⌛ Meta's mistimed NFTs

Thursday, March 16, 2023 by Snacks
Unfortunate timing (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Unfortunate timing (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Unfortunate timing (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Unfortunate timing (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Yesterday’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
31,875 (-0.87%)
S&P 500
3,892 (-0.70%)
11,434 (+0.05%)
$24,518 (-0.99%)

Hey Snackers,

Meet Kellanova — sounds like a newly discovered star in our galaxy, actually the new name of Kellogg’s snack biz. The cereal giant plans to spin out Pringles and Cheez-Its into a separate publicly traded company. Happy snacking.

Stocks fell after Credit Suisse disclosed problems with its financial reporting, stoking worries about the global banking system. Liquidity in Treasury markets fell sharply.


1. Meta ends its NFT push, in the latest example of bad trend timing (metaverse included)

Blinked and missed it… This week Meta quietly announced an end to its nonfungible-token platform (#sadtrombone). The exit followed grand ambitions: Meta launched NFTs on Facebook and Instagram last year in 100 countries, targeting adoption among its billions of users. It reportedly considered monetizing NFTs and said creators could mint tokens on polygon and sell them to fans. Now Meta's looking to lean down as it focuses on “efficiency”:

  • Pink-slipped: On Tuesday, CEO Zuck said he planned to lay off 10K more employees after slashing 11K in November.
  • Meta-hearse: Meta's Reality Labs division, which houses its metaverse projects, lost nearly $14B last year and is expected to lose $16B this year.

Nonfungible growin’… Meta may be ditching NFTs, but they're having a low-key moment. Though NFT trading volume has plunged from early 2022 highs, it jumped nearly 40% to $946M from December to January and hit $2B last month. Brands have found an NFT audience by tying tokens to pop-culture faves (like: HBO's "Game of Thrones" collectables and Starbucks "journey stamps"). Amazon reportedly plans to launch a fashion-focused NFT marketplace next month. Meanwhile, ordinals birthed a new NFT market on the bitcoin blockchain.


Timing is everything… Meta announced its NFT push right as the algo stablecoin TerraUSD collapsed — kicking off crypto winter — and is now walking away as NFTs could be regaining relevance. It's not the first time Meta's missed the trend boat: its metaverse transformation kicked off as spenders shifted to prioritizing IRL experiences, while recession fears made big bets like the metaverse even riskier investments. Recently, Meta announced its ChatGPT rival. Brands that miss trend timelines risk becoming leading indicators of trend death.


2. Lennar’s sturdy earnings are a window into the housing market ahead of a key spring season

Blooming estates… Lennar, the US’s second-largest homebuilder, posted expectation-beating quarterly growth this week, even as debt-fatigued Americans cool on home buying. Lennar’s revenue and profit both grew, while home deliveries rose 9%. Lennar’s CEO said the beat was partly thanks to buyers accepting higher mortgage rates as “the new normal.” Still…

  • Small nails: Lennar’s new-home orders dipped 10% from last year, and the average price of its new-home sales dropped to $452K from $495K.
  • Big hammer: Mortgage rates fell this week after the bank collapses, but are still 2X higher than in 2020. And in February, US home sales fell for the 12th straight month.
  • Hard wall: Still, lofty house prices have stuck as supply remains low. Case in point: housing costs drove 70%+ of consumer inflation last month.

3BDRs + patio… break out the bidding paddles. Mid-pandemic, houses were built at the fastest pace in a decade as more Americans took advantage of low interest rates and fled to the ’burbs. But rates have surged, making homeownership unaffordable for even high earners. Meanwhile, current homeowners locked into lower rates are staying put and listing less, exacerbating the supply problem.


The housing bud may start blooming… Homebuilder confidence rose for the third straight month in March as rates started to cool. That could set up the housing market for a warm spring (the season when most US home sales happen). Next week is crucial: if the Fed cools or pauses rate hikes, it could be a green light for more buyers to hit the market.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • iDown: Foxconn, the manufacturing powerhouse that supplies most iPhones, reported a 10% annual profit decline and said consumer-electronics demand would likely fall this year. Apple anticipates a similar slowdown.
  • Star: Ryan Reynolds and fellow owners of Mint Mobile are selling the low-cost carrier to T-Mobile for up to $1.3B. The celeb-preneur also owned a stake in Aviation Gin, which was sold to Diageo for up to $610M.
  • TokOut: The Biden admin has demanded that TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, sell its stake in the popular video-sharing platform or face a potential ban of the app, the WSJ reported citing sources.
  • Ad: Apple, Amazon, and Google will likely be spared from stricter antitrust legislation related to their ad businesses. Despite bipartisan support for tougher rules, the GOP-controlled House seems unlikely to impose them.
  • Check: Biden issued an executive order for stricter background checks for firearm sales, aiming to get closer to universal checks. But significant changes on gun control are unlikely in a split gov’t.

Snack Fact of the Day

Campbell Soup’s Goldfish crackers are on track for $1B in annual sales


  • Initial jobless claims
  • Earnings expected from FedEx and Dollar General

Authors of this Snacks own bitcoin and matic and shares: of Apple, Amazon, Google, Starbucks

ID: 2796280

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