Tuesday, May 3rd 2022

Three Things (5/3)


“You can learn anything when you have to learn it. You could learn how to fly if it meant you would live another day.” —Yaa Gyasi

The below content and projections are the opinion of the authors. Any conclusions or takeaways are their own. This should not be considered as investment advice. Investing involves the risk of loss and returns are not guaranteed.

1) U.S. manufacturing growth slows as lead times balloon amid continued supply challenges

  • The Institute for Supply Management’s monthly gauge on manufacturing activity fell to the lowest level since 2020 in April.
  • The index showed a reading of 55.4, the lowest since July 2020; any reading over 50 indicates expansion in activity, while readings below 50 indicate contraction.
  • Supplier lead times for capital equipment expanded to the longest since at least 1987.

Titan’s Takeaway: Supply chain pressures eased throughout 2021, but signs are accumulating that these challenges will grow in scale over the second half of this year. Monday’s report also showed inflation pressures remain persistent, suggesting the Fed’s plan to raise interest rates aren’t likely to be knocked off track.

2) Airbnb employees offered freedom to work from anywhere with no pay changes as remote policies continue to take shape

  • The company is also offering employees the chance to work three months a year from any of the countries Airbnb operates in.
  • Airbnb said this policy is aimed at retaining talent and influencing policies at its business peers.
  • Tech peers like Reddit, Zillow, and Okta initially announced or implemented location-based pay policies before reversing course.

Titan’s Takeaway: The pandemic has upended many workplace norms, and which party has leverage is no small part of this change. Between additional stock grants, new pay schemes, and where and when staff can get work done, employers have continually been pushed to find new ways to keep workers happy – we’ve come a long way from “great snacks.”

3) Chinese fuel cell maker seeks $1 billion valuation after SPAC merger amid continued public market volatility

  • Shenzhen State Fuel Cell Corporation is planning to list on the Nasdaq early next year.
  • The company’s SPAC sponsor hasn’t yet been disclosed.
  • Nikola, Lordstown, and Faraday are among some of the electric vehicle plays to go public via SPAC in recent years that have faced criticism regarding their forecasts.

Titan’s Takeaway: “China EV SPAC” is a story from another market era, and we’ll be closely watching for signs this deal can actually get done. Even if this deal comes to fruition, however, we don’t expect to see SPAC mergers proliferate at levels that prevailed in 2020 and 2021 for some time.

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