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Today in the Market (5/16/2022)

Good Evening. On Monday, U.S. stocks were mixed, with equities trying to find direction as concerns about the economy lingered amid rising inflation.

The S&P 500 finished flat at slightly below 0.39%. As mega-cap technology giants like Apple (AAPL) tumbled, the Nasdaq sank 1.20%. The Dow Jones gained 0.08%, moving into positive territory.

EARNINGS

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. rose in late trading after reporting fourth-quarter earnings that surpassed analysts’ expectations, helped by titles like NBA 2K22, while a projection for the current year indicated that an industrywide drop could limit sales.

  • Earnings per share: $1.32 vs. $1.22 estimate

  • Revenue: $845.8 million vs. $870.1 million estimate

The video game business is suffering from significant hardware shortages and inflation, as well as users spending less time playing games than they did during the pandemic’s peak. According to the research firm NPD Group, consumer spending on video games in the United States fell by 8% from January to March of last year.

Chief Executive Officer Strauss Zelnick summed up the year by saying Take-Two took “pivotal steps” to invest in talent, broaden its product lineup and agree to a “transformational pending combination with Zynga.”

As of after hours, TTWO finished up 3.21% to $110.11 per share.

LEGAL

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NY Gov. Kathy Hochul used her appearances on Sunday talk shows to assert that the accused Buffalo gunman was radicalized online and demanded that social media firms do more to combat racist hate speech on their platforms.

  • “This spreads like a virus and that’s why I’m calling on the CEOs of all the social media platforms to examine their policies and to be able to look me in the eye and tell me that everything is being done that they can do to make sure this information is not spread,” she said.

A Texas law may make it more difficult. An appeals court in Texas reinstated a statute that prohibits social media companies from regulating information on their sites based on “the user’s or another person’s perspective.” Regardless of the judges’ surprising lack of technical knowledge during the trial (one implied that Twitter was not a website), the legislation theoretically allows any user whose posts are tampered with in some way to sue the firms.

Returning to Buffalo: The alleged gunman livestreamed his attack on Twitch, an Amazon-owned streaming service that said it pulled the video less than two minutes after the shooting began. If it had happened in Texas, though, the removal would have appeared to be in violation of the state’s new social media statute.

Looking forward…

This Texas statute is expected to end up in the Supreme Court due to strong opposition from tech groups.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Earnings: As earnings season winds down, Walmart, Home Depot, Target, and TJX are among the retailers reporting first-quarter earnings, while the government will issue monthly retail sales statistics on Tuesday. This month, consumer sentiment fell to an 11-year low.

Ukraine aid package: During an unannounced visit to Kyiv, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell stated that Congress would adopt a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine on Wednesday. “I believe one of the lessons we learned from WWII is that failing to stand up to aggressiveness early is a major mistake,” McConnell said.

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