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Bitcoin’s Busted Stress Test, Praise The Papa, Planet Gen Z

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Crypto-calypse? Apoca-crypto?

Screw it; we’ll keep workshopping that one.

Great Ones … how you doin’ out there today?

Normally, I’d be putting some pithy statement here. Some rallying cry in the face of volatility, your standard lyrical shenanigans to boot. Maybe a couple-a three Sopranos jokes just to wet the whistle.

But today, Great Ones, we’re talking about the tank-sized elephant in the room. Unfortunately.

Oh, so it’s an Irish coffee kinda morning, huh? Brb.

Don’t worry, we’re not going all Chicken Little on ya. This is Great Stuff, after all. Someone’s gotta bring the levity.

Butand you knew there was a “but” — we should probably mention that whole “collapse” thing that’s going down.

Collapse of diplomatic reason. Collapse across the indices today. Collapse of basically any stock that’s not an oil baron or defense contractor — well, except for Boeing’s sell-off. What’s the deal with that one? Y’all forget Boeing is also a defense contractor?

This has got a bit heavy … can we go back to the gifs and memes, please?

All in good time, Great Ones. I don’t know about you, but I’m in a mighty fine mood to dive into the cryptoverse! (That would be the cryptocurrency market, for all y’all outside the Ian Dyer/Paul Mampilly-verse.)

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, bitcoin and other cryptos joined the broader market in, well, collapsing. BTC, that so-called digital gold and holiest of hodler holies, crashed 6% yesterday afternoon and another 5% this morning, reaching a low of $34,338.

And what about real gold? The tangibly auriferous, non-crypto kinda gold?

Much as you’d expect, given the massive amount of uncertainty hitting the markets this morning … gold prices soared as investors flocked to stockpile the shiny stuff. I mean, don’t you have a private gold reserve at home where you’re stockpiling your prized ingots? No?

To be fair, my bunker cache is filled with peanut M&M’s and Cheez-Its, the real stores of value, but that’s neither here nor there…

Anyway, Neil Wilson, chief market analyst for Markets.com, chimed in today and said the quiet part out loud about bitcoin’s golden goose:

Gold spiked to $1,950, its highest since the end of 2020. Bitcoin plunged 5% to $35k … think we are finding out which of the two is the real haven.

If you’ve tuned into Great Stuff for any length of time, you’ll know that we’ve discussed crypto investors’ willingness to lump bitcoin in with gold as a safe-haven asset — that is, where you stash your cash before you make a dash.

Russia’s dashing, bitcoin’s crashing … and only gold’s everlasting like a Gobstopper. So much for bitcoin’s digital gold comparison — that’s kaput. Irrelevant. Done-zo.

Don’t get me wrong: Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, crypto exchanges, the blockchain technology behind crypto … these are all very worthy of investing in. And you can bet your bottom bitcoin that crypto trading isn’t going away. But…

Bitcoin simply isn’t the brace-for-uncertainty safe haven that everyone (even Great Stuff) thought it was. So, what’s a cunning crypto coin connoisseur to do?

Well … nothing.

What?! Do nothing? We have to panic out of respect for the gravity of the situation!

Sure, if you had your heart set on bitcoin being the next gold? Give up the ghost. That investing angle is old and busted now.

But for all y’all who bought into crypto because you believe in digital currencies or a decentralized world of finance … that’s all still valid.

Heck, scoop up some more of your favorite coins on the cheap if you’re that gung-ho on ‘em. Great One James S. is probably buying up half the crypto market as we speak.

I get it. Cryptos and bitcoin aren’t for everyone … just like investing in gold isn’t for everyone. But according to Ian King, something much bigger is coming for the crypto market than today’s tank-driven crash…

An exciting new third wave in cryptocurrencies that could launch one of the greatest transfers of wealth the world has ever seen.

Ian King’s revealing the details behind “Crypto’s Third Wave” — the most exciting development in cryptocurrencies since the launch of bitcoin 13 years ago. Click here to keep reading…

Wayfair Wavers

Wayfair’s (NYSE: W) wider-than-expected loss had shareholders seeing double this morning — and its lack of 2022 guidance didn’t do anything to alleviate W investors’ fears about rising inflation eating into the company’s profit margins.

Sales were down $419 million year over year, which wasn’t too surprising considering the home-furnishing retailer reported a 26.7% decrease in order deliveries over the same time period.

You mean to tell me fewer orders equaled fewer sales? And this is the hard-hitting stock analysis I don’t pay you for…

As we said back in 2020 when the pandemic spun W stock into the stratosphere:

Wayfair is nothing special. It offers products that you can find virtually everywhere else. The only reason it gets attention is because people can’t shop outside. As such, I fully expect Wayfair to see a sharp drop in sales once this lockdown is over. And that’s bad news for W shares.

Add increasing inflationary pressure to Wayfair’s home-furnishing bonfire, and this stock is more likely to go up in flames than blaze a trail of glory. I hate to say we told you so (Oh, who am I kidding?) … but we told you so.

Do You Even Lift, Bro?

Planet Fitness (NYSE: PLNT) has given new meaning to the “get ‘em while they’re young” marketing mentality, saying the Gen Z crowd — which includes people born between the years 1997 and 2012 — represented the fastest-growing fitness demographic in 2021.

The exercise enthusiast has had a brilliant bout of success luring younger fitness fanatics through its doors with its $10-a-month membership fee, which includes guest passes and access to the company’s cancer coffins … erm, I mean tanning beds.

Kids flocked through Planet Fitness’ purple doors when their school activities and sports leagues were shut down because of COVID.

But unlike older, commitment-phobic millennials I know who look at gym memberships as a one-and-done affair, the Gen Z crowd actually stuck around after ponying up for fitness passes.

“This past September, when school sports were in play and recreation centers were back open, that [membership] didn’t drop off,” said Planet Fitness’ chief executive Chris Rondeau. “[Gen Z] continues to join, quite a bit above pre-COVID levels.”

Considering we’re entering that time of the year when many “new year, new me” work-out resolutioners either fish or cut bait — with many choosing the latter — this new Gen Z revenue stream could be exactly what Planet Fitness stock needs to get swole in 2022.

I Guess That Ship Has Sailed…

Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE: NCLH) might’ve been ready to sail the high seas since the first week of pandemic lockdowns, but once-carefree cruise-goers continued to stress caution about swan diving into international waters … especially after Omicron started popping off in the company’s fourth quarter.

While the cruise liner didn’t come right out and say exactly how many people canceled their travel plans thanks to “Omicron-related disruptions” … it did post a net loss of $1.57 billion, or $4.01 a share, in the final three months of the year.

So … you do the math.

Adding insult to injury, CEO Frank Del Rio’s “Great Cruise Comeback” originally outlined the company’s 28-ship fleet to run at full capacity again by April 1, 2022 … less than two months from now.

But so far, just 75% of Norwegian’s fleet has managed to get its sea legs, making Del Rio’s post-pandemic plans look like little more than a pipe dream.

Now, Norwegian is calling for 85% of its ships to set sail by the end of the fourth quarter — with the rest of the fleet following suit sometime in the second quarter (coronavirus variants willing).

Norwegian shareholders said: “Not today, son” upon hearing the sweet siren’s call for future profitability … well, sometime in the future … and sunk NCLH stock by a clean 5% rather than going down with the ship.

Better Ingredients; Better Profits?

Papa John’s (Nasdaq: PZZA) investors didn’t get the pepperoni pizza party they were promised this morning despite the pizza chain’s better-than-expected profit margins in the face of rising food costs.

Earnings were served well done at a hearty $0.75 per share on revenue of $528.9 million — beating analysts’ previous expectations for $0.72 per share.

Even better, the restaurant chain reported that operating income improved 7.2% this past quarter, even though the pizza pusher experienced a 9% uptick in total costs and expenses.

I guess when your ‘zas are already overpriced, it’s easier to hide amongst the rising tide of quick-service competition costs … but I digress.

To Wall Street, the Papa’s performance didn’t matter all that much anyway, arriving lukewarm in the face of today’s broader stock market turmoil.

Apparently, Wall Street doesn’t stress-eat pizza stocks the same way everyone else stress-eats pizza when the world’s on fire … and as such, PZZA stock slipped beneath the Street’s sea of never-ending red today.

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Once you’re done looking at that, write to us whenever the market muse calls to you! GreatStuffToday@BanyanHill.com is where you can reach us best.

In the meantime, here’s where you can find our other junk — erm, I mean where you can check out some more Greatness:

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Until next time, stay Great!

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