LOL: If I am an investor in Apple (AAPL) (and I'm not) and just saw my beloved tech company swallow its pride and apologize for slowing iPhones, I would sit back and laugh. This entire ordeal has put a big spotlight on two Apple realities. The first is that people are truly obsessed with their iPhones. So much so they are willing to expose themselves by complaining on Twitter about slower download speeds. These people are fully aware that competing smartphones offer an inferior experience, and would rather take a new battery on a three-year old phone than switch. I call that a reaffirmation of brand loyalty. Warren Buffett would call it a decent example of Apple's wide moat. Another reality is that dang, people are using some really old iPhones that will need to be upgraded in 2018. That's great news for Apple -- there are a good number of $1,000 iPhone X's out there waiting to be bought. Come into an Apple store for a $29 battery replacement, leave with an iPhone X. Speaking of the iPhone X (full disclosure: I bought one this week because my iPhone 6 kept mysteriously shutting off...), long-time Apple analyst Gene Munster of Loup Ventures thinks worries over weak demand for the new smartphone are overblown. Considering this guy has stalked Apple's every move for as long as I can remember, new Apple bears may want to reverse course.
Get ready for more expensive cotton underwear: Come spring 2018, your favorite cotton underwear may be a little pricier. Cotton futures are closing in on their 10th straight weekly gain, according to Bloomberg data. It would mark the commodity's strongest run dating back to 1998. Cotton prices have surged since early November on signs of hearty demand for winter clothes (thank you stock market) in the U.S. and solid exports. The cotton price spike may partially explain the 15% plunge in shares of underwear maker HanesBrands (HBI) over the last three months. It's unlikely HanesBrands could lift prices successfully on a competitive category such as tighty whities to combat increased cotton costs. If cotton's run continues, it could trigger profit margin hits on spring/summer assortments for apparel names like Polo Ralph Lauren (RL) and American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) .
3 things I was reminded of regarding investing in 2017: Writing this newsletter since its summer launch has been a blast. It feels like each morning I get to say hello to people during their most important, and chaotic point of the day...the morning. Without question, I appreciate your support and feedback on Twitter. Here are several things I was reminded of throughout the year: (1) Uber's business model is terrible and may not play well in public markets -- the newest valuation haircut Softbank landed will unlikely be the last; (2) The quality of leaders are what makes the financial statements come to fruition -- it's why Tesla's (TSLA) Elon Musk should get an experienced CEO into his house, and why Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger gets to dictate when he retires; (3) A cheap stock is often cheap for a reason -- most thought General's Electric's (GE) stock was cheap at $31.61 on Jan. 3, 2017 (stock is at $17.36 now).
Tesla Actually Delivering Cars
A picture is worth 1,000 words. In this case, a video speaks 1,000 words on the state of Tesla's operations headed into 2018.
As seen in the above drone footage, first shared by auto site Electrek, Tesla is starting to nicely flow out Model 3's from its Fremont, California plant. Still unsure if this means you buy Tesla's stock, but the footage suggests Tesla is working through its Model 3 production kinks.
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