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Biden’s Hits From The Bong, Jobs Data Downers & Disney Gambles On Sports

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Friday Four Play: The “Reefer Madness” Edition

I always heard that his herb was top-shelf. I just could not wait to find out for myself.

Well, don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it … and I’ve tried it, my friends.

I’ll never smoke weed with Biden again!

Great Ones, I have a rather healthy distrust of any politician who claims they want to legalize cannabis. We’ve seen this story time and time again:

Legalization bill passes the House … and is never seen again.
President makes campaign promises to legalize … then mum’s the word.
Legalization bill is introduced in the Senate … and promptly dies.

But yesterday, the cannabis industry — and American stoners — saw a smidgen of real hope…

President Joe Biden announced that he’ll pardon those federally convicted for simple marijuana possession.

Big deal. It’s just more druggies on the street!

Dude, the worst thing a pot smoker is going to do is turn whatever random stuff you have in your pantry and fridge into the best meal you’ve ever had.

That … or they’ll turn your kitchen table leg into a bong using tinfoil, a pipe cleaner and your kitchen knife. And you’ll still be able to use the table afterward … it’ll just smell a bit funny.

Anywho, I agree that pardoning cannabis offenders doesn’t make much difference to Wall Street.

In fact, expunging minor federal cannabis offenses will actually increase participation in the labor market. And as you’ll see in a bit … Wall Street wouldn’t like that a whole lot right now. Nor would the Federal Reserve.

The important part of President Biden’s announcement was that he has directed the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to consider rescheduling cannabis.

Right now, cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug … the same as heroin and LSD … and worse than fentanyl, which makes absolutely no sense if you know anything about any of these drugs.

Now, rescheduling cannabis will take some time, but at least it’s legally on the table now. And that’s more progress toward legalization than we’ve ever seen before.

What’s more, President Biden’s move puts pressure on the Senate to consider and potentially pass the SAFE Act.

In case you’re not familiar, the SAFE Act would allow U.S. cannabis companies to trade on the major U.S. stock exchanges. It would also allow federally insured banks and credit card companies to finally work with cannabis companies.

As y’all stoners already know, you have to jump through some hoops or carry a lot of cash right now to buy cannabis products even in states where it’s been legalized.

Following Biden’s announcement, cannabis stocks skyrocketed. Tilray Brands (Nasdaq: TLRY) surged more than 30%. Canopy Growth (Nasdaq: CGC) soared more than 25%.

Furthermore, U.S. cannabis companies that trade on pink slips — aka not officially on any exchange, such as Curaleaf Holdings (OTC: CURLF), Cresco Labs (OTC: CRLBF) and Green Thumb Industries (OTC: GTBIF) — soared more than 30% across the board.

Can you imagine how high these stocks will soar if the SAFE Act passes? All three of those American cannabis companies are top-grade investments should SAFE finally pass.

And … can you imagine the real profits we could make on these stocks if cannabis is rescheduled? I’m getting giddy just thinking about it.

That said, we all must temper our expectations. Only the bravest of the brave are loading up on cannabis stocks after President Biden’s announcement. The Senate still stands in the way, as does whatever the HHS and DOJ come back with after their cannabis review.

But what about the recession? Won’t that hurt sales even if cannabis is legalized?

Let me tell you this right now, Great Ones: The so-called “sin stocks” do well during periods of economic downturn. I mean, you can’t afford to go out, but you need to have some fun at home. So alcohol, tobacco and potentially cannabis are gonna provide that fun at home.

No, a recession isn’t gonna stop me from investing in cannabis stocks if legalization happens. But that’s still a really big if.

As I said up above, we’ve seen stuff like this before. If you’re brave enough and have money you can afford to lose — don’t we all? — then you might consider buying a couple cannabis stocks, especially these U.S. cannabis stocks: CURLF, CRLBF and GTBIF.

After all, if HHS and DOJ drop cannabis scheduling, it would take an act of Congress to stop legalization. The executive branch — aka President Biden — could do this all on its own.

Let’s cross our fingers and hope. Hope for legalization and for the profits that are gonna line our pockets afterward!

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And without further ado, here’s your Friday Four Play:

No. 1: The Mixed Nuts Report

So cannabis investors made out like bandits today (very dry-mouthed and snackish bandits, but still). Now how’d the rest of the market fare?

Uhh, not great, Bob!

Let me guess … it has something to do with that whole “jobs report” thing we teased yesterday, doesn’t it? Let’s have Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, fill us in:

Depending on your view of optimism vs. pessimism, on the economy, there’s a little bit of something for everyone in this report. Obviously, the market is not happy, but the market is not happy in general these days.

Optimism and pessimism in the same tasty bite? What kinda bizarre Reese’s Cup is this?

By the numbers, nonfarm payrolls rose 263,000 in September, compared to the Dow Jones estimate of 275,000. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.5%, compared to predictions for 3.7%.

Now, most people are taking this as an indicator of strong job growth … but it’s not. The labor participation rate is what actually dropped — 57,000 fewer people are participating in the labor market now. Does that sound like strength to you?

If anything, lower labor participation is a sure sign of pessimism in the jobs market … and probably a big sign of degrading consumer sentiment.

Either way, Wall Street clearly hoped for a much weaker report, thus stopping the Fed from raising interest rates again. But that didn’t happen. Wall Street looked at this report and went: “Welp, guess we’re getting more interest rate hikes.” And the sell-off began.

So we have a report that’s not strong enough to show a robust, improving economy … and not weak enough to stop the Fed from raising rates. That’s just bad all around … and so the sell-off continues.

No. 2: Blame It On Bad Jeans

You know, Great Stuff, when you blame your family genes, you’re really just blaming yourself.

I … what? We’re talking about denim! Don’t get all psychological now, it’s waaaay too late in the week for that kind of ruminating. Anyway…

Did you see that ludicrous display last night? Jeans maker Levi Strauss (NYSE: LEVI) delivered a stinker of an earnings report that was almost as ugly as a Canadian Tuxedo.

Earnings per share came in above expectations, which was arguably a good start … but that’s all Levi’s has going for it. Sure, the higher prices on denim helped boost earnings on the quarter, so Levi barely squeaked by thanks to inflation.

“Thanks to inflation?” Who says that?

But looking at the full fiscal year, Levi expects revenue growth to land between 6.7% and 7% instead of the 11% to 13% range that the company previously predicted. No surprise that also means earnings are expected to come in at $1.44 to $1.49 per share, down from prior guidance for $1.50 to $1.56 a share.

All Levi had to say on the matter was that “things did get tougher as the quarter progressed.” Would y’all like to join me in a rousing chorus of … no duh!

If only there was some kind of handy adage that Levi could throw out here … something about “when things gets tough” and “getting tougher.”

No. 3: Disney’s Wide World Of Sports … Betting?

Gambling?! On my family-friendly Disney channels?! It’s more likely than you think … well, kinda.

DraftKings (Nasdaq: DKNG) is “close to signing” a partnership with Disney’s (NYSE: DIS) ESPN. And while the deal’s details are still unclear, it sounds like sports bettors will soon have a new ESPN-branded sportsbook to look forward to.

Woot! I guess…

Presumably, the ESPN sportsbook would be powered by DraftKings’ betting platform. But how much rides on this “close to signing” phrase? We don’t even know if this deal is official yet — all this started over a report from The Action Network, with no actual statements from the companies involved.

But that won’t stop the Wall Street rumor mill from spinning up again.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek has previously hinted at adding a sports betting element to ESPN, making it a “good long-term bet,” compared to whatever the heck Disney is doing with ESPN now.

I could see ESPN offering broadcasts with betting odds and info, streamlining the process for DraftKings fans and spitting in the face of FuboTV, which is looking to offer basically the same thing on its platform.

But what about ESPN+? What games are actually on ESPN+? Who wants to bet on the Estonian ping pong league or whatever random junk they’re showing today? Actually, I could get down with some ping pong right now…

“$20 trillion in U.S. household wealth is invested in a total scam.”

Those are the words of retired Lt. Col. Michael J. Carr, U.S. Air Force, CMT, CFTe.

I didn’t want to believe it at first … but once he showed me the evidence, I couldn’t dispute it.

Every American with retirement savings should watch this video.

No. 4: Just AMDesserts

Warning investors that you won’t meet guidance? That’s a paddlin’.

A chipmaker lowering its revenue expectations? Ooh, that’s a paddlin’ too.

Deteriorating demand for PCs? You guessed it: Grab the paddle.

AMD (Nasdaq: AMD) shares fell off a cliff this morning after it announced, well, all of the above. Due to a severely weakened PC market, as CEO Lisa Su put it, AMD expects to only bring in $5.6 billion this quarter — way off from its original guidance for $6.7 billion.

The thing is … PC demand doesn’t really matter for AMD in the long term.

What?! How could it not matter?!

Because revenue for AMD’s other segments — data center, gaming and embedded units — are all in line with expectations. Considering the data market is where AMD is stealing everyone’s lunch (especially Intel), this is exactly what AMD investors need … even if Wall Street’s reaction isn’t what AMD investors wanted.

AMD dropped 11% on the news. That said, I can’t wait for AMD to actually report earnings … and for Wall Street to conveniently “forget” this little warning ever happened.

Great Ones, that’s going to be one heck of a buying opportunity for AMD stock. Just saying…

What do you think, Great Ones? Will cannabis be de-scheduled any time soon? Any of y’all still holding pot stocks? And what do you think about a potential deal between Disney and DraftKings?

Head on over to our inbox to share your side of the conversation: GreatStuffToday@BanyanHill.com.

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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Regards,

Joseph Hargett
Editor, Great Stuff

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