Axios Closer

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February 28, 2024

🗓️ February's bonus day is coming up.

Today's newsletter is 673 words, a 2½-minute read.

🔔 The dashboard: The S&P 500 closed down 0.2%.

  • Biggest gainer? Axon Enterprise (+13.8%), the maker of bodycams and the Taser, issued a better-than-expected full-year revenue picture.
  • Biggest decliner? Viatris (-7.1%), the health care company, missed revenue expectations for its fourth quarter.

1 big thing: "She"-conomy boom

Change in new business listings on Yelp for select categories, 2022 to 2023
Data: Yelp; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

There's a great explanation for all the miter saw and beadboard content on my Instagram timeline — women opened more home services businesses than beauty businesses in 2023, according to Yelp's report released today, Hope writes.

Why it matters: The trend is more evidence that the "she-conomy" — economic growth attributed to women and marked by "Barbie," Beyoncé's "Renaissance" tour and Taylor Swift last year — continues to expand.

Between the lines: Women are opening more businesses traditionally dominated by men, such as plumbing and HVAC repair, new findings from Yelp reveal.

  • Listings within the home services category that were created by women grew 38% last year, 6 points more than the national average in that category.

Zoom in: In Boston, general contractor businesses listed by women grew 500%, while Miami electrician and D.C. flooring listings started by women each saw 400% growth.

Zoom out: Women-created businesses overall increased 17% in 2023, per Yelp.

  • Austin (up 34%), Miami (31%), Washington, D.C. (25%), Denver (25%) and Orlando (22%) were the five metro areas with the highest growth, while Miami, Los Angeles and New York City had the highest total number of new women-owned businesses last year.

What they're saying: "In 2023, women invested in themselves and their unique business ideas, helping create a banner year for entrepreneurs nationwide," Yelp trend expert Tara Lewis told Axios in a statement.

🪚 Our thought bubble: The need and desire to spruce up living areas shouldn't be a surprise. After all, homeowners stayed put last year and managers became resigned to a permanent state of hybrid work.

Full story

2. Charted: Bitcoin tops $60K

Bitcoin price
Data: CoinGecko; Graphic: Rahul Mukherjee/Axios

Bitcoin rallied above $60,000 today, riding its bullish momentum to its highest levels since November 2021, Axios' Javier E. David writes.

The big picture: The digital token has gone from strength to strength in the wake of the rollout of bitcoin exchange-traded funds, which have reignited broad interest in the sector.

  • Bitcoin is now within shouting distance of its all-time high above $69,000, set in late 2021.

What we're watching: Coinbase experienced some trading issues.

3. What's happening

🇮🇳 Disney is merging its India business with India-based Viacom18 as part of a joint venture with Reliance Industries. (Axios)

💔 Bumble plans to lay off 30% of its workforce and announced a relaunch of its app to attract younger users. (Axios)

4. Exclusive: Goldman Sachs' small business milestone

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

More than 15,000 small businesses have been helped though Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses philanthropic program, the company tells Hope exclusively.

Why it matters: Entrepreneurship has boomed since the pandemic — as have obstacles to operate.

Between the lines: The program aims to provide small businesses with access to education, capital and support services.

  • Business owners most frequently want to learn more about how to understand the financials of their business, negotiate interest rates on loans, and new technologies, including AI.
  • "We've added more on AI to our curriculum," Asahi Pompey, president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, tells Axios. She noted that 56% of the program's small businesses are already using ChatGPT and other tools to help them automate tasks like data analysis.

State of play: A record-breaking 5.5 million new business applications were filed in 2023, according to government data.

  • Some of the highest growth has been in less densely populated states, including Colorado, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Maine and Kentucky.

5. Stock market performance during leap years

Data: NYU Stern; Chart: Axios Visuals

We get an extra day on the calendar this year (tomorrow), which got me wondering about whether leap years have had any correlation to stock market performance, Hope writes.

By the numbers: The average annual return of the S&P 500, including dividends, from 1928 to 2023 is 11.66%, according to an Axios analysis.

  • Non-leap years, on average, performed slightly better at 11.76%, while leap years performed slightly worse at 11.35%.

The takeaway: There's not a significant difference, but it was fun to look through.

6. What they're saying

A Chinese New Year celebration in San Francisco's Chinatown — the oldest U.S. Chinatown — in 1984. Photo: Steve Ringman/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

"We've never had any recognition of this holiday that has been important in our communities for a long time."
— Danny Taing, founder and CEO of Bokksu, on brands like Kate Spade launching special products for Lunar New Year, in an interview with Hope.

Today's newsletter was edited by Pete Gannon and copy edited by Sheryl Miller.

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