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Today in the Market (11/2/2022)

Good Evening. In volatile trading on Wednesday afternoon, U.S. stocks declined following the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise its benchmark policy rate by 75 basis points for the fourth consecutive time — in line with market expectations — and Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments indicating that the U.S. central bank was unlikely to change policy anytime soon.

The S&P 500 fell 2.50%, while the Dow Jones fell 1.55%. The Nasdaq Composite declined 3.36%.

A PRICE INCREASE IS COMING... BUT WHEN?

Paramount Global (PARA) posted results for the third quarter that fell short of estimates, as the industry grapples with adverse linear TV trends and a downturn in advertising spending.

  • Revenue: $6.92 Billion vs. $7.06 Billion expected
  • Earnings Per Share: $0.39 vs. $0.46 expected
  • Paramount+ subscriber net additions: 4.6 Million vs. 3.25 Million expected

Why the decline? Due to increased investments in content, marketing, and foreign expansion, profits declined. As macroeconomic headwinds intensify, weak advertising revenue, which fell 2% in the quarter, also weighed on the company’s bottom line.

Going forward, during the earnings call, Paramount CEO Bob Bakish praised the company’s outstanding content offerings, doubling down on franchises and forecasting potential subscriber growth momentum. The CEO, who had previously told Yahoo Finance that streaming fees would increase, affirmed future price hikes but did not provide a timeframe.

GAMING INDUSTRY

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The latest installment of Activision Blizzard’s flagship franchise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, was released. Despite a widespread slowdown in the gaming industry, the game’s first three days of full release generated $800 million in sales, a new record. That’s enough to give Modern Warfare II the strongest opening weekend of any Call of Duty game in the franchise’s 19-year history, and it’s a significant improvement over last year’s lackluster entry, Call of Duty: Vanguard.

What factors are contributing to Modern Warfare II’s impressive debut? Well, it has a price tag of $69.99 (the new standard), consumers who preordered were able to play eight days before launch, and its skill-based matchmaking in multiplayer mode has made online play less frustrating for casual players (like me).

The performance of Modern Warfare II could have a lasting impact on the video game industry. Antitrust regulators are still tasked with approving Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision and are examining the series closely out of concern that it could become Xbox-exclusive (which Mircosoft stated it wouldn’t).

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