💰 The State of the Recovery

Monday, October 5, 2020 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

Economy Parent-Teacher conference: "Good news or bad news 1st?"

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Hey Snackers,

The CEO of Norway's wealth fund has so much cash that banks can't absorb the personal deposits he needs to make. Ugh, hate when that happens.

Stocks gained for the week but dipped Friday after President Trump announced that he tested positive for COVID-19.

On our podcast: We found a pure-play avocado stock (cue the Millennial jokes). Mission Produce jumped 20% after its IPO, but we think it has more in common with Exxon than guac. More on our 15-minute pod.

Money
1. The State of the Recovery: unemployment, slowing job growth, and the 2nd stimulus

The report card is in... and the US might have to retake Recovery 101. The US added a lower-than expected 661K jobs in September. Since this was the last jobs report before the election, let's take a stroll down memory lane:

  • 3.5%: The unemployment rate in February, when the only masks we've ever worn are charcoal sheet masks.
  • 14.7%: The unemployment rate in April, after COVID lockdowns hit. The US economy lost nearly 22M jobs in March/April.
  • 13.3% to 11.1%: The unemployment rate fell from May to June as businesses reopened. The US added 2.5M jobs in May and 4.8M jobs in June.
  • 10.2% to 8.4%: Unemployment continued to decline as the US added 1.8M jobs in July and 1.4M jobs in August.

Which brings us to September... 661K new jobs means a big slowdown in recovery. The unemployment rate fell to 7.9%, but that's mainly because 1.1M people dropped out of the labor force in September. 865K of those people were women. Many believe this was driven by the fact that kids are Zooming into school.

  • The good news: The US has added 11M jobs since May. The economy is expected to have bounced back in Q3 from a record 31% plunge in Q2.
  • The bad news: 12.6M Americans are still unemployed and Congress still hasn't agreed to a new stimulus package.
THE TAKEAWAY

Even with a vaccine, economic medicine will be necessary... The $2.2T stimulus in March was largely responsible for driving recovery, but most of those benefits have now run out. With 9 companies in the final phase of testing, the race for a COVID-19 vaccine is hot. Even so, the CDC says vaccines likely won't be widely available to Americans until summer 2021. With the pace of recovery slowing, Congress should try to put party differences aside to inject some aid ASAP.

Highs

Pass the AUX cord, mate... Uber stock jumped 5% for the week on two pieces of bloody good news. First, a London court granted it an 18-month license to keep operating in its largest Euro hub (3.5M riders). Uber was on London's naughty list due to app flaws that let drivers use fake identities, but the judge now considers it "fit and proper" to keep rolling. 2nd: Uber's Freight logistics biz raised $500M at a $3.3B valuation, showing Uber can succeed outside the (complicated) world of ridehail.

Back from a deep sleep... Bed Bath & Beyond stock soared 40% last week after the retailer posted its 1st same-store sales gain since 2016. The dorm legend swung to a $218M profit after losing $139M in the same period last year. Online sales soared 89% as e-nnovation investments paid off. This year, BB&B launched: "buy online, pick up in-store," curbside pickup, and (last week) same-day shipping with Instacart and Shipt. Investors thought BB&B was declining (like Macy's) — this earnings changed the narrative.

Lows

On the DL... Palantir stock fell 13% during its 1st publicly traded week. The secretive software company crunches data for big customers (the CIA was an early investor). Instead of the usual IPO, Palantir went public via a rare Direct Listing (no new shares created, no fresh cash raised). After 17 years, Palantir is still hugely unprofitable — it lost $580M in 2019. Now its growth depends on a few massive players: its top 3 customers make up over 30% of its sales.

Unmagical... Disney is laying off 28K employees across its Parks & Experiences division, which made up ~40% of its sales in 2019. Last quarter, Parks sales plunged 85%. Now some Disney parks have reopened with limited capacity, but the big CA ones are still shut (read: Disney's still losing major $$$). The only thing Mickey's smiling about: Disney's streaming networks (Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu) now have over 100M subscribers, and live sports are finally back.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Explore: 11 countries welcoming remote workers — live out your Zoom background dream from the beaches of Aruba or Barbados.
  • Read: The science behind “Think and Grow Rich” and why it works. Find your "definite purpose" and pursue it relentlessly.
  • Eat: The most famous local dish from every US state (we knew CA was avocado toast, but had no idea about Kentucky's "beer cheese").
  • Watch: 11 movies from the 2000s that are way better than their Rotten Tomatoes score (She's the Man is Certified Fresh in our tween hearts).
  • Experience: Why loneliness and hunger are one and the same. Nostalgic moments aren't re-livable, but the feelings they awakened are.
  • Control: 6 books on how to manage your time effectively during stressful moments. Our ability to focus tanks when we're stressed.

🍪 Thanks for Snacking with us! Want to start getting Snacks daily? Sign up here for our daily market newsletter.

Snacks Daily Podcast

Etsy stock has nearly tripled this year as you snatched up embroidered Baby Yoda face masks.

And it all began with a critical email in March from Etsy's CEO to craft sellers everywhere.

Tune in to our digestible podcast to hear why Etsy's winning by doing everything that Amazon *isn't**.

This Week
  • Monday: World Habitat Day and International Teachers Day
  • Tuesday: Earnings expected from Paychex and Levi's
  • Wednesday: Earnings expected from Lamb Weston
  • Thursday: Weekly jobless claims. Earnings expected from Delta, Carnival, and Domino's
  • Friday: Earnings expected from Infosys

Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own shares of Disney and Uber

ID: 1353175

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