Morning Reads






Elon Musk lost a poll on whether he should remain head of Twitter (TWTR) Monday. "Should I step down as the head of Twitter?" Musk asked hundreds of millions of Twitter users, noting, "I will abide by the results of this poll."

"As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it," Musk tweeted after posting the poll. As the poll closed, more than 17.5M had responded, with 57.5% saying "Yes."

It is unclear whether Musk has succession planning in mind for Twitter if users vote him out. In October, Musk, the world's richest man until recently, completed his $44B acquisition of Twitter, leading to the immediate resignations of its then Chief Executive Parag Agrawal and Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal.

Musk also said in a follow-up tweet that "there will be a vote for major policy changes" at the company in the future. "My apologies. Won't happen again," he added amid uproar over Twitter's decision to suspend some journalists from the social media platform. However, Elon Musk later reinstated the accounts of several journalists, including those from the New York Times, CNN, and the Washington Post.

The poll comes days after Tesla (TSLA) shares reached a 52-week low amid investor concerns over Musk's Twitter distraction. On Friday, media reports indicated that Musk reached out to one of the automaker's investors, seeking additional funds for the deal.

Meanwhile, in a significant policy shift, Twitter announced Sunday it would no longer allow users to promote their accounts on at least seven other major social media sites, including Facebook and Instagram of Meta Platforms (META).

"We recognize that many of our users are active on other social media platforms. However, we will no longer allow free promotion of certain social media platforms on Twitter," Twitter Support said. "Specifically, we will remove accounts created solely for the purpose of promoting other social platforms and content that contains links or usernames for the following platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr, and Post." (14 comments)

Survey Monday

As an eventful twelve months come to a close, investors are gauging their portfolio allocation for the coming year. Where will you put most of your investing capital in 2023?

· Stocks
· Bonds
· Commodities
· Crypto
· Cash

Take the survey and see the results here

Add your thoughts in the Wall Street Breakfast comments section with the reasons behind your investing strategies and what catalysts to watch in the coming year.

Avatar box office

To the great relief of movie-theater chains, Avatar: The Way of Water (DIS) has grossed $134M in its North American opening - one of the year's top debuts, and set to launch a multi-week recovery from some box-office doldrums. That $134M tied with The Batman (WBD) for fifth-best opening domestically of 2022 (and Sunday night receipts will move the new Avatar up there). It also added $301M overseas for a global first-weekend total of $435M and counting, the third-biggest opening of the COVID-19 pandemic era.

While giving some breathing room for movies, the new Avatar's opening take did come in a bit behind expectations for at least $150M - though some long legs will really determine its importance in the coming few months. And it will be counting on a long successful run. It cost hundreds of millions of dollars just to make it, let alone market it - and director James Cameron says it will need to be one of the top three grossers of all-time just to break even.

Some 62% of Avatar 2's ticket sales came from premium formats, including IMAX (IMAX), which claimed its second-biggest weekend ever and best December opening with $48.8M. (33 comments)

JanSport on the block?

VF Corp. (VFC) is considering the potential sale of its JanSport backpack business. A transaction may value JanSport at about $500M, according to a Bloomberg report from late Friday, which cited people familiar. VF hasn't made a final determination if it will sell the unit or may decide to keep it.

Shares of VF, the owner of North Face, Vans and Timberland brands, have dropped 64% this year. Shares rose 1% in premarket trading Monday. The potential sale comes after VF Corp. fell 11% on Dec. 5 after the apparel and footwear manufacturer announced the retirement of its CEO and trimmed its 2023 outlook. (47 comments)

Scrooge over Santa

Consumers are looking more miserly than expected into the year-end, according to Wall Street channel checks. Nearly across the board, analysts are voicing concerns on consumer belt-tightening, coupled with a shift away from goods consumption. While e-commerce spending was noted as on the rise nominally, as reflected in Adobe Black Friday sales data, inflation dampens enthusiasm on that front. Meanwhile, retail sales data overall indicates brick-and-mortar spending is slowing substantially as well.

“Inflation is pinching consumers at a record level, credit is harder to find, while job strength is the only thing better than a year ago,” Evercore ISI told clients in a downbeat note on holiday sales. “To save money, consumers are going Scrooge by trading down (cheaper items), trading out (fewer gifts), and waiting until the last minute for markdowns and deals.” The firm added that consumers are spending more on staple categories at retailers like Walmart (WMT), Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST), and Kroger (KR) and cutting spending on products in the electronics, sporting goods, and apparel categories. Best Buy (BBY) and Target (TGT) were cited as prominent retailers on the “naughty list.”

Bank of America data reflected a similar dynamic, with a particular focus on the hit to apparel sales ahead of Christmas. According to the bank data, retail spending on clothing slumped over 9% year over year in November despite Black Friday sales. Increasing spend on experiences versus goods as well as inflationary impacts were cited as factors driving the trend in addition to the overall pull-back pinpointed by Evercore. (34 comments)

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -1.05%. Hong Kong -0.5%. China -1.92%. India +0.76%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.55%. Paris +0.83%. Frankfurt +0.66%.
Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.40%. S&P +0.50%. Nasdaq +0.54%. Crude +0.99% to $75.20. Gold +0.36% to $1806.70. Bitcoin +0.38% to $16,782.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +4.2 bps to 3.524%.

Today's Economic Calendar

10:00 NAHB Housing Market Index

What else is happening...

Apple (AAPLtops Wedbush's 2023 tech picks; Microsoft (MSFT), Salesforce (CRM) also shine.

L3Harris (LHXconfirms deal to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne (AJRD) for $4.7B.

mRNA (MRNA)-based cancer vaccines have limits, pioneer of the technology says.

Citi lists the contrarian bull and bear stock calls for 2023.

Credit card metrics climb closer to prepandemic levels in November.

It's almost 2023, but here are the drugs the FDA could approve before the end of the year.

S&P 500 (SP500ends lower for second straight week as recession fears spur selloff.

Known to most as Uranium Pinto Beans, Jason has more than 15 years under his belt of trading stocks, options and currencies. His expertise primarily lies in chart analysis, and he has a strong eye for undervalued stock. Because he’s got the ability to identify great risk/reward trades he usually enjoys taking the path less traveled and reaping the benefits from the adventure.

He is a co-founder of Option Millionaires, and he is best known for his weekly webinars with Scott, as well as his high level training webinars and charts found in the forums.

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