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Today in the Market (3/17/2023)

Good Evening! Stocks fell across the board on Friday, with financial stocks at the epicenter of selling pressure, a day after a consortium of 11 major U.S. banks banded together to deposit $30 billion into First Republic (FRC) in an effort to stabilize the banking system.

The S&P 500 was down 1.10%, the Dow Jones was down 1.19%, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.74%.

EARNINGS

Dollar General (DG) is seeing an increase in customers above its “core” income bracket. According to CEO Jeff Owen, the retail chain is seeing strong consumer demand and gaining market share as Americans look to save money in the face of inflation. “Customers and income brackets above our core customers [are] shopping with us at an increasing rate,” he said during an earnings call with analysts.

  • Revenue: $10.20 Billion vs. $10.24 Billion Expected
  • Earnings Per Share: $2.96 vs. $2.99 Expected

How are they getting there? Dollar General has invested in its DG Fresh Facilities to increase the self-distribution of frozen and refrigerated products like dairy, deli, and frozen. It now has 12 facilities that deliver perishable items to over 19,000 locations as of the fourth quarter. Dollar General offered fresh produce in more than 3,200 stores at the end of 2022, with plans to expand the offering to more than 5,000 stores by the end of 2023.

64 IS THE NEW 62?

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Despite widespread opposition, French President Emmanuel Macron and his allies utilized executive power to skip Parliament and increase France’s official retirement age from 62 to 64.

Why are they doing this? Macron, who is ten months into his second five-year term, campaigned on increasing the official retirement age in order to keep France’s depleting pension system afloat. He and his allies have emphasized that French people are living three years longer than a few decades ago and that the retirement age should reflect that.

What happens next? French Legislators who oppose the move are planning a no-confidence vote, which if successful would effectively cripple Macron’s capacity to act in the future and reverse the retirement age increase. What are the chances of it happening? Not very high. Many prior no-confidence motions have failed during Macron’s term. But, unions have pledged to continue demonstrations and “take things up a gear” in response to Macron’s decision.

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