📈 The market took a beating this week, down 2%, for its third consecutive weekly loss, as the summer doldrums continue.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 7.09% this past week, up from 6.96% from the week before, according to data from Freddie Mac. With the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at around 5% just a year ago, these rates are the highest seen in 21 years.
Moreover, 10-year treasury yields have also hit a 15-year high, threatening steeper costs for many borrowers, and raising concerns about potential fallout in stock, bond, and housing markets.
👀 What to Be on the Lookout for This Week
Here are the economic reports to be on the lookout for this week:
Tuesday: Existing home sales
Wednesday: Mortgage applications, refinances, rates, S&P Global Flash PMI
Thursday: Durable Goods Orders
Friday: Jackson Hole Symposium
As far as earnings reports, be on the lookout for updates from the following:
Tuesday: Zoom, Faraday Future
Wednesday: Lowe’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods
Thursday: NVIDIA, Snowflake
Friday: Intuit, Dollar Tree, Affirm
📰 In Other News
This past week, there were a handful of different stories that featured a “winner” and an accompanying “loser.” For example:
Walmart & Target: During Walmart’s latest earnings report, the discount giant reported a 6.3% year-over-year spike in sales. Meanwhile, Target reported a 5.4% drop in sales and lowered its outlook for the rest of the year. These figures indicate that consumers are looking for budget-friendly deals.
IWG & WeWork: IWG, the global leader in hybrid workspace, posted a 48% surge in mid-year profits. On the same day, WeWork reported “substantial doubt” about the company’s future.
CVS & Amazon: CVS took a hit this week after Blue Shield of California announced it will drop CVS as its pharmacy benefit manager. CVS's loss, however, was a gain for Amazon Pharmacy and Mark Cuban's Cost Plus Drug Company, as Blue Cross announced a partnership with the two companies.
Finally, there were two big news stories within the auto sector.
First, the Vietnam EV company VinFast completed a successful merger with the SPAC Black Spade Acquisition. Shares catapulted on the first day, giving the young automaker a valuation of $86 billion, surpassing Ford and Jeep-parent Stellantis.
Then, California gave Google’s Waymo and General Motors’ Cruise the greenlight to launch their 24/7 self-driving taxi services, making San Francisco the first city to fully embrace this new technology.
🍝 Restaurants vs. Supermarkets: The Battle For Your Buck
What Do You Want To Eat?
The age-old question of “What do you want for dinner?” is getting even harder to answer.
On top of the enormous variety of what to eat, consumers must also choose from a wide array of where:
Shopping for groceries for a home-cooked meal.
Eating out at a restaurant.
Grabbing fast food.
Hitting a fast-casual chain.
In the past, deciding between these options has been fairly easy. If you feel like splurging — eat out at a restaurant. To save money — cook at home, or visit a cheap chain. But, thanks to surging food prices across the board, this decision is not so black and white anymore.
These days, shopping at the grocery store can be as much of a splurge as eating out. As a result, shoppers are constantly deliberating over the best bang for their buck when buying food.
Taking notice of this dilemma, grocery stores are throwing their hat into the ring by offering a ramped-up selection of pre-made meals.
Record-high inflation in 2022 caused grocery prices to increase at a faster rate than restaurants for the first time in decades.
This trend has slowed in recent months. In July, grocery prices rose 3.6%, while restaurants rose 7.1% Still, the changes in price have not made the cost of eating in drastically cheaper than eating out.
Accordingly, shoppers have been buying fewer items at supermarkets. At the same time, they’ve also been eating out at restaurants less often and ordering fewer items when they visit.
Because of this, the billion-dollar ready-to-eat meals industry is expected to grow even larger in the coming years — and, with their strong footing in the market, grocery stores may be on the right track.
Grocery store chains have already announced plans to expand pre-made meal options.
Kroger, the nation’s largest grocer and owner of Ralph’s, King Soopers, and Harris Teeter, plans to expand with ready-to-eat meal kits featuring chicken dishes bundled with beverages and sides. Kroger also plans to offer ready-to-eat pizza options and a line of products under Home Chef, the store’s meal kit business.
Good Food Holdings, the owner of Bristol Farms and Lazy Acres, also announced plans to expand the store’s menu of prepared meals.
Meanwhile, to help lure in hungry shoppers, many grocery store chains are offering steep discounts on these ready-to-eat offerings. Giant Eagle is tripling the number of prepared meals and quadrupling the number of deli items that will be included in discount programs.
These ready-to-eat grocery store meals will be an interesting expansion of options for consumers looking for affordability and ease.
📓 What Are the Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing for a Job?
Navigating the Job Hunt
The US job market has been in a constant state of flux over the past few years. Companies and employees are trying to find the perfect balance between in-person, hybrid, and remote work. According to recruitment company Zippia, 65% of employed individuals are actively looking for work.
For people on the job hunt, here are some places to source your next gig:
To get your foot in the door, your resume must be crafted to perfection. But that’s just the first step. Once your resume opens the door, the next step is to nail the interview.
To help you do that, we’ve pulled some Do’s and Don’ts for interviews firsthand from hiring managers at Hirewell, a leading talent acquisition company.
Do: Go where the growth is.
Younger employees may simply be interested in landing a job — any job. But, as you get older and your resume grows, you want to be more strategic with your job hunt and go where the growth is. This means applying to growing companies within a growing sector. Accepting a job offer from a struggling company may at times seem like a good idea — until you’re out of work a year later, because the company went under.
Do: Upgrade your skill set over time.
Always be on the lookout for opportunities that upgrade your skill set, and watch the benefits grow over time. Upgrading your skill set can mean gaining new certifications within your existing niche or learning new skills that prepare you within pivoting industries.
Do: Dress for success.
It’s an age-old cliché, but it really can be worth dressing for success. (Yes, even for a Zoom interview.) For men, appropriate interview attire typically consists of a button-down shirt and slacks at the minimum, and a jacket and tie or even full suit if the setting calls for more. For women, a dress, skirt, or slacks with a blouse or top is always a classic choice.
When it comes to an interview, your outfit will be your first statement on how you conduct yourself. You don’t want to start off on the wrong foot before you’ve even started the interview. Even in industries where casual dress is the norm, err on the side of caution.
Don’t: Lie to your employer.
This might sound obvious. Nevertheless, recruiters from Hirewell are alarmed at how often interviewees or early-stage employees will lie about small things.
For example, let’s say that you’re running late. If you simply take responsibility and apologize, ensuring it doesn't repeat, then it’ll likely fade into the background. But, if you concoct an elaborate story about why you’re late, you are putting your job at unnecessary risk. If your employer finds out that you’re lying, they’ll be much more upset. And if you happen to make a habit of it, you’re giving them grounds to fire you.
Don’t: Answer the phone while on the go.
In today’s digital-friendly world, it can be tempting to hop on a phone interview from wherever you are. In fact, Hirewell recruiters have even had candidates answer while they’re getting out of the shower. Remember, phone recruiters may be blind, but they’re not deaf. Depending on what sort of background noise they hear, they could see it as a sign that you’re not prioritizing the interview.
Don’t: Be late.
Finally, the cornerstone of life advice: don’t be late. According to recruiters, it’s actually better to reschedule an interview entirely than to be late.
Airlines are rushing to upgrade their fleets as first-class seats become increasingly popular. In 2024, Delta expects premium seats to make up 30% of all tickets sold, up from 9% in 2009.
Many fast food chains are leaning on AI to increase speed in the drive-thru, particularly with ordering. McDonald's, Panera Bread, Carl's Jr., Hardee's, and Popeyes are just a few restaurants experimenting with AI.
Apple is planning to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Apple Watch with the release of the Watch X. This new timepiece will feature blood pressure tracking, a thinner case, and a magnetic band.
Dunkin’ is releasing alcoholic versions of its popular coffees and teas. The new malt-based beverage line will include eight flavors in total.
Taylor Swift has been donating to local food banks in each city of her Eras tour. The publicity around her gifts has added more awareness to the issue of food insecurity in the US.