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Today in the Market (2/22/2023)

Good Evening! Wednesday’s tumultuous trading resulted in a mixed market finish as investors poured through the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s previous meeting earlier this month for hints about the central bank’s next move.

The S&P 500 decreased by 0.16%, and the Dow Jones fell by 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite finished up 0.16%.

IS ANYONE UP FOR CHEESECAKE?

Four-quarters of Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) results came in lower than anticipated, even though customers continue to be willing to spend at restaurants despite the impact of inflation. Cheesecake Factory reported the following in comparison to Wall Street projections, according to Bloomberg consensus estimates:

  • Revenue: $892.8 Million vs. $901.86 Million Expected
  • Earnings Per Share: $0.56 vs. $0.59 Expected

David Overton, chairman, and chief executive officer described the overall performance of the fourth quarter as a “solid finish to a challenging year …“. Going forward, Overton continues that the business intends to “remain intently focused on effectively managing through higher costs and potential macro headwindsto maintain its long-term revenues and profits.

Do the forward-looking views of the CEO match up with what the investors want to see? For the most part, yes. Analysts this quarter, are interested in off-premise sales (digital and delivery sales specifically), labor improvements, and menu pricing.

FOUR OR FIVE?

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The largest-ever trial of a four-day workweek revealed the following results… The majority of participating organizations have reported excellent employee morale, productivity, and retention outcomes after six months. 92% of firms will maintain the shortened workweek.

The Trial Size? British firms in fields ranging from marketing to construction agreed to enable employees to work 80% of their typical hours for the same compensation. Approximately 2,900 people from 61 organizations participated in the trial.

Let’s see the results. Participating organizations and workers reported a variety of advantages, including 71% of respondents indicating a decrease in staff burnout. The results showed excellent productivity and performance (employers rated both a 7.5/10 across the trial). On top of that, workers had a better capacity to juggle duties at work and home (60% claimed it got easier).

Have there been other studies done? Roughly 2,500 employees in Iceland shifted to a 35- or 36-hour workday between 2015 and 2019 and experts considered it a huge success. In France, a 35-hour workweek restriction has been the norm since 2000.

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