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ResearchThree Things (8/28)

Three Things (8/28)

Aug 28, 2023

“There is substantial further ground to cover.” - Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell 

Powell's tightrope talk

At the Kansas City Fed's annual symposium, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell emphasized the importance of maintaining financial stability while also keeping the door open for additional rate hikes. Powell has continued to be upfront about the challenge of tampering inflation without triggering a recession.

That said, Fed officials worry that recent data shows the economy may not be slowing the way they expected. Powell's reminder of the journey ahead briefly captivates the stock market's attention. “Two months of good data are only the beginning of what it will take to build confidence that inflation is moving down sustainably toward our goal,” Powell said.

Xpeng EV power play

Chinese electric vehicle startup, Xpeng, has made a substantial $744 million acquisition of Didi Global Inc’s smart car arm, signaling a big step in its rivalry with Tesla. This strategic alliance not only seeks to push the boundaries of global smart electric vehicle adoption but also introduces a new sub-brand, "Mona," which is scheduled for a 2024 debut under the Xpeng umbrella.

The collaboration extends beyond automobiles, encompassing marketing, financial insurance services, charging infrastructure, and global outreach. By partnering with Didi, Xpeng intends to leverage Didi’s user base of 587 million active users. As the industry continues expanding rapidly, Xpeng may be well-positioned to establish a strong international foothold.

Renaissance riches

Beyoncé's call for fans to wear silver or chrome outfits during the final stretch of her Renaissance World Tour has ignited a sales frenzy on Etsy. Sequin Fans, a seller, boasts a 200% surge in silver apparel sales and a robust 400% boost in overall traffic. Another store observed a quadruple surge in web visits, largely attributed to "Renaissance Tour" searches.

The sales boost is a testament to the considerable economic clout wielded by megastars like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift. Without a doubt, this summer has been a strong reminder of how cultural icons shape consumer behavior.


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