Life is full of difficult choices. For example, do you pay your rent, or spend US$3,499 to look like a total goofball wearing Apple’s new Vision Pro augmented-reality headset? Judging by the market’s lukewarm reception to Apple’s announcement that the device will be available early next year, most people aren’t going to be rushing out to buy the pricey goggles. Who needs to interact with virtual dinosaurs or attend meetings with creepy avatars of your colleagues – just two of the things the Vision Pro can do – when you can do all this and more with a single tab of LSD that costs a fraction of the price?
S&P/TSX Composite Index (DOG)
Poor Canada. No teams in the Stanley Cup final. Wildfires blazing everywhere. And a stock market that is badly lagging its southern neighbour. Even as the S & P 500 Index recorded its highest close of 2023 this week and is up 12 per cent on the year, Canada’s benchmark index is well off its February high and has gained just 2.3 per cent year to date. Blame it on Canada’s heavy weighting of financial and resource stocks, which have lagged the market, and its relatively small exposure to the technology sector, which has been a standout performer in the U.S. thanks to the AI craze. I guess when you send your smoke to the U.S., it’s only fair that your stock market gets smoked in return.
Coinbase Global (DOG)
Impropriety in the crypto industry? This comes as a complete shock! Shares of Coinbase Global sank after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued the largest U.S. crypto trading platform, alleging it has been operating illegally as a broker and exchange for securities without properly registering with the SEC. The move came a day after the SEC filed suit against Binance, the world’s largest crypto trading platform, alleging it mishandled customer funds and artificially inflated trading volumes, among other no-nos. This is obviously all a big misunderstanding, because everyone knows the crypto industry is squeaky clean. Ask Sam Bankman-Fried.
Think your week was rough? Just be glad you aren’t a Carvana short seller. Investors betting against the struggling online used car retailer got the financial equivalent of an airbag in the face when the company forecast second-quarter adjusted earnings well above Wall Street estimates, sending the stock a one-day gain of 56 per cent. Including this week’s short squeeze, short sellers have now lost more than US$1-billion on the stock this year, as Carvana’s cost-cutting and high resale vehicle prices are helping the company’s bottom line. The shares are still nowhere near their record high of about US$376 in 2021, but at least they’re no longer going in reverse.
Business quiz! Shares of dairy producer Saputo dropped after: a) $200-million worth of mozzarella went missing from a distribution centre in Quebec, where cheese theft by organized gangs of mice is a growing problem; b) the federal government, citing environmental concerns, refused to approve Saputo’s application for a 5,000-kilometre milk pipeline that would transport the beverage to markets across Canada; c) the company reported higher revenues and earnings for its fiscal fourth-quarter ended March 31, but CEO Lino Saputo said the current year “is off to a slower start than anticipated, with Q1 facing challenges, notably competitive market conditions, softening demand and volatile commodity market prices in our U.S. sector.” Answer: c.