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Today in the Market (3/20/2023)

Good Evening! U.S. markets inched higher on Monday, headed by the Dow, as a result of UBS’s agreement to acquire smaller competitor Credit Suisse in an effort to avert any market-shaking instability in global banking.

The S&P 500 increased by 0.89%, while the Dow Jones rose by 1.20% as bank stocks rallied. The Nasdaq Composite nudged up 0.39%.

THEY CONTINUE

Amazon (AMZN) is laying off an additional 9,000 employees, several months after eliminating 18,000 positions. CEO Andy Jassy said in a letter to staff that the additional layoffs would mostly affect the company’s AWS cloud services, PXT business, advertising, and Twitch online gaming platform.

Why more layoffs? Amazon had a tough year in 2022, as people began to abandon their COVID-era buying habits and return to in-person shopping. Hence, the firm, which increased its staff by a staggering 93.5% between Q4 2019 and Q3 2022, had too many staff on hand.

Again, the trend goes into 2023 for other companies… As part of their own attempts to rein down expenditure, Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and Microsoft (MSFT) let off 10,000 and 12,000 workers, respectively, at the beginning of 2023. Meta (META) revealed only last week that it would cut 10,000 employees by the end of the year and shut 5,000 positions for which it has not yet recruited.

A NEW RECORD

sea turtle, turtle, beach-1037959.jpg

The blob, made up of 10 tons of sargassum algae, is traversing the Caribbean toward Florida and has already washed up at Key West. Local towns along the Gulf of Mexico are concerned that the seaweed may force them to shut down popular tourist destinations at the height of the summer season.

What is the problem? It’s just seaweed, right? Wrong! When seaweed accumulates on a beach, it poses a major problem…

  • Out of the water, sargassum decomposes and emits rotten egg-smelling compounds. These substances can pose a concern to those with respiratory conditions.
  • There is the sheer quantity of seaweed. Brian Lapointe, an oceanographer at Florida Atlantic University, told CNN that sargassum accumulates five to six feet thick on Caribbean beaches and that Barbados needs 1,600 dump trucks daily to remove it.

Place your bets! The blobs have grown substantially since 2011. This year’s blob may set a new record.

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