Hey Scoopers,

In anticipation of the trade deal between China and the U.S., investors celebrated on Monday, again — more on that in the “Overall Market” section.

Beyond the overall market, Snoop Dogg pushed the stock price of a plant-based meat producer back in the crazy territory while the holiday season brought doom to another stock and pushed it to the penny stock territory — more on that in the “What’s Up?” and “What’s Down” sections.

Oh, and by the way, do you think Apple has lost its luster? If so, you have to scroll to the “Water Cooler” section. You’ll be astonished by what you see there.

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

Market Recap

    • U.S. markets: All three indices had another excellent Monday, with Nasdaq leading the pack by gaining more than 1%. Scroll to the “Overall Market” section to read more.
    • Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin’s price is now steadily hovering above the $8,000 mark.

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The trade deal is back in the news.

The Technology and Basic Material sectors pushed the stock market higher, enough for all three indices to end the day in the green. As we discussed last week (Read More), the stock market is celebrating in anticipation of phase one of the trade deal between China and the U.S.

Competition heats up? No problem.

So, what happened?

Shares of Beyond Meat (Ticker: BYND) were up more than 21% on Monday. The company has welcomed the new decade with several partnerships including the Beyond Sausage breakfast item on Dunkin’s menu. And, to seal the deal and celebrate the occasion, Snoop Dogg (Ticker: DNKN) became Dunkin’s new employee of the month. You don’t believe us, watch this video:

JC Penney’s stock is in the penny territory now.

So, what happened?

Shares of JC Penney (Ticker: JCP) were down more than 15% after the company announced more than 7% decline in its comparable same-store sales during the holiday season.

Founded in 1929, JC Penney has survived several economic cycles including the depression of the 1930s, only to lose the battle to online commerce. In 2007, the company’s stock price hit an all-time high of above $80 per share. However, just like several of its peers, JC Penney is struggling to stay relevant. It’s not impossible to turn things around, but the old retail’s struggle to grow comes with an excellent lesson for investors. No investment can win forever.

Who said Apple has lost its luster?

So, what happened?

It’s not a new thing for investors to roll their eyes when they hear about Apple (Ticker: AAPL) and how the company has lost its luster. For several years, people have blamed Apple for sitting on its hands, while other competitors are innovating. For all those investors, we have one chart to share:

The chart shows the revenue of Airpods compared to other technology companies. If Airpod was an independent company, it would have surpassed some of the best technology companies we all have come to own and love.

Next time you are bashing Apple for lack of innovation, remember this chart. Maybe, Apple’s best innovation is not its product but its brand. Apple’s brand is what fuels the company’s growth and allows it to charge an exuberant amount of money for a seemingly non-innovative product such as a pair of Airpods.