(KRON) — In today’s installment of Winners & Losers, financial expert Rob Black discusses continuing concerns over a recession, record-high monthly car payments and the success of the new Minions movie.

Loser:  Investors remain on recession watch

Stocks are struggling for direction as the risk of a recession remains top of mind for many investors.

10-year yield edged just above 2.82% to hover near its lowest level in about six weeks.

A broad-based slowdown in overall consumer spending has already been underway this year.  

There is relative strength in mega-cap stocks.

Oil prices plunge below $100 as the U.S. dollar strengthens and recession worries pile up.

US gas prices have fallen for 21 days in a row.  The current U.S. average for a gallon of gas is $4,800, well above year-ago prices of $3.13. Consumption for the fuel has hit its lowest point since 2014.

Amazon has teamed up with GrubHub in a deal that gives its U.S. Prime users a one-year membership to food delivery service Grubhub.   Prime members will have their delivery fees waived from select restaurants  where Grubhub operates.

Loser:  Average car payment hit record $712 a month in June

Higher interest rates have made homes less affordable, and now higher interest rates have made car payments higher as well.

The average monthly car payment for Americans hit a record $712 in June, further worsening the affordability of new cars for buyers.

Car buyers are stunned to see payments jump from like $300 to $600 for a Corolla or Civic.  A $600 payment used to get you a Mustang or BMW. 

The run-up in car prices has been a key driver in the headline inflation numbers.

The average new car sold for $47,148.

Six months ago, borrowing costs were still around historic low territory.

Taken together, high prices and rising rates pushed the average monthly payment to more than $700.

Higher monthly payments could also contribute to an ongoing trend of longer loan maturities as buyers take more time to pay their larger principal and interest totals.

The $712 car payment joins several other threshold figures like $5 gas and $400,000 home prices that are having a jarring effect on public perception of inflation.

Winner: It’s a Minion’s marketing world

The marketing of Minions has been genius and in our face.

The yellow Tic Tac gremlins have won.

“Minions: The Rise of Gru,” broke the July Fourth weekend box office record with a haul of more than $125 million.

How Minions Gru their audience: Universal’s marketers had the Minions collabing with the Tokyo Olympics, appearing on NBC shows like American Ninja Warrior and America’s Got Talent and even sporting their own IHOP menu.

Even the movie’s soundtrack went viral on scial media when musician Jack Antonoff brought on a stacked lineup to help out with the songs.

Then Gen Z pulled up . . .  And the #gentleminions trend was born. The joke started as photos of masculine characters wearing full suits with the caption “5 tickets to Minions: Rise of Gru.” But then, groups of young men started wearing full formal suits to see the movie. They obviously recorded themselves for social media, and movie theaters are obviously starting to ban teens in suits for causing disruptions.