(KRON) — On today’s installment of Winners & Losers, financial expert Rob Black discusses the end of the S&P’s worst half since 1962, how Fourth of July celebrations are being impacted by inflation and the onset of a crypto winter.

Loser: S&P 500 closes out worst first half in decades

Stocks fell sharply today as the S&P 500 caps off its worst first half in more than 50 years or since 1962.

Home retail stocks led the market lower after the high-end furniture chain RH saw shares drop about 9% after it issued a profit warning for the full year. Wayfair and Williams-Sonoma followed them lower by 6% and 7%, respectively.

Cruise stocks continued to drag after Morgan Stanley cut its price target on Carnival roughly in half and said it could potentially go to zero.

Pfizer has raised the U.S. price of its Covid-19 vaccine in another sign that investors may be underestimating the durability of its Covid-19 vaccine revenue.

Shipping costs to import products from China have skyrocketed over the past three years. Importing product costs about $45,000 per shipping container today compared with $8,000 to $10,000 in 2019. 

Taco Bell partnered with Cheez-It to create two new menu items built around a super-sized version of the cheesy cracker: the Big Cheez-It Tostada and the Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme. Cheez-It  is 16x the size of an original cracker.

Snapchat debuted its subscription product, Snapchat+, which will cost $3.99 a month.

Loser: Fourth of July celebrations hit by inflation

Nothing says Independence Day like a good, old-fashioned road trip, barbecue and fireworks.

More than half of Americans, or 55%, still say they’re traveling for the holiday, an 8% increase over last year. Roughly 60% of Americans  plan to grill this weekend. 53% will get together with friends and family.

The cost of burgers, chips, soda and side dishes stand at 11% more than revelers spent last year.

And it’s not just staples such as meat and bread that are getting more expensive.  Coca-Cola and PepsiCo raised prices on drinks and packaged goods.

Other July Fourth expenses have also skyrocketed — including the price of fireworks, which soared about 35%, and propane fuel used to power gas grills, which is up 26% compared to last year.

Of course, anyone hitting the road will also face near-record-high prices at the gas station. Fuel costs are up 106.7% in the past 12 months.

Consumers, for their part, are scaling back: 39% plan to buy less than they have in previous years and 27% said they will go shorter distances because of higher gas prices.

Loser: A crypto winter is setting in

Between a collapse in prices, layoffs and high-profile defaults, the winds of the next so-called cryptocurrency winter are blowing for Bitcoin and other digital assets.

Bitcoin was trading near $19,000, down by more than two-thirds from an all-time high near $69,000 hit in November 2021.

It is off 59% since the beginning of the year as June nears its end, while the S&P 500 has lost a bit less than 20%.

Other tokens like Ether, Solana and Dogecoin have fared even worse, and the market capitalization of the entire crypto economy has been reduced to $940 billion from nearly $3 trillion in less than eight months.

The first crypto winter came in 2014, when prices fall from around $1,000 to under $200 in 12 months.

The second came after the bull run of 2017, when Bitcoin crashed from near $19,000 to below $4,000 for months at a time.

Crypto needs a stock market rally.

Goldman Sachs and more of Wall Street’s biggest players are actively involved in crypto,

The prospect of central bank-backed digital currencies is one of the hottest topics in international finance.

Crypto needs to flush out weaker projects and see firms refocus on building, honing products and services and centering their efforts on some of the more resilient aspects of the space.