Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here. (Today's Smart Brevity: 1,227 words, ~ 5 minutes.)
Photo illustration from Getty Images
Maybe $500 million for "Seinfeld" was a bit too much. Or maybe too little, too late.
What's happening: The stock has been challenged for much of the year, but suffered mightily after what initially looked like a reprieve in July until it released disappointing Q2 earnings showing it lost more than 100,000 subscribers in the U.S. (It was expected to gain over 300,000.)
The big picture: Investors soured on the company as the streaming wars heated up in recent months with other companies preparing to unveil new, lower-cost streaming options.
What they're saying: "While we've been competing with many people in the last decade, it's a whole new world starting in November," Hastings said in a Friday interview with Variety.
Short sellers have been swarming. Data from S3 Partners shows Netflix has become the 4th most shorted stock in the U.S., with a little over $6 billion of short interest and 20 million shares shorted.
Yes, but: Investors are far from abandoning the stock. Netflix remains one of the most held stocks in the world, and was fourth among top holdings of hedge funds, according to recent data from Goldman Sachs.
Netflix also is facing some challenges of its own, as its international growth may have hit a wall, analysts from Evercore ISI said in a note Friday.
International downloads of the Netflix app have been slowing since July. The app’s international downloads in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store this month have grown about 5% from the same period last year, compared to 21% growth in July and August.
Dissent has been growing at the Fed this year and has only increased since chair Jerome Powell decided to cut U.S. overnight interest rates in July.
Between the lines: Kansas City Fed president Esther George and Boston Fed president Eric Rosengren, who both dissented at the September meeting, have a history of opposing the committee.
The intrigue: The only Fed chair to never face a dissent was Thomas McCabe, who served in the role for 3 years following World War II.
Fun fact: McCabe helped craft the Treasury-Fed Accord, which removed the obligation that the Fed monetize the debt of the U.S. Treasury at a fixed rate.
What to watch: Members of the Fed will be out in full force this week.
Chicken is starting to become Americans' favorite meat and beef looks to be be paying the price.
What's happening: Wholesale-beef prices, a proxy for short-term demand, have fallen 10% from a peak in August, and an indicator for burgers has tumbled about 35%, Bloomberg's Lydia Mulvany and Michael Hirtzer write.
Why it matters: "While there’s often a dip at this time of year because of the end of the U.S. summer grilling season, the declines are far more pronounced than usual," they write.
The U.S. personal savings rate rose to an average 8.2% in the first 7 months of 2019, data shows, higher than the average for any full year since 2012. That's not a great trend for economic growth in an economy driven by consumer spending like the United States.
Why it matters: Typically in times of expansion savings rates fall as consumers feel confident about the economy and spend more, but that pattern has generally been moving in reverse since the financial crisis.
What they're saying: “That is evidence to suggest that something structural has changed, and it’s made the saving rate kind of sticky at higher levels,” Tiffany Wilding, a U.S. economist at PIMCO, told WSJ.
The bottom line: "Economists point to other factors as well, including greater caution among consumers scarred by the 2007-09 recession, aging baby boomers preparing for retirement and a widening gap between the rich (who save a lot) and the poor (who save little)," per WSJ.