Dramatic exit: When the curtain falls

Dramatic exit

When the curtain falls

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The Currency

March 16, 2023

It’s been a heavy week in financial news. If you’re feeling uncertain about what comes next, you’re not alone. We’ve gathered a few thoughts on the current state of the market, but an important takeaway is that making big swerves to your investment portfolio can have implications for years down the road. Stay calm and stick to your strategy ⁠— and know that we’re riding this out together.

The Editors

Update on the Silicon Valley Bank failure: Early this week, the government confirmed it would fully back depositors of Silicon Valley Bank beyond the initial $250,000 guaranteed amount. The money will come from the FDIC deposit insurance fund and will not use taxpayer funds.

Seeing the light: Did we turn our clocks ahead for the last time? A bill in the Senate proposes ending the practice of Daylight Saving Time.* Adding an extra hour of sunlight could have its benefits ⁠— studies find economic activity drops 3.5%* when clocks are turned back in the fall.

Another last call: Citing falling ticket sales* that have plagued many Broadway favorites since the onset of the pandemic, "The Phantom of the Opera" will close on April 16.* If you’re looking to book a last-minute trip before the show’s 35-year run ends, here are a few tips for traveling on a budget.

Mixed signals

There was already a lot of buzz around the U.S. jobs report, a key inflation indicator — and that was before it released on the same day as the largest bank failure since 2008.

With job growth exceeding expectations* (last month the U.S. added 311,000 jobs versus the predicted 205,000) and inflation continuing to rise* (the Consumer Price Index was up 6% in February), the Fed’s campaign to combat inflation just got more complicated.

Many point to rising rates as a key factor in the Silicon Valley Bank failure. As the government (in partnership with the Federal Reserve) works to prevent the crisis from spreading to other banks, there is debate on what the impact of another rate increase could be.

Market reaction outside of the banking industry so far has been mixed. Many investors are grabbing onto the idea that the Fed will be forced to stop or dramatically slow additional rate hikes to maintain calm, and perhaps start to cut rates sooner.

All eyes are on the upcoming Federal Reserve update, scheduled for next week.

The beauty counter is closed

Do we really need another anti-aging cream? (Brad Pitt* — looking at you). In 2021, 20 celebrities ranging from pro athletes (Naomi Osaka) to musicians (Harry Styles) released a beauty brand. While some may be aiming to replicate Rihanna’s success — her beauty line Fenty is valued at $2.8 billion — others, according to Bloomberg ,* may simply be trying to get popular enough to reach an acquisition. Kylie Cosmetics has come closest: multinational beauty corporation Coty paid $600* million for a majority stake in 2019.

As John Legend prepares to launch his line with CVS, he may want to take note of the growing fatigue of celebrity brands — especially among younger generations. Some 66% of Gen Zers* make purchasing decisions based on their friends’ recommendations vs. 19% who said they would be influenced based on a celebrity endorsement.

If you must — skincare appears to be the way to go. In 2022 Estee Lauder reported* twice as much revenue from skincare than its makeup lines: That’s $10 billion vs $5 billion in makeup money.

Not sure if you want to work for Elon Musk?
What if he offered you a pool?

Elon Musk is reportedly making plans for what the Wall Street Journal calls a “Texas Utopia along the Colorado River.”*

Musk has purchased 3,500 acres of land about 35 miles outside of Austin, Texas near facilities of SpaceX and The Boring Company (a tunneling company owned by Musk). The land already includes a pool, gym, and several modular homes. If all goes to plan, the community will eventually offer 110 homes to employees at below-market rent ($800 according to Business Insider).*

If this has you dreaming of the Lone Star State, check out this list of Best States to Retire.*

As of March 16, 2023 PCAC and EAG hold shares of CVS in advisory client accounts and do not hold SIVB, LVMUY, or COTY. 
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The Currency


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