Today in the Market (5/17/2023)

Good Evening! On Wednesday, the stock market experienced a significant increase as investors maintained optimism regarding the potential for a resolution to the debt-ceiling negotiations between President Joe Biden and congressional leaders.

The S&P 500 experienced a 1.19% increase. Similarly, the Dow Jones gained 1.24%. The Nasdaq Composite recorded the highest percentage increase among each of the benchmarks, standing at 1.28%.

OUR TARGET IS TARGET

Major thefts have started to “target” Target (TGT), which is reducing revenues significantly.

How severe are we talking? The company predicted that inventory shrinkage, mostly merchandise theft, would significantly reduce revenues by $500 million this year in its financial statement on Wednesday. Target is projected to lose $1.2 billion in earnings after accounting for an estimated $700 million blow from inventory shrinkage in 2022.

Sadly, it’s not just Target… According to a late-2022 analysis by the National Retail Federation (NRF), losses from goods stolen from retailers resulted in $94.5 billion in losses in 2021, up from $90.8 billion in 2020.

So is there any solution? Target is considering leaving high-crime areas and plans to enhance employee training and increase the number of “asset protection” staff at these locations. The company, like other large retail chains, has implemented the practice of securing products such as mouthwash as a measure to mitigate theft.

AI WANTS YOUR VOICE

A new feature is set to launch this year for Apple devices that will enable users to generate a digital replica of their voice for communicating with friends or family.

So why? Apple introduced several upcoming accessibility features yesterday, including “Personal Voice”. The purpose of this technology is to assist individuals with medical conditions, such as ALS, that may result in the loss of their ability to communicate verbally.

Is it easy to set up? According to Apple, upon spending 15 minutes reading text prompts into an iPhone or iPad, the user’s digital voice should be ready to go. They aren’t stopping there though. There will also be a new feature called “Live Speech”, which enables a device to audibly read out typed messages.

The big question though, could someone steal your voice? It is understandable to express concerns regarding the creation of deep fakes featuring one’s own voice. According to Apple, the feature will utilize on-device machine learning to safeguard user privacy, which will avoid the storage of your voice data in the cloud, which could be susceptible to hacking.

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