It was really fun, he says sarcastically, being referred to as “Shithead” by more people than I can count this week. Guess I should have seen that coming.

I’m told this email is now being forwarded to 2X more people than we have on our distribution list, which can’t be convenient for you. So, we finally decided to create a sign-up page. Send your friends here unless – like me – you get off on controlling the flow of information, in which case just delete this whole paragraph before forwarding it. Doesn’t matter to me.

FYI, I don’t know when you’ll receive this after I hit send. The company that runs our email server is updating their platform today and told us to expect delays. Apparently, “only an idiot” would send a mass email on Saturday mornings, so they figured it was safe, even though our open-rate is off the charts and people always tell me how much they enjoy reading it while drinking their morning coffee and shut the hell up Mr. Email Server IT person.

Anyway, I hope this lands in your inbox before you leave for your massage or your bike ride or day-drinking or whatever well-deserved treat you have planned for yourself today.

Here’s a little taste of what were seeing this week:

Investor confidence rebounded nicely in May. The latest reading from our PNC-CivicScience Investor Sentiment Index showed a healthy boost in optimism after three consecutive down months. Smarter people than me attribute the rebound to a lot of good news from Q1 company earnings and an overall positive view of business conditions. Meanwhile…

Consumer confidence, on the other hand, had its biggest two-week drop of the year in early June. Because we publish our Economic Sentiment Index on a bi-weekly basis, you can see the negative reaction from consumers as the President’s recent trade spates kicked into high gear. The Investor Index, however, is only shared monthly (unless you pay to see it in real-time – call me!), so you won’t see the effects of the tariff drama on investors until next month. Of course, who knows what kind of craziness will happen between now and July? I can’t keep up.

Americans are super stressed-out and it’s getting worseOur data show that reported rates of stress have been steadily on the rise since 2016, which isn’t shocking. Women are much more likely than men to be stressed, as are Gen Xers compared to Boomers. There’s also a clear correlation between levels of stress and frequency of social media usage, which warrants a more extensive study by itself. What surprised me, however, is that political Moderates are the most likely group, by a lot, to be “stressed out all of the time.” I would have bet Liberals would be more stressed under the Trumpian circumstances. Maybe it’s just much more discomforting to be in the middle today when everything else around us is so polarized.

Maybe people would be less stressed if they went to happy hour a little more oftenWe found that 62% of employed U.S. adults go immediately home after work, while about 1/3rd either go to the gym or some kind of social gathering with coworkers. Parents with young kids, of course, are more likely to head home but the disparity wasn’t as big as you’d expect. One thing worth noting is that people who are “very happy” in their job are much more likely to do something fun after work. Whether that means that people are more likely to hang out with coworkers if they like their job OR that people like their job more if they have an opportunity to socialize after work is up to you to decide. Either way, it’s called “Happy Hour” for a reason.

You are supposed to be outraged by IHOP changing its name because that was the whole point. Time will tell if the “International House of Burgers” ruse is as brilliant as I think it is but they obviously knew they needed to do something to kick-start the brand again. You can see in our data below how favorability toward IHOP has been falling precipitously since 2012. Kudos to the execs there, for the courage, and the agencies, for the creativity. I can’t remember the last time a brand grabbed hold of the zeitgeist like that – at least on purpose.

Your Random (Breakfast) Stats of the Week

  • 27% of people say breakfast is their favorite meal
  • 28% of people don’t eat breakfast on an average day, 9% never eat breakfast
  • 70% of Americans like breakfast for dinner (+1)
  • 64% prefer a savory breakfast over a sweet breakfast, 18% prefer sweet
  • Breakfast pizza (28%) over breakfast tacos (20%) – 44% say Neither, 8% love both
  • People dislike having breakfast in bed by over 2:1 (agreed, gross)
  • Favorite breakfast food: Eggs (27%), Bacon (23%), Cereal (12%), Pancakes (12%)

Whoever wrote that last question egregiously forgot to include Eggs Benedict as an answer option, which will be noted in their performance review if I ever find out who did it.

Hoping you’re well.