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Today in the Market (4/07/2022)

Good Evening. Investors continued to mull a hawkish readout of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting meeting.  Equities bounced back in the closing hour of trading Thursday to close a bumpy session in the green.

After falling 300 points in intraday trading, the Dow Jones gained 0.25%, and the S&P 500 gained 0.43%. The Nasdaq Composite rebounded from more than a 1% dip to finish slightly above breakeven.

SHOPPING SPREE FOR BUFFET

In a fresh filing late Wednesday, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway revealed it had acquired 121 million shares of HP.  The purchase represents an 11.40% stake worth $4.2 billion. HP (HPQ) shares jumped more than 13% in pre-market trading ahead of the opening bell on Thursday and closed up 14.75% at $40.06 per share.

Strong sales of commercial PCs and printers helped the company beat analyst profit projections for its first fiscal quarter (announced in late February). Commercial computer and printer sales increased by 26% and 9%, respectively, from the previous year, according to HP.

“Berkshire Hathaway is one of the world’s most respected investors and we welcome them as an investor in HP Inc,” an HP spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.

Berkshire Hathaway made the acquisition as part of a recent shopping spree. Last month, Buffet’s company bought roughly a 15% stake in Occidental Petroleum (OXY) for $7.6 billion.

AVIAN OUTBREAK

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This Easter, you might need to dye something else—perhaps the ham? The United States, a key meat and egg producer, is experiencing its biggest avian flu outbreak since 2015. A huge bird shortage could drive up already high chicken costs.

  • Almost 23 million birds have died as a result of the infection, or have had to be culled to prevent the flu from spreading.

An avian flu outbreak killed over 50 million birds seven years ago, giving poultry producers déjà vu. Since the first cases were discovered in January, flocks in 24 states have been afflicted.

  • The virus is so contagious that even one infected chicken necessitates the slaughter of the entire flock.
  • Even zoos that haven’t had any outbreaks are beefing up bird precautions in their exhibits. The only birds you might see at the zoo are penguins, which are protected by glass barriers.

Zoom in

The only actual danger that avian flu posses to humans is the rising cost of chicken parmesan. According to the Agriculture Department, the average price of chicken breasts in the United States increased $0.79/pound last week and is now $1.45 higher than a year ago.

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