Today in the Market (12/2/2022)

Good Evening. Investors’ assumptions over when the Federal Reserve would halt its rate-hiking campaign were reassessed in response to stronger-than-anticipated employment statistics. As a result, U.S. markets ended Friday with a mixed performance.

The S&P 500 decreased by 0.12%, while the Dow Jones increased by 0.10%. The Nasdaq Composite decreased by 0.18%. Immediately after the announcement, all three main sessions were off-session lows by more than 1%.

RESTAURANTS EARNINGS

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBRL) plummeted on Friday after the firm released financial results for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2023 and downgraded its outlook for the remainder of the year.

Let’s look at it from the top line first… The revenue for the first quarter was about $840 million, a 7% increase year-over-year. But the gain was nearly entirely attributable to a 7.8% rise in menu pricing.

What about the bottom line?  In the best of circumstances, Cracker Barrel’s profit margins are narrow, like those of most restaurants. However, the company’s operating income decreased by 45% year-over-year to $23.6 million, mostly as a result of inflationary pressures on its costs.

What’s next? In fiscal 2023, Cracker Barrel anticipates growth through the launch of up to four additional Cracker Barrel stores and up to 20 new Maple Street Biscuit Company locations. However, this expansion is modest given that the company currently has over 660 locations.

SEMI EV ENTERING THE MARKET

Tesla (TSLA) introduced the long-awaited production version of the Tesla Semi, an all-electric class 8 commercial semi-truck. The celebration, held at Tesla’s Giga Nevada production, commemorated the first deliveries of the Tesla Semi to client Pepsi, who will use the truck to distribute Frito-Lay goods from its Modesto, California location.

What makes it unique? In addition to its range (500 miles on one charge)and payload capacity, Tesla claims that the Semi has three times the power of a diesel vehicle while consuming less than 2 kWh per mile.

How much does it cost? Prices were not mentioned during the ceremony, although Tesla said that the Semi will cost $180,000 when it arrived in 2017. In this instance, the effect of the Inflation Reduction Act is a new variable, providing $40,000 in incentives for clean energy commercial cars. Given the federal government’s new incentives, it is probable that Tesla will be able to increase the price of the truck.

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