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Today in the Market (1/31/2023)

Good Evening! U.S. equities climbed, capping a good month of January despite a sustained flurry of corporate results and the opening of the Federal Reserve’s most recent policy meeting.

The S&P 500 increased by 1.46%, with a monthly gain of almost 5%. The Dow Jones rose 1.09%. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.67% to finish the month up 11%. It was the strongest month for the Nasdaq since July and the best January since 2001.

DO YOU WANT FRIES WITH THAT?

McDonald’s (MCD) revealed fourth-quarter financial results that were above forecasts, with same-store sales boosted by higher menu pricing, visitor numbers, and marketing activities.

  • Revenue: $5.93 Billion vs. $5.75 Billion expected
  • Adjusted Earnings Per Share: $2.59 vs. $2.44 expected
  • U.S. Same-Store Revenue: 10.30% vs. 7.62% Expected

What caused this? McDonald’s CEO and president Chris Kempczinski said the following, “Our ‘Accelerating the Arches’ strategy is driving growth and building brand strength, delivering exceptional full-year performance in 2022 with over 10% comparable sales growth…” It does not stop there. Other reasons were higher menu pricing and ticket costs contributed to the increase. Marketing and menu promotions, and the reintroduction of the McRib, contributed to the company’s expansion.

Going forward… The United States and the chain’s worldwide operated markets division, which covers European nations such as the United Kingdom and Germany, will be the primary growth markets to focus on.

NFT LAWSUIT?

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If you forgot about NFTs, well they are back with the first significant test of how trademark law applies to non-fungible tokens and other digital designs. This started yesterday when luxury store Hermès and NFT creator Mason Rothschild squared off in court.

What started this all? Hermès claims that Rothschild infringed on its trademark by digitally displaying 100 “MetaBirkin” NFTs with fuzzy copies of its distinctive Birkin bag. Rothschild, though, maintains that MetaBirkins is a legitimate creative interpretation of the brand’s product, comparable to Andy Warhol’s prints of Campbell’s soup cans.

What has Hermès done in the meantime?  MetaBirkens premiered at Art Basel in December 2021 and were resold for tens of thousands of dollars. OpenSea, the site they were initially advertised on, removed the collection at Hermès’ request.

What would the outcome entail? The result of this case might establish a precedent in this new field, but right now regardless of who prevails, the action itself may discourage digital artists from including branded objects in their works.

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