Currently Obsessed With...The Queen of Soul

MARKET COMMENTARY FOR WEEK OF August 20, 2018

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The world said goodbye to idol, Aretha Franklin who lost her battle with cancer on Wednesday. She recorded her first album at age 14 and went on to define a genre. 45-time Grammy nominee, 25-time Grammy award winner, Hall of Fame, Lifetime Achievement and Legend awards - Aretha released 51 albums in her career and was in short, an icon. After hearing her roaring feminist version of his song Respect, Otis Warren said, “I just lost my song. That girl took it away from me.”

She was a part of the American tapestry.  Mary J. Blige said, “She is the reason women want to sing.”

She is the definition of Girl Boss and Girl Power. “This is a voice that has not only sound but a smell and a depth,” said poet Nikki Giovanni. “A taste. You hear Aretha, but you also lick your lips.”

Rest In Peace, Queen. Thank you for blessing the world with your voice. You can stream the Queen’s songs on iTunes and Spotify . Apple’s (APPL)stock price was $217.58 and Spotify (SPOT) was $188.37 at the close on Friday.

#RetailMe

Stocks were trippin’ earlier in the week...but then took a chill pill and ended on a high. The S&P 500 ended the week up .6% and the Dow rose 1.4%. The NASDAQ was definitely strugglin’ and closed down -0.3% for the week.

There was a shiny, glitter dipped report and a not-so-shiny interview. Let’s dig a little deeper and break down both.

LET'S BE CLEAR...

July’s Retail Sales Report

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July’s retail sales report was released on Wednesday and it was, in fact, dipped in glitter...ok maybe not but it was pretty darn shiny. Retail sales were up 0.5% in the month of July and an increase is definitely a good thing. A lot of the bling was due to an increase in clothing store and restaurant sales. Department stores were up 1.2% for the month while online retail was up 0.8% indicating that we still like our in-store experiences...but they better be special.

Gas station sales saw an annual increase of 22.3% and online retailers were up 8.7% annually. A sign of a strong economy is when retail sales have an annual increase of 3%. July’s report is a 6.4% increase from last year. Looks like we’re Gucci!

T esla

On Thursday, the New York Times posted an interview with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The Times says that Elon “alternated between laughter and tears,” as he explained how overworked he was struggling to meet Tesla’s production goals over the past few months. He said he’s been working 120-hour work weeks and reportedly cried multiple times during the interview and shared that the situation has taken a toll on his health, time with his family and his social life.

We get it Elon, it’s hard being a man in America, walking around with roughly 33.7 million shares of Tesla stock at $305.50 per share (as of 8/17)...yep, that’s $10.2 billion.  Try being a woman navigating these Wall Streets, making money moves and running the world like Beyoncé. But we get it. It’s a lot of pressure. But there’s no crying on Wall Street.

The SEC, the Securities and Exchange Commission – the folks who really run the world or at least the stock exchanges, are investigating Musk after his crazy tweet last week saying that he would buy back shares of Tesla for 16% higher than the stock was worth. For the background see last week’s Market Commentary here . Musk and other Tesla officials have already been subpoenaed.

Shares of Tesla dropped 9% after the interview on Wednesday...Elon lost about $1 billion. After his loss on Friday, Forbes’ real-time billionaire rankings reported he is now worth around $19.6 billion. He is the 50th richest person in the world and about half of his money comes from his 20% stake in the lux car company. Two years after Elon became the CEO of Teslain 2009, the company went public at $17 per share in 2010. The stock is now worth 18 times that much. If you bought $2,000 worth of Tesla stock at $17 it would now be worth $35,939.  We’ll give you a moment...

PBDs (Pretty Big Deals)

  • Google (GOOGL)Facebook (FB) and Amazon (AMZN) – India is saying hold up wait a minute to the tech giants. The country is looking to curb their power.

  • Amazon (AMZN) vs. the US Postal Service – the White House is expected to release a report soon talking about potential reforms to the USPS.  Remember Trump was hating on Amazon’s post office discount a few months ago but the actual numbers said Amazon was the USPS’ biggest client, essentially saving its business. Business groupsworry the report will recommend increasing shipping rates.

  • Apple (AAPL) – Apple’s dropping release jewels...they’re rollin’ out an entry-level MacBook, 3 new iPhones and a wireless charger inSeptember...get ready.

  • Google (GOOGL) – The G is dropping a new smart speaker equipped with a  display for the ’18 holiday season.

The Lux List

  • Tapestry (TPR) – (Coach, Kate Spade New York, Stuart Weitzman) – announced better than expected earnings last week. Earnings were up 21% and sales were up 31% from last year. The conglomerate is getting a makeover and will be introducing modern luxury concept stores in key markets.

  • Estee Lauder (EL) – The long-awaited release of the beauty conglomerate owning Estee Lauder, MAC, Aveda, Clinique, Jo Malone, Glam Glow, Too Faced, Smashbox, Origins, and LA MER is going down today. We’ll be listening to the 9:30am est earnings call with popcorn, will live tweet some tidbits from our twitter account and will provide all of the deets next week!

  • S&P Global Luxury Index – Yes, we track lux. The index is comprised of everything you need to live life in lux. It’s top holdings include Nike, LVMH (Louis Vuitton), Kering, Tesla, Estee Lauder, Daimler AG and Richemont. The index is down 0.13% for the week. We’re guessing Tesla had something to do with it’s small decline but don’t worry, the 1-year return is 14.19%.

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Squad Goals

We Ask and Our Squad Answers
Our squad is comprised of ten Wall Street experts from the top asset management firms. Each week we ask them a question, and they poll in!

Do you think the SEC will punish Elon Musk for his tweet that sent Tesla shares into a frenzy?
90% of the squad say Yes
10% say No

Agree with the squad? Tell us on Twitter #SavvySquadPoll

Weekly Moves

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Heads Up

Marlon Bovell