Breakfast on Wall Street: A Year in Review

The year in review

Special edition Breakfast on Wall Street continue this week with the hottest headlines and top stories of 2023. Join the discussion in the comments section with your best stocks of the year or investments that gave you the best returns!

May

Weight loss drugs: A new generation of highly effective drugs has begun to make headlines, raising hopes that the health care industry may be turning a blind eye to weight loss and chronic obesity. These injectable GLP-1 agonists make people feel fuller for longer by slowing down hunger signals to the brain and the rate at which the stomach empties. Investors applauded the potential of drugmakers Wegovy, Ozempic and Mounjaro, sending shares of Novo Nordisk (a non-governmental organization) and Eli Lilly (LLY) up 50% YTD.

National AI Strategy: In response to “one of the most powerful technologies of our time,” the Biden administration adopted new steps to “advance responsible artificial intelligence”. Among them was the National AI Research and Development Strategic Plan, which outlined key priorities and goals for federal investment in AI research and development. Following a meteoric rally, shares of Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) also intervened $1T valuation tag when the stock market darling was riding the wave of investor exuberance around artificial intelligence.

May the 4th be with you: It might not be cloud cars or desert skiffs, but the FAA has revealed some pretty bold plans that could soon bring Star Wars to life. As per updated operational plan The agency has released changes to airspace procedures to accommodate flying taxis and new innovative aircraft. Other aspects to consider include vertiports, existing infrastructure, travel routes and air transport communications, all of which will help usher in the next era of aviation.

Groundwater disappears: In what could be the harbinger of a housing boom in the American West, Arizona began restrictive approval for new developments in the Phoenix area. The study found that about 4% of local groundwater demand, nearly 4.9 million acre-feet, cannot be met over the next century, threatening to slow the explosive development that has made the city one of the nation’s fastest-growing metropolitan regions. In addition to the groundwater crisis, Arizona also faced a significant shortage of surface water allocations recent usage reduction offer from the drought-stricken Colorado River.

June

Debt Drama: US Senate approved the debt ceiling package by a vote of 63 to 36, sending the bill to the president’s desk in time to avert a catastrophic bankruptcy. In exchange, the bill suspended the debt limit until January 1, 2025 for some measures which limit nondefense discretionary spending, tighten work requirements for some food assistance recipients, and allow Mountain Valley Pipeline. “No one gets everything they want in a negotiation, but make no mistake: this bipartisan deal is a big win for our economy and the American people,” Biden said in a tweet.

Merge mulligan: Ending a bitter split in the golf world, the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed upstart rival LIV Golf announced the merger to unite the sport and its players. Perhaps the most immediate commercial result of the deal is the boost in media coverage of the sport, with all its stars united as one. LIV Golf lured key players away from the PGA Tour, but then had serious trouble getting media organizations interested in paying them for their events: ESPN (NYSE:DIS), CBS (NASDAQ:FOR), NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Fox (FOX) all switched to league coverage, while some already had contracts with the PGA Tour.

Vision Pro: apple (AAPL) revealed his mixed reality headset at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference, ushering in a new era of what CEO Tim Cook called “spatial computing.” Unlike competing joystick-driven devices such as the Meta Quest (META), Apple’s headset relied on hand tracking, with the user gesturing in the air to control the interface. However, the new super-premium device was priced at $3,499 and the vast majority of WSB subscribers felt that too much gap in the market.

Run, bull, run: The S&P 500 Index (SP500) the longest bear market since the 1940s it has come to an endwith 20% deposit from the October low. The bull rally was largely driven by a handful of companies that saw huge gains, such as Magnificent 7. The group’s excessive influence has also started to cause some problems for market indices such as current diversification rules for the Nasdaq 100 (NDX).

July

Work action: Hollywood was hit first double strike since 1960 after contract negotiations between the union representing 160,000 actors and the major studios broke down. The actors joined the writers who were already on patrol more than two months. “After more than four weeks of negotiations, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers is unwilling to offer a fair deal,” said the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Also don’t forget Barbenheimer who gave a jump into the summer box office and had the strongest weekend for theaters in 2023.

Twitter killer: Instagram launched A text app for short posts Threads as a Meta platform (META) CEO Mark Zuckerberg took over Elon Musk and Twitter (which was renamed X later that month). “Let’s do it,” Zuckerberg declared before the app racked up 30 million downloads in 24 hours. Musk’s reaction? “It’s infinitely better to be attacked by strangers on Twitter than to indulge in the fake happiness of hidden Instagram.” But his courage quickly wore off thanks to Twitter threaten to sue Target.

In the moment: By modernizing the antiquated banking system in the US, the Federal Reserve launched a a new instant payment system which is available 24/7/365. “FedNow” was initially supported by 57 organizations such as Bank of New York Mellon (BK), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and US Bancorp (USB), with plans to involve more lenders and credit unions in the near future. The system was intended to help everyone – from consumers to small businesses – settle directly through central bank accounts, as opposed to closed peer-to-peer networks such as Zelle (JPM) or Venmo (PYPL).

Relief or responsibility? The Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s plan to forgive student debt in a 6-3 decision, ruled that it exceeded the powers Congress granted to the executive branch. The plan would wipe $430 billion in loans from the government’s books, but some alternatives have been used since the decision. The cancellations were made through waivers and existing federal student loan forgiveness programs to benefit state employees, disabled borrowers and people defrauded by for-profit colleges.

August

No Place Like Home: Home sales fell for the fourth time in five months, posing another challenge for the real estate market to pull out of the slowdown. Sale of existing houses fell 2.2% month-on-month to 4.07 million, short of expectations of 4,150 million, while on a year-over-year basis, existing home sales fell a further 16.6%, compared with an 18.9% decline the previous month. The situation was exacerbated by mortgage rates, which hit a 22-year high of 7.23%, as well as tight inventory, which drove prices higher.

Full faith and honor: Fitch downgraded the United States’ long-term rating from AAA to AA+, reflecting the move S&P Global, which downgraded the U.S. in 2011 after a different government battle over a growing debt burden. “Repeated political deadlocks on the debt limit and last-minute resolutions have eroded confidence in fiscal management,” according to Fitch. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she “strongly” disagreed with the decision, calling it “arbitrary,” while many others he asked about the timing downgrade.

Devastation of Maui: A series of wildfires in Maui have killed over 100 people and caused damage estimated at nearly $6 billion. The destruction of tourist and residential areas has hit some stocks, with TD Cowen warning that Maui’s recovery can take years and resorts are likely to disappear in the foreseeable future. Hawaiian Holdings (HA) collapsed in part because of the airline with the highest exposure to Maui flights, while Hawaiian Electric Industries (HE) warned affected customers to plan for extended shutdowns.

Black Gold: Oil posted big summer gains after Saudi Arabia extended its unilateral oil output curbs and said it would could be extended or even deepened. The move was added to other voluntary cuts by some members of OPEC, while Russia has announced that it will continue to reduce its supplies. Separately, the US government withdrew his offer to buy 6 million barrels of oil to replenish strategic oil reserves after oil prices took their toll best monthly profit in more than a year.

Stay tuned… The final recap of 2023 will be published tomorrow.