2.11.2022

Inflation, Super Bowl LVI, and Cracking the Code Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Friday, Feb. 11, and we're covering the continuing rise in prices for consumers, Sunday's Super Bowl, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

NEED TO KNOW

 

Inflation Jumps Again

US inflation rose 7.5% during the 12-month period ending in January, according to government data released yesterday, the largest such increase since February 1982. The consumer price index, a proxy for inflation that tracks the price of a basket of goods and services (see 101), rose 0.6% in January, exceeding the 0.5% increase seen in December. Inflation has exceeded a 5% annual rate for the past eight months. 

 

Higher inflation means consumers can buy fewer goods with each dollar they spend. The core index, which removes the sometimes-volatile food (up 7%) and energy (up 27%) components, rose 6% year-over-year—still the highest hike since August 1982. See data for the full basket of goods.

 

The Federal Reserve, which typically targets annual inflation near 2%, is expected to raise interest rates a number of times this year in an attempt to curb inflation. Read more on the link between interest rates and inflation here.

Rams vs. Bengals

Football fans will be treated to an NFL championship with a number of fresh faces Sunday, as the upstart Cincinnati Bengals take on the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI (6:30 pm ET, CBS).

 

It's the Rams' second appearance in the title game in four years, but the first with veteran QB Matthew Stafford, who joined the franchise in the offseason. Cincinnati, led by second-year QB Joe Burrow, makes their first visit since 1988. Both Stafford and Burrow are former No. 1 picks in the NFL draft.  

 

Both teams arrive in the title game having overcome fourth quarter deficits in their respective conference championships (including a thrilling final minute for the Rams). The game will be played at the Rams' home stadium, a location selected before the season—though Cincinnati will technically be the home team, as conferences alternate the designation each year.

 

Not really into the game? See the history of each team's mascot, and check out a preview of the most-anticipated commercials here.

US Eyes Charging Infrastructure

The Biden administration announced yesterday $5B in funding for states to construct charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. It marks the first tranche of funding drawn for such projects under the $1.2T bipartisan infrastructure bill passed last year. 

 

Initial funds will be focused on fast-charging stations located along major interstate highways, an attempt to address a disconnected and difficult to access charging infrastructure across the country. The administration has set a goal of 500,000 new chargers by 2030, an elevenfold increase over current stations. 

 

Electric vehicles sales in the US jumped 83% in 2021 year-over-year, accounting for 3% of the market (hybrids notched another 5% of light vehicle sales). Still, EVs make up less than 1% of the more than 250 million passenger vehicles on the road today—see a visualization of the challenges facing the industry here.

In partnership with The Motley Fool

TOP STOCKS FOR 2022

 

Twice a month, many members of the team at 1440 open their phones to see the latest stock picks from The Motley Fool—and it’s no surprise we’ve become so taken by their recommendations, as the average pick since 2002 is now up 514% (beating the S&P 500 more than four times).

 

But once a year, we get extra excited about The Motley Fool’s picks. Early in the year, they decide on their top stocks for the year to come, and we think it’s a pretty big deal. If you had invested in their best-performing pick from 2018, you would already be up over 1,500%. Or if you had chosen their best-performing top pick of 2019, you already be up over 995%.

 

So today, check out The Motley Fool’s fresh-off-the-press top picks of 2022. Sign up today to access the report and claim a massive new member discount.

 

Returns as of 2/6/22

Please support our sponsors!

IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Three-time gold medal snowboarder Shaun White ends career with fourth place finish in Beijing (More) | See updated medal count (More) | Former NBA MVP James Harden traded from Brooklyn Nets to Philadelphia 76ers (More)

 

> Musician Sting sells entire songwriting catalog of roughly 600 songs to Universal for $300M (More) | Betty Davis, an iconic funk musician, dies at 77 (More)

 

> Popular theater subscription service MoviePass to relaunch this summer two years after its initial shutdown (More)

From our partners: A leading cash back card now has 0% intro APR until 2023. Earn cash back and save money on interest? Throw in no annual fee and you have yourself a new card for the front slot in that wallet of yours.

Science & Technology

> Nobel winner and co-discoverer of HIV, Luc Montagnier, dies at age 89; prestigious researcher was known for a number of controversial ideas in his later years (More)

 

> Astronomers discover a third planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, Earth's closest neighboring star; planet lies within the habitable zone of its host star (More)

 

> Robot captures first photos of what appears to be melted radioactive fuel at Japan's former Fukushima nuclear plant; destroyed during a 2011 earthquake, officials say it may take up to 40 years to clean the site (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets fall (S&P 500 -1.8%, Dow -1.5%, Nasdaq -2.1%) as bond yields increased on highest inflation gains in 40 years (More)

 

> Coca-Cola and PepsiCo post higher revenues driven by price increases, but both see total profit margins fall amid rising costs (More) | Shares of Twitter fall 2% after company misses user, revenue, and profit expectations (More)

 

> California regulatory agency sues Tesla over alleged discrimination and harassment against Black employees at company’s Fremont, California, factory (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Congress passes bill guaranteeing that victims of workplace sexual harassment may take case through courts, as opposed to arbitration; advocates say arbitration practices benefit employers and let cases go unreported (More)

 

> Automakers say Canadian trucker antimandate protest at US-Canada border forcing plant closures; economic disruption estimated at $300M per day (More) | Officials warn similar protest may be being planned in the US (More) | See US COVID-19 stats here (More)

 

> Ukraine accuses Russia of blockading the Sea of Azov, which provides a water route to the Atlantic, as the latter begins military exercises; officials say Russia-Germany talks failed to produce diplomatic breakthrough to tensions (More

IN-DEPTH

 

Cracking the Code

Rest of World | Alizeh Kohari. Can machine learning help decipher an ancient language that has left researchers scratching their heads for a century? (Read)

Diving With a Purpose

Nat Geo | Tara Roberts. The group of Black scuba divers focused on investigating the underwater wreckage of slave ships. (Read, paywall)

The Best First Guess

3Blue1Brown | Grant SandersonA fun look at a fascinating but complex math concept—using information theory to solve Wordle. (Watch, via YouTube)

DATA DON’T LIE

 

In partnership with The Motley Fool

 

Every year, The Motley Fool publishes their new top stock picks for the coming months. So far, their best-performing top pick from 2018 has amassed over 1,500% returns. From the 2019 edition, the best-performing top pick is up over 995%.

 

While past 10x returns don’t guarantee you’ll see the same, it’s still no surprise that investors and members of The Motley Fool are excited to see 2022’s installment of top picks. Check them out today for a big discount on new memberships.

 

Returns as of 2/6/22

Please support our sponsors!

ETCETERA

 

Unraveling the mystery of the "never COVIDs."

 

Pandemic homeowners are having regrets.

 

When freezing fire hydrants explode.

 

The world's slowest ring bearer.

 

Son Photoshops dad into iconic movie scenes.

 

Natural phenomena worth traveling to see.

 

When sheep learn to use trampolines.

 

Hi, don't mind me, just a casual moose.

 

Clickbait: British tourist reunited with false teeth years later.

 

Historybook: Inventor Thomas Edison born (1847); HBD Jennifer Aniston (1969); Iranian Revolution begins as Ayatollah Khomeini comes to power (1979); Nelson Mandela released from prison after 27 years in South Africa (1990); RIP Whitney Houston (2012).

 

"People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love."

- Nelson Mandela

Enjoy reading? Forward this email to a friend.

Why 1440? The printing press was invented in the year 1440, spreading knowledge to the masses and changing the course of history. Guess what else? There are 1,440 minutes in a day and every one is precious. That’s why we scour hundreds of sources every day to provide a concise, comprehensive, and objective view of what's happening in the world. Reader feedback is a gift—shoot us a note at [email protected].

Interested in advertising to smart readers like you? Apply here!

Join a community of over 3.6 million intellectually curious individuals.

100% free. Unsubscribe anytime.

Don't miss out on the daily email read by over 3.7 million intellectually curious readers.