Check out the hair-raising financial story of Halloween
Happy spooky season Eagle Wealth Community,
How do you like your Halloween? If you lean old-fashioned, you may prefer a low-key, spooky celebration with homemade treats, costumes made from whatever’s in the closet, and wholesome parties with apple bobbing. For many of us, these traditions bring us back to a simpler time. But today, Halloween means big business.
In 2019, Halloween generated $8.8 billion in the United States. Even more astonishing, $490 million of that was spent on Halloween costumes—for pets. Yes, we spent close to half-a-billion dollars that year, just to turn Fifi and Fido into tiny vampires.1,2
Regardless of how or whether we celebrate, there’s no denying that in the U.S., Halloween spending is significant. Last year, the 172 million Americans who took part in the holiday festivities spent an average of $86.27 per person on decorations, fun-size candy bars, and costumes.1
Spooky, Yet Profitable
Store-bought costumes have long been part of Halloween’s financial story. As far back as the 1920s, manufactured costumes featured all the latest pop culture characters, but it took the post-World War II economy to churn out mass production, and more importantly, make them affordable. In the 1950s, one of these costumes cost about $3 (roughly equivalent to $12 in today’s money). Nowadays, manufactured costumes are a little more detailed than the simple mask-and-smock style of years past. They’re also more expensive, ranging into the hundreds of dollars (for both humans and pets alike).1,3
Seasonal treats turn an even larger profit. How much would you guess that Americans spent on Halloween sweets last year?
Hold on to your candy corn: the number is $2.6 billion. That’s with a “B,” as in “Boo.” Coincidentally, dentists make upwards of $220,000 per year. Mention that to the kids on November 1st.4,5
This Year Might Be Different
While 2019 was a big “treat” for retailers and manufacturers, one thing is unavoidable: as a holiday, Halloween doesn’t exactly lend itself to social distancing.
Whether you’re passing out candy or walking your pumpkin-dressed pug to the parade, traditional Halloween celebrations have had us in close proximity to others, a no-no during this germ-conscious era. Luckily, with a little adaptation, the Halloween activities we’ve become accustomed to can still be enjoyed.
It might also be an opportunity to start new traditions by looking to those older practices of yesterday, like making your own treats, watching spooky movies, or telling ghost stories in the backyard. Popcorn ball, anyone?
For those who observe Halloween, what matters isn’t how much candy you eat or what you spend on your costume (or your cat’s), but who you share it with and how much fun you have together. Here’s wishing you a safe and happy Halloween.
Until next week,
Your Eagle Wealth Team
Some have said 2020 is like a marathon, but we think it’s more like an Ironman triathlon. We’re so proud to announce that Eagle Wealth partner, Mat Hunnicutt, competed in the Ironman 70.3 Arizona triathlon. He placed 8th overall and 2nd in his age group and now qualifies for the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. After a vigorous training schedule of chilly early morning swims, gruesome daily cycling, lunch break runs, and several cancelled races, Mat persevered and smashed his goal.
We’ve watched in awe as Mat dedicated the last 1.5 years of his life to this challenge and can’t wait to see what he does next. Are you working towards any big goals? We’d love to hear about them!
The Week on Wall Street
The failure to reach an agreement on a new fiscal stimulus bill soured investor sentiment and sent stocks modestly lower for the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.95%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 0.53%. The Nasdaq Composite index slipped 1.06% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, declined 0.44%.[i],[ii],[iii]
Markets Disappointed with Stimulus Impasse
Stock prices ebbed and flowed all week, pulled by the gravity of fiscal stimulus talks in Washington, D.C. As investors saw improving prospects for a new fiscal stimulus bill, stocks rose. As prospects dimmed, stocks turned lower.
Hopes for striking a deal were raised late in the week as comments from a key negotiator suggested that a deal might be getting closer to fruition. The week ended, however, without an agreement, cementing a disappointing week of performance.
Market sentiment was further weighed down by the continued rise in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe, though anxieties were tempered by the belief that a full economic lockdown was unlikely.
New Jobless Claims Fall
Markets have been focused on weekly initial jobless claims as an important input into the state of economic recovery. After weeks of 800,000+ new jobless claims, last week’s report reflected an improving labor market, as new jobless claims rose by 787,000, below consensus estimates of 875,000, while continuing jobless claims fell by more than one million.[iv]
The report wasn’t entirely positive, however, as more than 500,000 individuals were added to the emergency assistance program that extends unemployment benefits to those who have run out of state unemployment benefits.[v]
THIS WEEK: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Monday: New Home Sales.
Tuesday: Durable Goods Orders. Consumer Confidence.
Thursday: Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Jobless Claims.
Friday: Consumer Sentiment.
Source: Econoday, October 23, 2020
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.
THIS WEEK: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: Twilio, Inc (TWLO).
Tuesday: Microsoft (MSFT), Pfizer (PFE), Caterpillar (CAT), Merck (MRK), Eli Lilly (LLY), 3M Company (MMM), Corning Inc. (GLW)
Wednesday: General Electric (GE), The Boeing Corporation (BA), Ford Motor Company (F), Visa (V), Mastercard (MA), Gilead Sciences (GILD), Blackstone Group (BX), Amgen (AMGN), United Parcel Services (UPS), EBay (EBAY), Norfolk Southern (NSC)
Thursday: Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), Alphabet, Inc. (GOOGL), Southern Company Airlines (SO), Shopify (SHOP), Comcast Corporation (CMCSA), AnheuserBusch InBev (BUD)
Friday: Abbvie (ABBV), Chevron (CVX), Charter Communications (CHTR)
Source: Zacks, October 23, 2020
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
[i] The Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2020
[ii] The Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2020
[iii] The Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2020
[iv] CNBC, October 22, 2020
[v] CNBC, October 22, 2020
- CNN.com, June 13, 2013
- MarketWatch.com, October 22, 2019
- Slate.com, October 31, 2013
- CandyIndustry.com, September 30, 2019
- Salary.com, 2020