Interest Rates. Up.

December 20, 2018
Dow Jones: 23,324 (-1.49%)
S&P 500: 2,507 (-1.54%)
Nasdaq: 6,637 (-2.17%)
Bitcoin: $3,725 (+0.45%)
10-Year Treasury: 2.757%

Happy worst travel day of the holidays (Fact.).

Stocks lost their mojo, falling to their lowest point since the last last November (we're talking 2017). And it's all because the Fed's makin' moves.

1. Why/How/Where the Fed's raising rates (and "What")

We're doing this because we love you... That's the message from Fed Chairman Jerome "Jerry" Powell. For the 5th straight quarter, officials at the nation's central bank unanimously voted to raise the country's benchmark interest rate by 0.25% because they think it's "appropriate for what is a very healthy economy."

2:00pm: Jerry spoke. 2:01pm: Stocks fell... Interest rates were kept aggressively low for years after the financial crisis to boost the economy by making it cheap to borrow. Since the economy's back (baby) the Fed's slowed things a tad by raising rates. Investors were bummed by Wednesday's announcement -- they thought recent skittishness would put rate hikes on pause.

The Takeaway: Yes, this will affect your life... After the Fed raises the "one rate to rule them all," other financial firms follow. First banks up their mortgage rates, resulting in fewer mortgages. Then car lenders do it with car loans. Then your credit card interest rate pops. It's a circle of life kinda thing, and anyone borrowing feels it.

3. Facebook exposed by NY Times and sued by Washington DC

Zuck officially hates the NY Times… The paper wrote last month about FB doing damage control instead of solving Russian’s US presidential campaigning. And yesterday its shares dropped 8% after The Times revealed FB gave access to users’ private messages to 150 companies. Then DC filed a lawsuit.

Ever since #DeleteFacebook... we’ve watched to see if Facebook's destroyed reputation would affect profits -- i.e. would users stop using or advertisers stop advertising. Neither has really happened, but DC's lawsuit against Facebook for giving users' personal data to Cambridge Analytica is another way Zuck's profits can get sucked.

The Takeaway: It's drip, drip, drip... PR 101 states that when you have bad news, get it all out there so there’s only 1 negative media event. Here's Facebook's failing PR timeline: 

  1. Russia buying ads on Facebook for propoganda 
  2. Cambridge Analytica 
  3. CA coverup 
  4. This.
Never-ending bad press is training brains to believe Facebook = bad.

2. The Wing gets $75M for ladies' everything

If Athena joined a work sorority... you'd find her at The Wing's Ancient Greece location. The co-working space exclusively for women has transformed into a day club -- and it just raised $75M to expand (Chicago + Paris 2019). It's also launched an app to network with fellow Wing-women because apps are cool.

Ladies' first... Everywhere. The Wing is living out its female-focused mission in every possible detail of its business model:

  • Investors: Actress Kerry Washington, "Time's Up" co-founder Robbie Kaplan, and 4 US Women's National Soccer Team players
  • Venture Capital: The VC investments were led by women from top firms Sequoia and Upfront (and they both got board seats)
  • Architecture: Each location's designed only by female architects (large lactation rooms included for the $215/month membership fee)
  • Imagery: Enough Millennial pink paint to break an Instagram pic

The Takeaway: Partnerships are queen... The Wing already has an investment from co-working pioneer WeWork. But the most interesting new investor is Airbnb. Airbnb doesn't "actively" invest in startups (it's interested in this hotel designing startup, too) -- This is a strategic move to share some space-sharing knowledge.

4. Juul surges to $38B on cigarette investment

Call an intervention... We're concerned about Juul's aggressive growth. The co-founders are reportedly about to gave away 35% of their company to hit a $38B valuation. That means the leader of the vaping market is now worth more than Delta, Ford, and Airbnb.

There's a surgeon general's warning on that investment... The whole thing came from Altria. That's the smoky name for the parent company of Marlboro cigarettes. And since US real cig usage hit an all-time low, it's desperately investing in fake cigs. And it also recently bought 45% of a cannabis company.

The Takeaway: Juul's a survivor... The startup's a tad over 1-year-old and its valuation has already doubled. Again. And it's done all that even as the FDA cracked down on the teen vaping issue Juul basically caused (mango-flavored vapes. Real mature). Now it's commanding a high valuation because it's Altria's key to survival.

What else we're 'Snacking

  • Cheers: Budweiser and Tilray partner up to research "weed beer"
  • #IPO: Pinterest hires a "Head of Investor Relations" to prep for a 2019 IPO
  • Awkward: Tinder fired employees who had sued its parent company Match
  • Spoiled: Blue Apron is now worth less than $1 
  • Crypto: Coinbase will pay you to own and use a cryptocurrency

Today's MarketSnacks Daily Podcast

  • General Mills missed every Millennial food trend. But it just nailed the Millennial pet trend...
Just Push Play:

'SnackFact of the Day
The Rolling Stones' lip logo is inspired by Kali the Hindu goddess of everlasting energy

Submitted by Derek P. (San Francisco, CA)
Send Us One


  • Earnings from Carnival Cruises and Nike

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