“I’m sure Warren Buffett is a great guy, but when it comes to stocks he’s washed up. I’m the captain now.” — Dave Portnoy
Good Morning! After two long years, the S&P 500 finally hit a new all-time high on Friday, closing at 4,840. Meanwhile, Citi is axing more bosses - and Warren Buffett is nudging Citi’s CEO to keep the clean-up going. Private equity could become a last resort for startups struggling to exit. Plus Bill Gates predicts how AI will change our lives and why chasing happiness is overrated.
As promised, you can find our Wall Street Firms Lunch Policies deck here.
SQUEEZ OF THE DAY
Bulls, Bets, and Dave Portnoy
The S&P 500 is officially in a bull market - and Davey Day Trader aka Dave Portnoy is also back.
Spirit Airlines, a low-cost carrier, has always been like the Halal Brothers of airlines. Sure, it’s cheap (you can get down to Miami for $59), but come 3am, you’re always left regretting your life decisions.
And last week, Spirit got rekt. The company’s stock fell 60% after a judge blocked its merger with JetBlue (both airlines are appealing the decision).
Dave Portnoy saw an opportunity - and announced he loaded up on $SAVE stock. But just minutes after Portnoy announced his buy, Spirit announced it would refinance its debt, causing the stock to drop another 25%.
But Portnoy didn’t flinch. He upgraded Spirit to a "mega buy" as it traded around $4 per share. But on Friday, Spirit raised its fourth-quarter forecast, and now the airline is trading close to $7. This means Portnoy is sitting on around a $600k unrealized gain.
Takeaway: Dave Portnoy had a monster 2023 - he bought back Barstool for $1 (after selling it for $500 million), all while going after Business Insider and Dragon Pizza in the process. And it looks like his 2024 is off to a solid start - he won a $1 million bet on Michigan winning the National Championship, and he’s bringing back Davey Day Trader Global. And you gotta wonder - it can’t be a coincidence that the S&P 500 hit an all-time record following Portnoy bringing DDTG out of retirement.
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Five charts showing the S&P 500’s wild ride to record highs (YF)
Warren Buffett tells Citi’s CEO to continue overhaul (BB)
Grayscale CEO says most of the 11 approved bitcoin ETFs won't survive (CNBC)
JPMorgan gives CEO Jamie Dimon $36 million after most profitable year ever (YF)
Private credit gets the slice-and-dice treatment (Reuters)
Citigroup lays off more bosses (YF)
Goldman Sachs wants to hire in wealth, asset management divisions (BB)
Australian pension giant to surge investment in U.S. private equity (Axios)
Private equity could be the last resort for startups struggling to exit (TC)
Macy's to slash 2,350 jobs, close stores in streamlining effort (Reuters)
Stocks closed higher, the S&P 500 hit an all-time record, and we’re finally back in a bull market.
(+) Wayfair ($W) +10% because the home retailer will lay off 13% of its workforce.
(+) Nvidia ($NVDA) +4% after Wells Fargo said the chip giant is the ‘clear winner’ of Meta’s AI infrastructure buildout.
(–) Celsius ($CELH) -13% after a downgrade by Bank of America.
Blackstone bought landlord Tricon Residential for $3.5 billion
Arcline Investment Management bought Kaman, an aerospace and defense firm, for $1.8 billion
Cohere, a generative AI platform, in talks to raise $1 billion
CMA CGM bought Wincanton, a logistics group for supermarkets, for $700 million
Flexport, a logistics startup, raised $260 million from Shopify
Aira, a Swedish heat-pump maker, raised $158 million
For more PE, VC & M&A deals, subscribe to our Buysiders newsletter.
BOOK OF THE DAY
If you've felt alienated and alone in recent years, you're in good company.
Whether it's a rift in your family, polarization at your workplace or just a sense that society isn't as connected as it once was, many of us feel painful chasms in our connections.
Internationally-recognized curiosity expert and bridge builder Scott Shigeoka knows that there’s only one cure: Deep Curiosity.
Rooted in a desire to understand, rather than to know, a practice of Deep Curiosity can help us leverage something we think of as an intellectual force or personality trait into a heart-centered daily practice to transform our well-being and our lives.
“Energizing, creative, and exciting, Seek is a revolutionary playbook to heal division, loneliness, estrangement, hatred, and our most urgent societal challenges.”
S&P 500 Hitting All-Time Highs Again
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The Power of No
Navigating the landscape of rejection is an inevitable part of life, encompassing experiences from job applications to personal relationships.
The sting of rejection often emanates from the dashed hope associated with unmet goals, the potential erosion of self-worth, and the unsettling questions about one's purpose.
As human beings, we frequently tie our sense of worth to achievements and successes, making rejection a conduit for feelings of inadequacy and shame.
However, amid the discomfort of rejection lies a myriad of lessons and opportunities for growth. Recognizing that the interplay between "yes" and "no" is not a zero-sum game liberates individuals from the notion that a single rejection diminishes overall worth.
Life-changing affirmations can emerge from a solitary "yes" at the right time, overshadowing countless "no's." J.K. Rowling's journey with the rejection of Harry Potter by 12 publishers before its eventual success serves as a testament to the transformative power of perseverance.
Rejection, when embraced as a constructive force, becomes a feedback mechanism, providing insights into the ever-shifting market of supply and demand. It fosters resilience, character, and serves as a necessary obstacle on the path to success. Persist and evolve.
Short Squeez Picks
Memes of the Day