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Today in the Market (4/6/2023)

Good Evening! Fresh data pointed to a progressive softening of labor market conditions ahead of Friday’s highly anticipated employment report, which pushed U.S. equities higher on Thursday, with tech stocks driving the Nasdaq up more than other indexes.

The S&P 500 increased by 0.36%, while the Dow Jones hovered close to the zero line by 0.01%. The Nasdaq Composite rose by 0.76%.

DO I LOOK GOOD IN THESE?

Levi Strauss (LEVI) fell today after the apparel company reported first-quarter earnings that exceeded expectations, but warned that margins would be compressed this year as a result of rising costs and a competitive sales environment.

  • Revenue: $1.69 Billion vs. $1.62 Billion Expected
  • Earnings Per Share: $0.34 vs. $0.32 Expected 

So why did LEVI fall hard today? Despite exceeding expectations in the first quarter, investors appeared unnerved by commentary regarding the remainder of the year. Levi Strauss anticipates a full-year revenue range of $6.3 Billion – $6.4 Billion, an increase of only 1.5% to 3%, indicating that revenue will be nearly unchanged for the remainder of the year. Investors appear to be reacting to the weakening economic environment and the persistently low gross margin.

Is there anything LEVI can do? Levi has been unable to defend its margins despite multiple price increases on its products due to rising costs of freight, labor, and cotton, as well as persistent supply chain disruptions. 

IT IS ABOUT TIME

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) aims to recruit over 30,000 additional staff by the end of the next fiscal year and eliminate outdated paper procedures as part of an $80 billion investment over the next decade, according to a fresh report released on Thursday.

Where do they start with this budget? Well… $6.77 billion is expected to be spent in the coming years on taxpayer services, operational support, and business modernization. That is because the government has lately come to be recognized for its dependence on paper and outmoded technology, which has caused significant hassles for taxpayers, shown by backlogs that delayed payments.

It’s a win-win right? According to authorities, the investment would enable the agency to reverse at least a decade of underfunding, provide a less irritating user experience, and go after higher-income tax cheats. The final pledge will be keenly monitored by Republicans and other agency critics.

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