ResearchThree Things (9/12)

Three Things (9/12)

Sep 13, 2023

“What I've really learned over time is that optimism is a very, very important part of leadership.” – Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company

Puts & calls

Individuals looking to profit from the stock market’s explosive moves are piling into options, lured by low trading fees and a chance at enormous payoffs. About 44 million options contracts have changed hands each day so far this year, an 8% bump from last year and more than double the figure in 2018, according to figures from Options Clearing Corp. Shorter-dated options, expiring in five or fewer days, accounted for about half of all options-market activity as of August while individual investors made up 27% of all activity (an increase of over 4%).

The increased options volume has undoubtedly had ripple effects that could cause trouble: both suppressing market volatility and creating it. The frenzied activity has piqued the interest of large institutions as the increased participation of individual investors has created opportunities for larger firms to profit. It’s a new frontier and it begs the question: is it sustainable?

A referendum on the future of TV

Disney and Charter Communications reached an agreement that will restore popular channels, including ESPN and ABC, to the cable operator’s 15 million subscribers. The news ended a blackout that lasted for more than a week. Charter has agreed to pay Disney higher rates to carry its TV channels, in return for being able to provide the Disney+ and ESPN+ streaming services to its Spectrum pay-TV subscribers, which was a big point of contention during the standoff.

The standoff became a referendum on the future of television and marked a seminal moment in the tumultuous relationship between cable providers and entertainment companies. As cable has lost momentum as a result of the transition to streaming, the deal highlights that cable no longer holds the power and that their business models are on shaky grounds.  Distributors and consumers want flexibility and it appears cable TV is being left behind.


Apple hosted their keynote on Tuesday and consumers and investors got their first look at the new iPhone 15. Apple also revealed the new Watch Series 9 and a laundry list of new features that should provide even more delight to the king of hardware. 

Sure, the new USB-C port and action buttons are interesting but one storyline in particular stood out to us: Apple’s intentions to sell Made-in-India iPhone 15’s. The iPhone 15 will mark the first time their flagship product has been built outside of China and marks a new paradigm shift for the company’s strategic interests over the coming decade. After years of planning and billions in R&D expenses, it’s certainly a new beginning for the hardware company’s future growth prospects.

As of writing this newsletter, AAPL and DIS are holdings in Titan Flagship. 

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