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Today in the Market (8/31/2022)

Good Evening. U.S. stocks fell during a tumultuous session on Wednesday as concerns over the Federal Reserve’s aggressive approach to containing inflation persisted in the market.

The Dow Jones fell 0.88%, while the S&P 500 fell 0.78%. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.56%. Much of the relief surge from the summer has been wiped out by recent stock market volatility, with the S&P 500 officially wiping out half of its rise since mid-June.

MEMBERSHIP INCREASE INCOMING...

Walmart (WMT) said it would increase the annual costs for both categories of its Sam’s Club memberships. The new annual fees are scheduled to go into effect on October 17. Club members’ annual dues will increase from $45 to $50, while Plus members’ dues will increase from $100 to $110.

What about Costco? A $60 annual fee is required for the entry-level “Basic” membership at the rival Costco (COST), and $120 is required for the “Gold” membership. According to Wall Street analysts, Costco typically increases its membership cost every five years, with the most recent price rise being in 2017.

Walmart hasn’t changed the price of less-expensive Club memberships in nine years, which is the first price increase for Plus memberships since they were initially offered in 1999. Why are they doing this? The firm claimed that the price increases are due to the addition of new brands to the club and increased technology investments and upgrades throughout all 600 sites. The business also introduced a new rewards program earlier this year.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'

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After several decades of research, authorities are beginning to realize that letting high school students dissect a frog at 7:15 am on a Tuesday may not be the best course of action. In California, all public high schools in the state must open no earlier than 8:30 am, per a new state rule that went into effect this school year and is the first in the nation.

Why wait? It’s not ideal to have to catch the bus while it’s still dark outside because science suggests that teenagers need more sleep. Only 22% of high school students reported getting eight hours of sleep on school nights, according to a 2019 CDC poll. Research by the CDC in April indicated that sleep deprivation has an impact on mental health and that 44% of high school students experience “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness.”

Is it effective to start later? It appears so. The start time for Seattle public schools changed in 2016 from 7:50 to 8:45, giving students an average of 34 more minutes of sleep. After starting later, students in a school district in the Denver suburbs on average clocked 45 extra minutes of sleep.

Zoom out: Similar legislation that would advance start times for schools is being worked on in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, and the US Virgin Islands.

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