Blame the Grinch

The Best Damn Week In Review Anywhere
December 24, 2018

Last Week
Dow Jones: 22,445 (-6.87%)
S&P 500: 2,417 (-7.04%)
Nasdaq: 6,333 (-8.36%)
Bitcoin: $3,849 (+19.57%)
10-Year Treasury: 2.781%

Don't look at the scoreboard. Just don't.

Ok, we'll show you. But then get back to yelling at scotch tape and trying to tie a bow. Again.

The S&P 500 is down 17.5% in the past 4 months and the Dow's lost 16.3%. Big tech problems, global econ stress, and interest rate hangovers have wiped out all the goodness of 2018.

1. Stock market winners...

Weed's making friends... Canadian pot icon Tilray rolled up a partnership with Budweiser's InBev to experiment (literally) with cannabis-infused drinks. Then Tilray passed itself over to pharmaceutical legend Novartis to make legalized medical cannabis happen everywhere.

You work out?... Shares of Nike surged on word its sales in China were up 26% in the 3rd quarter and it's winning in every other region. Everywhere. But the cinderella story was its CEO saying he thinks ecommerce will be "the majority of the business." That's big for a company whose stores take over entire neighborhoods.

You get money, we get your soul... Altria, the artist formerly known as Philip Morris and currently still making Marlboro cigs, bought a 35% stake in vaping phenom Juul. And the 1,500 SF-based Juul employees are each getting $1 million bonuses to help them get comfortable working for Big Tobacco now. 

You're un-grounded... Tencent shares popped Friday after the Chinese government approved the first new video game in the country since March. Tencent's developers had been desperate for business because the Communist Party decided the nation needed a game hiatus.

2. ...And stock market losers

Watch your mouth... Amazon's Alexa is still the digital best friend of more people than any smart speaker (63% of virtual assistants sold are her). But last week Amazon sent 1,700 audio recordings to the wrong user. And Reuters published a story that Alexa encouraged murder and sex.

Cancel the expensed lunch orders... Shares of Goldman just hit a 2-year low. The bank was smacked with a charge from Malaysia that its "misleading statements" led to $2.7B lost from the government's investment fund known as "1MDB"). Goldman says it was a couple rogue partners. Malaysia says it was Goldman's culture.

So Zucked... Now Facebook's stock is down 26% this year. The social network's on to its 4th major scandal of the year: The NYT just reported that Facebook gave 150 big tech companies special access to your data. That's how Netflix knows you'll like the show Medellin after pics got posted from that LatAm bach party.

Hold the marinated tuna with caramel carrots... You can buy 10 shares of Blue Apron instead of a single meal kit. The stock fell below a dollar for the first time. That's thanks to Amazon's Whole Foods whipping out its own meal kits and localized competitors cooking up nationwide.

3. Worst week in 10 years: The Fed & Shutdown

Brangelina had twins... and the financial crisis happened. Such was life in '08, the last time stocks fell so far in one week. There were 2 big causes -- A tough prescription from the Fed + the utter chaos surrounding the President (did we mention the resignations?):
  • High Interest Rates: The central bank's decided the economy's doing great and can handle another interest rate increase. Each time the Fed does, stocks become slightly less sexy since bonds get more valuable with higher interest rates.
  • The Trump Shutdown: The government's not a toaster oven you unplug before vacay. But that's what's happened -- 420K government workers will man desks without pay, and 380K are off until funding's passed (Trump's waiting for a $5B check to build a border wall).

The Takeaway: This year didn't happen... Any stock gains for the last 15 months are wiped out. Ghosted. The Nasdaq index (it's packed with tech stocks) is down over 20% since August. The incredibly awesome 9-year run of stock market gains is being killed by DC. 

Note about the shutdown: National Parks and tourist sites in DC are closed. The Post Office and TSA will remain open. And the NORAD Santa tracker is on.

What else we're 'Snacking

  • Work: 4 questions for your year-end career self-audit
  • Life: 27 wildest holiday parties we've heard of
  • Money: Most money advice you were given was wrong
  • Venture: "Food is the next major market that needs disrupting"
  • Crypto: Facebook wants to build its own cryptocurrency

Hustles we like



On Today's MarketSnacks Daily Podcast

  • Your MarketSnacks never stops. The MarketSnacks Daily podcast returns bigger (and shinier) in January. Catch up on episodes until then...
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'SnackFact of the Day
57% of Americans pronounce the words 'merry,' 'marry,' and 'Mary' the same -- and it highlights a quirk in the English language

Submitted by Kristin P. (New York, NY)
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This Week

  • Monday: Consumer Price Index, Markets close early at 1pm ET
  • Tuesday: Markets closed for Christmas Day
  • Wednesday: Consumer Sentiment Poll
  • Thursday: Monthly Confidence Survey
  • Friday: Retail Sales Report

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