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"What do ya think of the econ data, Stu?"
WeWork's ex-CEO Adam Neumann is reportedly selling off some of his homes to pay off a giant loan now that the unicorn canceled its IPO. Yes, that includes the $21M Bay Area pad with a guitar-shaped room.
Markets were focused on the big September jobs report — Here's America's labor report card in 1 chart (and more below).
So is the economy headed toward a recession?
Today's data says "hell no" — Tomorrow's says "maybe"
It's like the weather... When the economy is expanding, it's sunny out for businesses as you spend more money and companies grow profits more easily. The US economy's been sunny since June 2009 — a 10+ year streak of econ growth with no recession (a recession = 2 consecutive quarters of economic shrinkage). After a bunch of data came out last week, we'll just ask it: Is the economy heading toward a recession?
Our Magic 8 ball is "leading indicators"... A couple of them arrived last week in the form of 2 econ reports — they revealed that your boss probably isn't feeling great about where the US economy is heading:
If you look at the economy now, things look incredible... "Currentindicators" like the monthly employment report must have joined Crossfit: The economy added 136K new jobs in September and the unemployment rate hit a 50-year low at 3.5%. If you want to celebrate a booming economy and near-record-high stocks, do it now — business managers worry the Trade War could crash the growth party.
The Uber for able-bodied humans... Now a thing. Uber unveiled its 4th major app: Uber Works. Launching first in Chicago, it's pure gig economy, connectingbusinesses with temp workers — like when you're desperate for a bartender or need two more hands on an assembly line. Gig-ifying the staffing industry faces competition from freelance apps and temp agencies. But Uber needs a profit puppy, badly, as it loses billions of bucks per year.
New product, who dis?... Microsoft pulled its best Steve Jobs by revealingan entirely new product category by surprise (just don't call it a phone). The Android-powered Surface Duo is hybrid laptop/tablet/phone and arrives next year, featuring 2 smartphones connected in the middle. We're calling it "The Phonebook," and it shows Microsoft's got its swagger back since shutting down Windows phone in 2017.
Get these guys some CBD gummies... Constellation Brands already owns top-shelf labels locked up in your parents' liquor cabinet. But with beer sales slowing, it just announced a new spiked seltzer to catch the summer spritz wave. Alcohol-infused seltzer sales tripled from last year, led by White Claw and Truly, so Constellation's now got "Corona Hard Seltzer" in 4 Spring Break-worthy flavors. Constellation stock still dropped because its $4B cannabis investment in Canopy Growth fell by $1.3B the last 3 months.
Zero is the new black... Discount broker Charles Schwab will stop charging $4.95 on stock, options, and ETF trades starting today, offering them commission-free instead. Within 48 hours of that announcement, rivals E-Trade and TD Ameritrade matched that ("me three"). The trio's stocks fell since those trading fees will be sadly missed by shareholders (but not by customers). It's the end of a 40+ year decline in commissions from $49/trade then to $0 today. Competition from zero-commission apps like Robinhood accelerated that mega-trend.
Full disclosure: Robinhood Snacks... is owned by Robinhood.
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