Mar 24, 2017- Morning Brew Daily

QUOTE OF THE DAY

The advantage is you have access to a million publishers and a billion articles. The disadvantage is you have access to a million publishers and a billion articles" - David Rodinsky of 3Q digital, commenting on how difficult it is to police online advertising in light of Google's newly strengthened policies.

Ticker

MARKET CORNER

Market Snapshot

  • U.S. stocks closed marginally lower on Thursday as weekly jobless claims climbed to a two-month high and concerns escalated about the Trump administration's ability to get its pro-growth agenda pushed through Congress
  • Shares of healthcare companies faltered after GOP leaders delayed voting on a bill to overhaul Obamacare in order to garner support from wavering conservatives. Analysts expect the outcome of this legislation to have a profound effect on the broader market
New Day, New Delhi

...Apple (-0.35%) will start making iPhones in India. Over the next couple of months, the world's most valuable company will start manufacturing iPhones in India for the first time ever, as Cook and co. look to tap into the fast-growing market. A huge hindrance for Apple's success in India has been its high prices. The solution? By manufacturing iPhones in India, the California-based company will be able to lower local prices by at least 100 bucks by avoiding local import tariffs. Very clever, Apple.

Tears Were Shed Yesterday

...As Alaska Airlines (+1.22%) plans to kill off Virgin America brand. Wait, what? To jog your memory, just last year Alaska bought the Virgin America brand for a hefty $2.6 billion. It seems that's ancient history for Alaska, as the airline plans to retire the Virgin name and logo sometime in 2019. But don't fret too much: Alaska announced that it will be keeping a lot of the popular features of Virgin, such as the great customer service and mood lighting (yeah, that's a thing). That didn't stop founder/general cool dude, Richard Branson, from penning a heartfelt farewell letter to Virgin America, assuring fans "that the music never dies."

One More Year

…Disney star CEO Robert Iger has his contract extended for another year, casting doubt on the succession process. It might not be as bad as it seems-investors are rejoicing that Iger, who has led Disney (+0.14%) through tough times to record results, will be around a bit longer. The previous obvious choice for a successor, Thomas Staggs, left last year after the board expressed a lack of confidence in him. Shame. If you're wondering what former Disney CEOs do, look no further than Michael Eisner, who is in talks to buy an English Premier team. Goals, literally.

Ford Warns Wall Street

...Not to get all riled up about profits. Ford hates to be the bearer of bad news, but it (-0.89%) had to let Wall Street know that its profit will fall by 50% this quarter. Last year's profit in Q1 was record-breaking for the automaker, but the tides have since turned. Sales of trucks and cars are falling, costs of steel are on the rise and engineering costs are also growing-all spelling bad news. On a more pleasant note, company execs believe that the restructuring of NAFTA under the Trump administration will impact the company less than others because its stake in Mexican production is low relative to competitors. Despite the difficulties, the company still plans to generate earnings in 2018 that exceed those from 2016. It ain't all bad.

What We're Reading…

  • Amazon to acquire its Middle East equivalent for $650m
  • AT&T and J&J latest to pull ad spend from Google (and Youtube)
  • 69 new emojis (including a face with a monocle) to be released in June
  • GameStop to close 150 stores as sales continue to slump
Economic Calendar

  • Thursday: Gamestop (-) Earnings; New Home Sales (+)
  • Today: The Finish Line Earnings; Durable Goods
  • Monday: Dallas Fed Mfg Survey

WATER COOLER

The World's Greatest Leaders, According to Forbes

In our world of negative news, no story is safe. In a refreshing change of pace, Forbes has released its list of the World's 50 Greatest Leaders. Forbes did some serious digging, and the list is pretty uplifting. Let's take a look:

  • Forbes compiled its list by examining three criteria: acknowledges reality and offers hope, brings followers physically together, and possesses the ability to build bridges.
  • #1 is Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs. Much of the team's success in rebuilding is attributed to Epstein, the "wunderkind executive" who replicated the previous success he had with the Red Sox.
  • For you non-baseball fans, also included on the list are Ali Baba's Jack Ma, Pope Francis, Melinda Gates, Jeff Bezos and others...
  • Readers should pay less attention to the ranking and more to the breadth of industries. "The point is that great leaders can be anywhere," says Forbes. "At the helm of a giant corporation, running a rural college, or in a cramped office exerting influence through sheer personal energy."

THE BREAKROOM

Interview Question of the Day

Eight friends-Nancy, Harris, Jim, Feona, Daniel, Tony, Mary and Susan-are sitting around a circular table. Susan is sitting just beside Mary. Tony is sitting 3rd to the left of Susan and also 3rd to the right of Feona, who is 2nd to the left of Harris. Jim is 2nd to the right of Nancy, who is opposite to Tony. Who is sitting immediate to the left of Mary? (Answer)

Startup of the Day

This comes compliments of the Shark Tank legend himself, Mr. Mark Cuban. The company is called Radical Transport and was born out of Cuban's decision to buy the patent rights to a hoverboard design from Shane Chen in 2015, (questionably) the founder of the hoverboard.

So, what makes Mark's hoverboard (named the Moov) different? Hard to say exactly, but many have pointed to a "more streamlined and less plasticky design" and pressure sensor-based steering. Seems like the outspoken billionaire might be a bit late to the party, but then again, you can never count Cuban out. A Kickstarter campaign for the Moov is scheduled to begin in April.

Food for Thought

The top trade association for U.S. drugmakers-PhRMA-is spending more on television advertising than any other special interest group as part of a multi-year campaign to repair the industry's reputation and counter President Donald Trump's claims that it's "getting away with murder" on pricing. PhRMA has already spent an estimated $8.6 million on broadcast television and cable ads in 2017, so look for that number to spring up as the season does.

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