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Today in the Market (5/19/2023)

Good Evening! On Friday, the stock market experienced a decline due to the impasse in the debt ceiling negotiations in Washington and investors’ analysis of the first-quarter earnings season, which turned out to be better than anticipated.

The S&P 500 experienced a decrease of 0.14%, while the Dow Jones fell the most by 0.33%. The Nasdaq Composite slid by 0.24%.

SINCE WHEN?

Foot Locker (FL) experienced a significant decline of 27% in its stock value due to the company’s decision to reduce its full-year sales forecast. This decision was made in light of the underperformance of same-store sales in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year.

So how bad is it? Foot Locker has projected a decline in comparable store sales of up to 9% for the year, which is a significant change from their initial guidance of no more than a 5.5% decline. Since 2010, the footwear retailer has not experienced a same-store sales decline exceeding 6% for any given year.

What is the reasoning? Executives are indicating a shift away from discretionary spending, resulting in a decline in the leading sporting goods category. This scenario is posing a challenge for athletic apparel companies seeking a rebound.

Going forward… Foot Locker is seeking to expand its market share in the expanding sneaker culture by offering a greater number of exclusive products. According to Foot Locker, it plans to reinvigorate its collaboration with Nike beyond 2023 but anticipates that Nike will constitute a reduced proportion of its total sales in the forthcoming years.

THE SOLUTION WE BEEN WAITING FOR?

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced its intention to conduct a trial of its proprietary tax preparation software in the coming year.

The proposed plan may pose a significant threat to the tax preparation industry, valued at $14.3 billion by IBISWorld, potentially affecting TurboTax, H&R Block, and other companies in the sector

Would it be a good idea? Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other supporters of the direct filing have argued that utilizing a .gov website for tax return preparation would enhance the ease and affordability of the process for U.S. citizens. According to IRS estimates, the cost to the government per taxpayer is only $10, which is significantly lower than TurboTax’s least expensive paid option of $69.

Looking forward… The direct-file tool could take several years before it becomes widely adopted by millions of Americans during tax season if it gains acceptance at all. There are speculations that the IRS might eventually introduce automatic tax deductions, eliminating the need for a tax return, similar to systems implemented in countries like the UK, Japan, and Germany after the implementation of direct filing.

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