If it looks like a duck

QUOTE OF THE DAY

It feels good for about 10 seconds and then we move on" -- Mark LaNeve, Ford VP of Sales on topping rival GM in May vehicle sales. Quite the line Mark--that's why context matters, folks.

Ticker

MARKET CORNER

Market Snapshot

  • Markets were strong like bull, driven by solid ISM factory activity, better-than-expected ADP private payrolls and a 4% Q2 GDP forecast by the Atlanta Fed
  • U.S. car sales slowed for the third straight month, despite automakers offering saucy discounts
  • Fed Governor Jerome Powell had us read between the lines, calling the economy "healthy" just weeks before June's policy meeting (i.e. rate hike v-likely)
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Tim's Straight Cookin

App developers everywhere are dancing like the iTunes silhouettes of the early 2000's. The reason? Apple (+0.27%) just announced a serious milestone: it's paid out $70 billion to app developers since the App Store's inception in 2008.

But it took some work to get there

The app store opened with well under 1,000 apps. But its path to 2.2 million today took some Jobs-esque "creative exercises". No, not like that.

Apple introduced key strategies like speeding up app approval from two weeks to two days (in 2015) and launching App Store search ads (in 2016), which led to a 33% app increase within one year.

Wait, it gets better.

Apple itself has generated approximately $13 billion in app store revenue since the beginning of 2016 (it gets a 30% cut, remember), a number that is 75% of what the tech giant brought in from 2008 to 2015, combined.

Know what's scary?

The app store accounts for less than 5% of Apple's revenue, a very small piece of a $216 billion pie.

And the stock price shows, having risen 70% since May of last year.

But, all of the excitement and innovation seems to be just beginning (finally).

You have WWDC set for next week, where product announcements could include the Mac, iPad, and a Siri-based competitor to the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Investors are also salivating at the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, a device jam-packed with new features and a price tag of up to $1,000--now, that's one recipe for success.

Oh yeah, did we mention Apple's sitting on a cash pile of $248 billion? Tim Cook's chillin like...

Git 'ER Done

John Deere (+0.08%), strapped up its blue overalls, hocked a fat 'ole loogie into a steel bucket and got down to business Thursday, purchasing German road construction firm, Wirtgen Group, for a cool $4.88 billion.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Over the last three years, weak harvests and falling agricultural commodity prices have eaten away at the company's bottom line
  • That's significant because 70% of Deere & Co's operations focus on turf and agriculture
  • The good news? Wirtgen's network and construction business is not just the lifeline it wanted, but the lifeline it needed

Fow now, John Deere's brushing off that faint echo of Bill Engvall whispering in its ear... "Here's your sign."

"I'm Not Kool Enough :("

Microsoft-owned Skype has begun rolling out its largest upgrade since introducing video chat in 2006.

After its $8.5 billion acquisition in 2011, the company has struggled, as more socially attuned messaging services like Snapchat and Whatsapp have picked up steam.

But, Skype isn't giving up. Oh, no.

It's ready to send those VC-backed schoolyard bullies a message.

With 300 million monthly users in its back pocket, Skype is focusing on messaging, staying mobile-centric and showering customers with "innovative" features.

"Innovative"...

The all-in-one messenger app now includes disappearing photos (hey Snap), Emojis and GIF's via chat (what's up Messenger), as well as photo sharing and effects over video (howdy Hangouts).

Bold strategy, Cotton.

Puff, Puff, Pass.

"Aye bro, you hear about that High Times story?"

"They like sold a 60% stake in their company to Oreva Capital for $42 mill or some sh** like that."

"Aren't they the number one weed brand in the world aside from our boy Snoop right?"

**pause to look at each other**

"SNOOOOOOP!!!"

Or at least, we think it went something like that. It's important to realize the $70 million marijuana magazine was able to grow this big through 20 million unique visitors a day and 236,000 print subscribers.

And let's not forget about the High Times-hosted Cannabis Cup--it's basically the CES Conference for stoners.

Even better? The new board thinks it can be an even bigger "hit" as newer marijuana media sites are charging users up to $60 per year.

What Else Is Happening...

  • Audi (+0.38%) is set to recall 25,000 Audi A8's after the German government detected an illicit software that cheats emissions standards.
  • Industrial gas mega-giant, Linde Group (+1.82%), just got the thumbs up from its board to follow through with a whopping $73 billion merger with U.S. peer, Praxair (+1.35%).
  • Walmart (+1.54%) looks to have its employees make deliveries on their way home from work.
  • Meal delivery service, Blue Apron, is coming right to your door as the next big consumer IPO.
Economic Calendar

  • Friday (May 26): Big Lots (+) Earnings; GDP (+), Consumer Sentiment (-)
  • Monday: Memorial Day (Markets Closed)
  • Tuesday: Consumer Confidence (-), Dallas Fed Manufacturing (+)
  • Wednesday: Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (+/-), Michael-Kors (+) Earnings; U.S. Pending Home Sales (-)
  • Thursday: Dollar General (+), Mobileye (+), Lululemon (+), Express (-) Earnings; Weekly Jobless Claims (-), Motor Vehicle Sales (-)
  • Friday: May Jobs Report

WATER COOLER

The 101 on Student Loans

If you are in college or went to college (which, many of you did), you probably have some idea about student loans.

Maybe you took out one or two (or ten?) loans yourself or have a close friend that constantly talks about their Pell or Stafford (not the football player). All we know is that there is WAYYY too much noise about student loans, so it's time for the Brew Crew to serve you some good ol' fashion FACT.

  • There is a universal step #1 when getting into student loans and it's called FAFSA. It stands for Free(!) Application for Federal Student Aid and you must complete this form if you want to be eligible for federal financial aid. Think: FAFSA is to student loans as Common App is to college admission
  • And the craziest part...1,445,732 high school grads did not fill out the FAFSA application in 2014. All you've got to do is show up man!
  • Now, on to the loans themselves. There are two main types of student loans with several sub-types that fall under: Federal Direct Loans and Private Student Loans. Should you take out a Federal Loan, you will be borrowing money from the U.S. Department of Education, and if you choose a Private Loan you will be borrowing from a bank or credit union (think...oh I don't know...Discover perhaps)
  • Brew Crew would love to hear about your experiences with student loans and any questions you have beyond the basics? Reply to this email and let us know what's up!

THE BREAKROOM

Interview Question of the Day

You are given 8 identical looking balls. One of them is heavier than the rest of the 7 (all the others weigh exactly the same). You are provided with a simple mechanical balance scale. How can you find the heavier ball by using the scale only twice?

(Give up?)

Guess That Company

My first location opened in Atlanta, GA in 1967. Fast forward 50 years and you can now walk into any of my 2,000+ restaurants. But don't even bother trying on Sunday.

I've sold over 3 billion sandwiches and haven't changed my recipe once. In fact, I sell 282 million sandwiches annually, enough to almost cover the earth's circumference.

I generate more revenue per restaurant than any other fast food chain in the US and brought in a whopping $8 billion in sales for 2016. So come on over for a bite, and make sure to ask for my secret menu.

(Answer)

Stat of the Day

$1 Million.

That's how much money Uber was burning through each week to make UberPool a reality, when it first tested the ridesharing feature in San Francisco.

Initially, only 7.9% of customers used the service until Uber was forced to drive down the cost with its own cash. So next time you wonder why your UberPool's so much cheaper, this just might be the reason. Cheap prices ain't cheap.

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Comments (9)

Jun 2, 2017

You are given 8 identical looking balls. One of them is heavier than the rest of the 7 (all the others weigh exactly the same). You are provided with a simple mechanical balance scale. How can you find the heavier ball by using the scale only twice?

The question is asked the wrong way or the answer on the website is wrong.....

Jun 2, 2017

The answer is correct just not communicated effectively

Jun 2, 2017

Ah I see. There deff should've been an extra sentence clarifying 2 groups of 3 with 2 balls off to the side.

Jun 2, 2017

You first take 6 balls leaving the other two out.

You break the 6 balls into 2 groups of 3 and weigh them. If the scale is balanced then you know the heavier ball is in the two you left out. Then you weight those two.

If the scale is not balanced you take the heavier side of the 2 groups. Then you weight one ball against another ball leaving one out. If the scale is balanced then you know the ball left out is the heavier one.

If the scale is unbalanced then you know the heavier side contains the heavier ball.

Jun 2, 2017

Last week my parents gave my wife and I a $75 Chick-fil-A gift card for our 2nd anniversary. I am thankful.

    • 1
Jun 2, 2017

I like your name, I also like Chick-fil-a and wish there was one near me... Have a banana.

Jun 2, 2017

Interview question is bull. The answer provided requires the scale to be used 3 times,

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

Jun 2, 2017

1) ooo___ooo
If equally weighted, then one of the two left out is the oddball.
If not equally weighted, take two from the heavier side.

2) o___o
If equally weighted, then the third one left out is the oddball.

Jun 2, 2017
Comment

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.