⛰️ Inflation’s peak?

Thursday, May 12, 2022 by Robinhood Snacks |
The dreaded dairy aisle (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

The dreaded dairy aisle (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

The dreaded dairy aisle (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

The dreaded dairy aisle (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Yesterday’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
31,834 (-1.02%)
S&P 500
3,935 (-1.65%)
Nasdaq
11,364 (-3.18%)
Bitcoin
$29,014 (-6.42%)

Hey Snackers,

It’s #WeddingSzn, and some people are really feline the love: a British woman just married her cat to stop her landlord from separating them. Weirdest honeymoon ever.

Stocks were back in tank mode after April’s inflation report showed prices continuing to come in hot (more on that in a sec). The techy Nasdaq dropped another 3%, and the Dow notched its fifth consecutive loss.

Flated

April showers bring... May's expensive water bill. We're checking in on our old frenemy, inflation. Consumer prices were up 8.3% in April from a year earlier. The pace of inflation slipped a bit from March, falling for the first time in eight months — but is still close to a 40-year high. The biggest culprits were food, plane tickets, and housing. Zooming in:

  • That bites: Food prices were up over 9% from a year ago. Dairy products jumped 2.5% from March alone, the category's largest monthly price gain since 2007. Milk is up 15% from April 2021, and your omelet isn't faring much better: eggs are +10% month over month.
  • Not fly: Your summer getaway’s making you sweat before you hit the beach. Airline fares were up a whopping 33% from a year ago, and soared 19% from March alone.
  • Lost steam: Not everything got more #flated. Energy and clothing prices fell from March to April, with gas dropping 6%. Don't get too pumped — that’s still up 44% year over year.

JFK to LAX... You know it's bad when $600 looks like a sweet deal. With stimulus gone, consumers are dipping into savings to support rising spending. The Fed’s hiked rates twice so far this year to tame prices, but April's data inspires little confidence that broad inflation is cooling. And despite the hot labor market, prices are rising faster than historically high wage gains.

THE TAKEAWAY

Lower income = smaller runway… Americans with low incomes are the most sensitive to inflation because they have smaller cash reserves to meet elevated prices for necessities (think: $4.50 milk gallons and wild rent prices). While there are signs that inflation could be peaking, the real question is how long it’ll take to get back to “acceptable” levels. The longer it takes, the sooner savings will run dry.

Treehouse

Sunbathing at a shepherd’s hut… welcome to the new age of great escapes. Airbnb has launched its biggest makeover in more than a decade, hoping you’ll ditch your spa getaway for an off-the-grid excursion. The revamp includes the ability to search by category, from castles to tiny homes, no specific destination required. Plus:

  • AirCover: Free travel protection with a 24/hr safety line, and a “get what you booked” guarantee. AKA: travel insurance.
  • Split stays: A frictionless way to split longer trips between two homes, intended to appeal to digital nomads.
  • “OMG” getaways: A new category highlighting IG-worthy stays, like an alien-themed glamping site in Joshua Tree (FYI: it’s booked solid till 2025).

Team meetings in Tahoe... Airbnb almost collapsed when Covid hit, cutting a quarter of its workforce as bookings fell off a cliff. But the rental giant staged a quick pivot — not to mention an IPO — recognizing that "old" travel was gone while creating experiences for remote safety-conscious customers. Bookings reached a record 102M last quarter, and nearly a quarter were long-term rentals. The company expects a strong summer travel season to keep fueling record sales.

  • Rental competition: Rival VRBO (owned by Expedia) also saw record bookings in the first quarter, and said half its customers were brand new.
  • 7 out of 10 Americans expect to travel this summer, though inflation could scramble some of those plans.
THE TAKEAWAY

Flexibility and discoverability are the future of travel… and Airbnb has always had a built-in advantage for that future. Its revamp is intended to merge the things that customers love about the service (think: the whimsy of finding and staying in a treehouse) with the comforts of the traditional hotel experience (think: getting exactly what you pay for, and a refund if you don’t).

What else we’re Snackin’

  • Ears: Disney’s managed to avoid the Netflix curse: the Mouse House reported 7.9M new Disney+ subscribers last quarter, more than expected — and a long way from the Flix’s 200K loss. Shares popped 3% after hours.
  • Frunk: Rivian shareholders breathed a sigh of relief after the EV maker kept its annual production target of 25K cars despite ongoing supply issues. Riv’s quarterly loss came in a bit less than expected too.
  • Meltdown: The (not so) stablecoin UST continued its free fall, at one point trading as low as $0.30 after losing its dollar “peg” amid a crisis of crypto confidence. UST’s sister coin, luna, is down 97% in the turmoil.
  • Stock: Redbox, the DVD-rental service with a small on-demand arm, is being acquired by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. It’s a streaming play, with Chicken Soup looking to bulk up its Crackle service.
  • RTO: Or not. Just 8% of Manhattan office workers are back at their desks full time, a sign that employees in the US’s economic center are winning the hybrid-work battle with their bosses (at least for now).

Snack Fact of the Day

There’s enough concrete in the Hoover Dam to pave a highway from San Francisco to NYC

Thursday

  • Weekly jobless claims.
  • Earnings expected from Alibaba, Toast, Affirm, WeWork, Mister Car Wash, Duolingo, Six Flags, Squarespace, Joby Aviation, and Canada Goose

Authors of this Snacks own: shares of Disney and Netflix

ID: 2198449