Dreaming of The Weeknd 2022 [Flashpop/DigitalVision via Getty Images]
If you ever download Snack, a "Tinder meets TikTok" dating app for Gen Z... just know that we had no hand in this.
Tech stocks plunged to start the week, weighing down the whole market. The techy Nasdaq index tumbled 2.5% yesterday.
Screw it, we'll do it... on Zoom. In 2020, concert giant Live Nation saw its sales plunge 84% from 2019, because the nation was 0% live. Last quarter, Live Nation's sales were down 79% ("live factor" = still low). It's a sad tale... but Live Nation isn't crying to The Weeknd in bed.
Save your tears for another day... Live Nation stock jumped 4% yesterday after a Jefferies analyst called it a pure-play reopening stock. Despite the massive sales plunge and big losses, Live Nation shares are trading higher now than they ever were pre-pandemic. Ariana Grande fans are having withdrawal, and Wall Street is upbeat about Live Nation's reopening potential, for two reasons:
Live Nation could be a "slingshot stock"... We're calling it slingshot potential. "Recovery stocks" are companies that could rebound to pre-pandemic levels. "Slingshot stocks" go a step further — they could surpass pre-pandemic levels. Live Nation says its concerts are returning stronger than they were in 2019. Plus, it now has a new source of sales to pad its balance sheet: live streaming. Another potential slingshot stock is Carnival, which says it already has more cruise bookings for 2022 than it did in 2019.
Like a bad LimeWire download... except way worse. Colonial is the largest fuel pipeline in the US — and it just got majorly cyberhacked. Colonial is what the East Coast runs on (besides Dunkin'): its 5.5K-mile system carries nearly half of the gas and diesel consumed on the East Coast. Over the weekend, that car fuel and heating oil stopped moving.
SaaS's evil twin... Colonial was hit by a ransomware cyberattack, forcing it to temporarily halt all pipeline operations. Ransomware = hijacking computer systems and demanding payment for the release of the "hostage." The culprit is a hacking group called DarkSide (makes sense). DarkSide is the evil alter ego of a software startup. Instead of kombucha, it drinks companies' tears.
Cyberattacks aren’t only a threat to cyberspace... they're increasingly targeting critical infrastructure. Think: pipelines, power grids, hospitals, and schools. These "physical" attacks hurt their targets, but they also pose a wider threat to public security. For example, hackers could hijack pipelines' control valves and sensors. Software runs almost everything, so the risk is widespread. That's why government agencies and corporations are investing more heavily in tools to fight ransomware attacks. That could be a boon for cybersecurity companies like FireEye, Palo Alto Networks, Zscaler, and Fortinet.