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Today in the Market (8/17/2022)

Good Evening. On Wednesday, U.S. equities ended the day lower overall, with the tech sector leading markets lower after recent optimism petered out.

The Nasdaq was down 1.25%, the S&P 500 was down 0.72%, and the Dow was down 0.50% at closing.

EARNINGS AREN'T OVER YET

As Target (TGT) battled a three-headed monster attacking profits. This includes deep discounts on removing slow-moving inventory in apparel and electronics, high levels of inflation from vendors, and a more wary consumer.

  • Net Sales: $26 billion vs. $25.84 billion expected

  • Gross Profit Margin: 21.5% vs. 24.2% expected

  • Diluted EPS: $0.39 vs. $0.73 expected

On the bright side, Target CEO Brian Cornell and CFO Michael Fiddelke expressed optimism about the company’s prospects for back-to-school, Halloween, and the holiday season on a conference call with reporters. The two also emphasized that Target has finished most of its rigorous inventory level adjustments, which severely hurt second-quarter profits.

Overall, compared to rival Walmart, which reported less relative profit margin pressure and a little improvement in sales late in the second quarter. The earnings shortfall came with a slightly different tone surrounding the company.

HEARING AIDS BECOME MORE ATTAINABLE

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The FDA approved the long-requested request of consumers who were fed up with the high costs of tests and devices to be able to purchase hearing aids over the counter without a prescription for adults.

Millions of Americans have been deterred from purchasing hearing aids due to the expensive cost of the devices, which are not covered by basic Medicare. Untreated hearing loss, according to medical professionals, can contribute to cognitive decline and despair in elderly persons.

The FDA’s new regulation should allow consumers with mild to moderate hearing loss to purchase hearing aids online and in physical locations as early as October without having to visit a doctor for an examination and obtain a prescription. According to research cited by the FDA, just approximately one-fifth of the 30 million Americans who suffer from hearing loss receive assistance.

In 60 days, the ruling rule will come into force. Device manufacturers are essentially prepared to introduce new goods. According to industry representatives, some may need more time to update labeling and packaging or to adhere to technical requirements in the rule.

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