Weekend reads: How companies and consumers fight inflation and handle shrinkflation


Inflation is on everyone’s mind, and consumers are frustrated not only with rising prices, but also with “reduced inflation,” when a known product suddenly arrives in a much smaller package.

Obvious remedies include switching to lower priced or private label products and even dispensing with certain items. But a company that makes premium products seems to be empowering itself with a focus on quality. As part of a broad view of consumer product inflation, Tonya Garcia explains Procter & Gamble’s strategy, which has translated into excellent performance in its actions over the past year.

More inflation coverage:

  • There’s a big hole in the Fed’s inflation theory: revenue falls at a record 10.9%

  • How can retirees cover the risk of inflation?

A Buffett weekend and a good 2022 for Berkshire Hathaway

Photographic illustration from MarketWatch / Everett Collection, iStockphoto

So far this year, the shares of Berkshire Hathaway BRK.B,
-1.38%
they have risen 11%, while the S&P 500 has fallen 10%, with dividends reinvested. CEO Warren Buffet will chair the conglomerate’s annual meeting on Saturday. These are some of the questions to look forward to.

Here’s more to keep in mind:

How about some bitcoin on your 401 (k)?

The Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami.

Marco Bello / Getty Images

Fidelity Investments will soon allow companies with 401 (k) plans to offer employees the option to hold bitcoin BTCUSD,
-2.18%
within their retirement accounts. Alessandra Malito considers which investors might be well served by having some of their savings for retirement in virtual currency, while Brett Arends argues against it.

Lessons learned from falling marijuana stocks

Set of facts

While the S&P 500 returned 3.2% for a year through April 28 with reinvested dividends, the MSOS of the ETF AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis,
-1.03%
fell 61%.

Michael Brush shares a new set of seven investment rules that apply to everyone, even though they have learned from the debacle of marijuana stocks.

Most downtrodden companies: Many technology stocks that have fallen are still too expensive to buy

A big retirement move that went wrong

In the ocean at Westerly, RI

Lisa Watts

If you are planning a move for retirement, there may be some important things that you have not thought about. Lisa Watts tells the story of how she and her husband made a retirement move, regretted it, tried another place, and finally did well with another move.

  • See “Where Should I Retire?” column for more ideas for placements, and you can try your own custom search

  • Try the MarketWatch Retirement Placement Tool for your personalized search. It includes data from more than 3,000 U.S. counties and incorporates climate risk.

The housing market is already slowing down

iStockfoto

Considering the rise in home prices and rising interest rates, the monthly mortgage loan payment for a mid-priced home in the U.S. has increased by 50% over the past year. informs Jacob Passy.

But there are early indications that Federal Reserve moves to curb an overheated economy are having an effect: pending home sales have fallen.

More housing coverage:

  • “Rising mortgage rates will take time to rebalance the market”: house prices continue to soar, but buyers could see relief soon

  • “Should we wait and see how the market works?” I want to buy a house for rent. Is it a good time?

Betting on Cathie Wood

MarketWatch / iStockphoto illustration

In this week’s ETF Wrap, Christine Idzelis discusses short sellers’ profitable operations against Cathie Wood’s Ark Innovation ETF ARKK,
+ 1.08%.

More thoughts on Elon Musk and Twitter

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.

Getty Images

On April 25, the Twitter TWTR,
+ 1.32%
The board agreed that the social media company be acquired by Tesla TSLA,
+ 3.58%
CEO Elon Musk for $ 44 billion in cash subject to a shareholder vote. As of April 29, Twitter shares were changing hands for $ 49.88, 8% below the $ 54.20 takeaway price.

Here is a sample of the latest related coverage:

Bonds I have high yields and maybe

Getty Images / iStockphoto

Series I savings bonds are available directly from the United States Treasury. They now have a 7.12% yield, but yields are expected to rise above 9% in May, depending on the rate of inflation. Rates are readjusted every six months in May and November.

John Lim explains five ways you can use bonds right now to improve your overall financial health.

Another possible way to treat coronavirus

Getty Images / iStockphoto

Jaimy Lee is studying the use of generic drugs to help people with Covid-19 stay out of hospitals.

The developing solar utility market

Representation of a possible energy storage system.

Getty Images / iStockphoto

Here’s an in-depth look at the development of three-person combined solar power plants and energy storage facilities at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California.

Steinway and other IPOs

Lang Lang plays the Steinway Spirio high-resolution piano in Paris.

Getty Images

Ciara Linnane shares five things investors should know about Steinway as the piano maker prepares to go public again.

More coverage of initial public offerings and their consequences:

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