Hey Scoopers,

The excitement returned to the stock market, despite the Middle East drama — more on that in the “Overall Market” section.

Beyond the overall market, the acquisition of one Southern Californian restaurant chain proved that restaurant stocks can still be worthy investments. At the same time, a disagreement between one stock and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proved that going head to head with the regulators can scare investors to run for the hills — more on that in the “What’s Up?” and “What’s Down” sections.

Oh, and by the way, the future of consumer electronics is apparently in flying taxis and sex technology — more on that in the “Water Cooler” section.

But, first, here is a recap of what happened in the market:

Market Recap

    • U.S. markets: All three indices are back in the green zone. Scroll to the “Overall Market” section to read more.
    • Cryptocurrency: Here we go again…Bitcoin’s price is touching the $8,000 mark. The excitement is coming after a significant interest in a new cryptocurrency named Tether. This currency’s value has a fixed 1 to 1 rate to USD. Investors rushed to buy Tether, and the excitement crept into Bitcoin too. Investors assumed the rush to buy Tether is a piece of evidence that the future of digital currencies is beautiful again.

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The FANG stocks are back.

Investors took the weekend to digest the news of the Middle East unrest and decided it doesn’t matter to them. They all showed up Monday morning to their laptops and trading terminals and clicked on the “buy” button way more than “sell”.

The so-called FANG stocks were the biggest beneficiary. First, Alphabet (Ticker: GGOG) got upgraded by financial analysts. Then, Amazon (Ticker: AMZN), Netflix (Ticker: NFLX), and Facebook (Ticker: FB) followed. The FANGs are back.

Restaurant stocks can still be worthwhile.

So, what happened?

Shares of Habit Restaurant (Ticker: HABT) were up more than 32% on Monday. The company is a burger chain with a rather solid growth rate that has been beaten down for a few quarters. Until Yum! Brands (Ticker: YUM) decided to buy the company. Yum! Brands already owns KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, and hopes that this small but successful burger chain from Southern California can complete the company’s restaurant concept portfolio which lacks a burger concept.

Habit’s stock performance hadn’t been stellar in 2019. However, this acquisition once again proves that well-managed companies, even a restaurant chain, can be good investments, even though they may suffer from a few quarters of lackluster growth.

A fight with FTC scares investors to run for the hills.

So, what happened?

Shares of Axon Enterprise (Ticker: AAXN) were down more than 6% on Monday. The company has been a long-time winner. It manufactures and sells teasers and body cameras to the law enforcement. It also operates the platforms where the videos captured from such cameras are stored for review and retrieval.

Typically, Axon is on the good side of the regulators. However, the company is battling with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over an anti-competitive case. The company acquired one of its smaller competitors in 2018. The FTC deemed the acquisition anti-competitive and is now unilaterally forcing Axon to divest the acquired divisions and also randomly let go of some of its customers as a part of the divestiture process. Axon decided to sue the FTC back and ask to limit the divestiture to the clients won after the acquisition instead of a random draw.

The back and forth has investors worried that Axon may lose some of its biggest accounts within the law enforcement, which have led to many years of its success. This one is worth watching for the outcome of the legal battle.

From a flying taxi to sex tech…

So, what happened?

While most of us are back to work and getting settled in 2020, some of us are hanging in sin city for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This is where tech companies from all over the world get together to show off their cool gadgets that are shaping the future of tech. It’s also where stock analysts go to see what to add to their watchlist. The team at the Daily Scoop editorial is also tracking the CES news to add a few stocks to our watchlist. So, stay tuned for a few updates in the next few days.

But, let’s us give you a glimpse of a few future-defining techs:

Two things have impressed people the most. Flying taxis by Uber (Ticker: UBER) is the first one. It’s not that surprising. Who hasn’t dreamed of flying over LA, Bay Area, or New York rush hour?

The more interesting future-defining gadgets that have people talking is a whole array of sex gadgets. Who would have thought that the future of consumer electronics is not about space and virtual reality? And, instead, we may need to monitor sex stocks now? No stocks to pick yet, but who knows, maybe soon …

Hoda Mehr

Hoda Mehr

Brought to you by Hoda Mehr, Editor at Trade Stocks, CEO and Co-founder of Stock Card and the host of Renegade Investors podcast. She runs a community of 8,000 stock market investors and manages Stock Card's successful flagship portfolio, Roll with Our CEO, on Stock Card Portfolio Store. Hoda is an Economist with an MBA from Concordia, John Molson School of Business. She applies behavioral economics, data journalism and storytelling to all aspects of her work. Subscribe for free here: Stockcard.io