead. Within 48 hours of that announcement, rivals E-Trade and TD Ameritrade matched that ("me three"). The trio's stocks fell since those trading fees will be sadly missed by shareholders (but not by customers). It's the end of a 40+ year decline in commissions from $49/trade then to $0 today. Competition from zero-commission apps like Robinhood accelerated that mega-trend.

Full disclosure: Robinhood Snacks... is owned by Robinhood.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Work: 8 lists you need when starting a job search (update #3 weekly)
  • Life: 8 ways to make Mondays better — we go with "No-Meeting-Mondays"
  • Money: The salary you need to save 15% of your income and retire with a cool $1M
  • Venture: The myth of the sleepless founder — entrepreneurs who sleep more spot good ideas better
  • Crypto: Why PayPal just became the 1st of 28 companies supporting Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency to drop out of the ZuckBucks founding club
  • Focused: 23 entries to the 2020 World Photography Awards
Snacks Daily Podcast
  • Target adds Disney stores within its own Target stores to give you another reason to get in the car instead of shop from your Chrome browser
  • Wedding registry startup Zola is launching a honeymoon booking feature to try to reach unicorn status
  • HP stock dropped 10% last week — even though printers are the new fax machines, we talk about how its profits could grow
This Week
  • Monday: The Consumer Credit Report tells us how much we're all tossing on our plastic
  • Tuesday: Earnings from Domino's Pizza, Levi's
  • Wednesday: Details (aka "minutes") from the Fed's last policy meeting
  • Thursday: Earnings from Delta, Tootsie Roll
  • Friday: The Consumer Sentiment Report tells us how we're all feeling about the economy (consumer spending matters big for the economy)

ID: 973038

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