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It's been real, 2018

The Best Damn Week In Review Anywhere
December 31, 2018

Last Week
Dow Jones: 23,062 (+2.75%)
S&P 500: 2,486 (+2.85%)
Nasdaq: 6,585 (+3.98%)
Bitcoin: $3,873 (+0.62%)
10-Year Treasury: 2.718%

Whip out the New Year's morning hangover-cure Pedialyte early. It's been an aggressive week/year.

In the last 10 trading days, the Dow's dropped over 350 points six times. And it's had its best day of all time. Add that up (carry the 1) and it leaves US stocks overall (as repped by the S&P 500 index) down 8% overall for 2018 heading into the last day of trading.
 

1. Stock market winners...

We would bathe in buffalo sauce... But we'll settle for the redesign coming to Buffalo Wild Wings. The caloric chain announced a new logo and plans for a bigger bar and a "community focused look." We don't know what that last part means. But investors are big fans of its new take-out windows, since lazy customers place bigger orders.

Mid-Century Mod floor lamps FTW... Pulling a retail David on Goliath, Williams-Sonoma sued Amazon for ripping off its West Elm home goods designs. Apparently Amazon's "Rivet Collection" is "strikingly similar." Shares rose as Williams-Sonoma and West Elm sneak their way into more post-college Millennial living rooms.

Overnighting that office Secret Santa gift... was a gift for Amazon. Its stock enjoyed its best day in over a year, surging 9% after Amazon execs realized it was a record holiday period (Nov. 1 - Dec. 24). The top shopping month in 6 years gift-wrapped and generously lifted almost every other retail stock too.
 

2. ...And stock market losers

Denim cries blue tears... Like when Gap reveals the day after Christmas it's shutting down its Fifth Avenue flagship shop. And since its only solid performing brand is Old Navy, Gap's "aggressively" closing hundreds of more spots. No word yet on how well its Lulu-killer “Hill City” brand for athleisure-guys is performing.

Designated driver needed... First, Tesla cut the price of its cars in China (for the 3rd time this year) to desperately boost sales inside America’s Trade War foe. Then Elon promised to reimburse drivers who miss out on electric car tax incentives if the car you ordered doesn’t arrive by the Dec 31 deadline. All that costs Tesla money.

Buy a Sears... Like an entire Sears location. The 20th century's biggest American retailer already filed for bankruptcy, but we learned Friday it failed to come up with a reorganization plan — so it's shutting down another 80 stores and only has about half left. Sears creditors would rather get cash than mediocre turtlenecks at re-launched Sears locations.
 

3. Whole Foods to expand & become Amazon hub

Don't care about Amazon's billions of delivered stuff… We're more interested in a WSJ report that revealed Amazon’s going manifest destiny on America with new Whole Foods stores -- It wants to expand the number of people eligible for 2-hour “Prime Now” shipping and section off space for pickup of online-ordered packages and grocery bags.

Amazon’s spitting out more Whole Foods… and investing in its shipping skills -- It's scouting out new sites in Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming as well as more zip codes for Whole Foods to go Whole Country. Soon, human cashiers will probably be replaced by Amazon “Go” auto-checkout cameras-everywhere tech. 

The Takeaway: Whole Foods isn't groceries. It's distribution... In 2017, Amazon bought 460 warehouses in high-income neighborhoods that also happened to sell $20 jars of cashew butter. That Whole Foods acquisition looked like a move into food, but it was really a move to get physically closer to core customers. And its core customers are now everyone.
 

4. Why you shouldn't care about last week's insanity

Aunt Mary’s “Bangkok” performance for charades was unforgettable… Last week’s markets shouldn’t be. The Dow had one of its biggest drops and biggest jumps ever on a week there was no news. Just know that sometimes markets are unreasonable. Like family. Over the holidays.

Remember February 2018?… No (only Eagles fans do). The same market drop happened, but it's not weighing on your life. Back then, the Dow fell 1,000 points — twice in one week — on rising inflation worries. By the end of February the Dow had pretty much fully recovered. Sometimes markets freak.

The Takeaway: Long-term profits are what matter... What drove last week’s market whiplash could be forgotten. Add a splash of robotic trading algorithms and that makes things even more intense. But what drives companies profits, like market forces and economic growth, is what drives stock prices long-term.
 


What else we're 'Snacking

  • Brand2018's best and worst new logos
  • Money : 2018's worst things written about money
  • Venture: 2018's worst (now bankrupt) startups
  • Movies2018's biggest box office flops 
  • Crypto: 2018's best-performing cryptocurrencies


Hustles we like

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'SnackFact of the Day
Losing weight is the top New Year's resolution -- But 67% of gym memnerships went unused last year (didn't even go once)

Submitted by Dan P. (Miami, FL)
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This Week

  • Monday: Trade Balance Update
  • Tuesday: Markets closed for New Year's Day
  • Wednesday: Retail Sales Report
  • Thursday: Consumer Confidence Survey
  • Friday: Big December Jobs Report
  • All Week: The government shutdown continues -- 800,000 federal employees still don’t know when they’ll get paid

New Year's Resolution:

Get everyone you meet 'Snacking



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