Here are the main updates that can help investors kick start their day of trading:
1. Positive Market Trends
The S&P 500 is approaching a record high. Following Tuesday’s increases, the broad index is just about 1% away from reaching its highest point, set back in January 2022. Other major indices are also performing well, concluding a robust year for stocks.
On Tuesday, the Dow went up by over 250 points, and the Nasdaq closed above 15,000 for the first time since early 2022. Wednesday will bring consumer confidence data and existing home sales numbers. Futures showed limited movement in the morning.
2. Missing The Mark
In September, Target grabbed attention by revealing plans to shut down nine stores in Seattle, New York, Portland, and the San Francisco Bay Area. While it’s common for retailers to close stores, and nine might not seem like a large number, Target specifically pointed to worries about crime and violence in these areas as the reason.
However, discovered that other nearby stores generally experienced more crime than the ones Target closed. This raises questions about the accuracy of Target’s widely publicized justification for the closures. Read the complete investigation for more details.
3. It’s All Clicking
During the early days of the Covid pandemic, e-commerce had a moment that shaped the industry, especially when people were confined to their homes. Now, with the freedom to visit any store without masks, online shopping has become even more popular, as revealed by the CNBC All-America Economic Survey.
Fifty-seven percent of respondents indicated that shopping websites were among their top one or two choices for holiday gifts this season. This is an increase from 51% last year and surpasses the previous high of 55% in 2020. Unsurprisingly, Amazon remains the top choice for online shoppers, with 74% ranking it as their number one destination. Walmart has also seen some progress from last year, with 16% now considering it their top online spot, compared to 12% last year.
Regarding Walmart, the retail giant has expanded its collaboration with the buy now, pay later service provider Affirm. The new agreement allows Walmart customers to utilize the service at self-checkout kiosks in thousands of stores across the U.S. Affirm stock, which has surged by over 400% this year, saw a 15% increase on Tuesday.
The financial technology company referred to data indicating that more than half of American shoppers desire a buy now, pay later option at physical store checkout lanes in addition to online shopping carts. Affirm executive Pat Suh also mentioned, “Moreover, we’ve found that 76% of consumers would either delay or avoid making a purchase without Affirm.”
5. FedEx Signals
The package delivery giant, FedEx, has once again reduced its revenue forecast for the fiscal year, marking the second consecutive quarter. This move caused shares to drop by over 10% in extended trading. The company explained that a decrease in demand is impacting its overall revenue.
In fact, revenue for this period was lower than the same time last year, totaling $22.17 billion, which is below analysts’ expectations of $22.41 billion. Additionally, adjusted earnings per share fell short of what the market anticipated. Despite these challenges, FedEx’s shares have had a significant increase for the year, reaching nearly 62% as of Tuesday’s closing, significantly outperforming the gains of the S&P 500.
Market trends show positive momentum with the S&P 500 nearing a record high. Target’s store closures face scrutiny over crime justifications. E-commerce continues to thrive post-Covid, with online shopping preferences rising. Walmart expands its collaboration with Affirm, driving the latter’s stock surge. FedEx faces challenges with reduced revenue forecasts but has outperformed the market this year.