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Today in the Market (2/28/2023)

Good Evening! Tuesday was the last day in a turbulent month of February on Wall Street for U.S. equities.

The S&P 500 was down 0.30%, while the Dow Jones fell 0.71%. However, the Nasdaq Composite only fell by 0.10%.

DIVERSIFICATION CAN GO A LONG WAY

As consumer spending turns away from discretionary categories, Target (TGT) reported fiscal fourth-quarter profits above projections. Especially with what remains a “very challenging environment,” Target CEO Brian Cornell expressed his team’s satisfaction with the sales gain.

  • Revenue: $31.40 Billion vs. $30.46 Billion Expected
  • Same Store Sales: 0.7% vs. -1.74% Expected
  • Earnings Per Share: $1.89 vs. $1.48 Expected

Diversification in products? Cornell said that having several category offers, including food & beverage in addition to beauty and home goods, benefited the shop during the previous quarter.

Looking ahead! The company is focusing on its long-term plan and “continued differentiation through affordability, assortment, ease, and convenience,” according to Cornell. On top of that, in the following three years, the firm aspires to surpass its pre-pandemic operating income margin rate of 6%, with the possibility of achieving this objective as early as fiscal 2024.

PART-TIME VS. FULL-TIME

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According to statistics evaluated by the WSJ from the Labor Department, more than a million people entered part-time employment in December and January, with the majority opting for temporary work over full-time.

Let’s look deeper into the data… As of last month, nearly 22 million part-time workers deliberately worked less than 35 hours per week, compared to just 4 million who sought full-time hours but were unable to get them. According to the WSJ, this is a 6 to 1 ratio and is the highest it has been in twenty years.

But, Why? Early in the pandemic, when layoffs shook the economy, the percentage of people working part-time “for economic reasons,” as classified by the Labor Bureau, increased and peaked in April 2020. After that, however, the mood shifted: an increasing number of individuals chose to work part-time “for noneconomic reasons,” such as caring and personal health.

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