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Today in the Market (7/21/2023)

Good Evening! On Friday, the stock market experienced minimal changes, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average achieving its tenth consecutive day of gains. Additionally, there was a partial recovery observed in the technology sector, as investors evaluated the ongoing second-quarter earnings season.

The three indexes are the day with small changes with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones finishing up 0.03% and 0.01% respectively. However, the Nasdaq Composite ended the day down by 0.22%

PRICE INCREASE?

There is a possibility of an impending increase in the pricing of Spotify (SPOT). As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Spotify intends to raise the cost of its premium subscription plan, which offers an ad-free experience, by $1 in the U.S., resulting in a monthly fee of $10.99. This adjustment has been eagerly anticipated as the company strives to enhance its profitability.

The industry has been doing it already. It was widely anticipated by analysts that the streaming service would eventually announce an increase in prices, particularly in light of recent price hikes at Apple Music (AAPL), Amazon Music (AMZN), and most recently YouTube Music (GOOGL). On Thursday, YouTube implemented a price increase for its ad-free YouTube Premium plan and YouTube Music Premium plan, setting the new monthly rates at $13.99 and $10.99, respectively.

When should we get confirmation? Spotify is scheduled to disclose its quarterly financial results on Tuesday. There is anticipation that the company will disclose the increase in price during the coming quarterly earnings announcement.

WHEAT PRICE INCREASE

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Throughout the course of the week, Russia has engaged in military actions targeting the port cities of Ukraine subsequent to its withdrawal from a previously established one-year agreement. This agreement enabled the secure transportation of grain from Ukraine via cargo ships traversing the Black Sea.

What does this mean for Ukraine? Ukraine holds a prominent position as a significant global supplier of wheat, corn, and oilseeds, particularly to nations in Africa and the Middle East. Consequently, the prices of these grains have experienced a substantial increase due to concerns surrounding potential shortages.

So what happened? On Monday, Russia formally withdrew from the UN-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative. However, it was not until Wednesday that a significant impact was observed, as Russia expressed the possibility of treating any cargo ship bound for Ukraine as a hostile entity, resulting in an abrupt 8.5% increase in wheat prices. This marked the most substantial daily surge in numbers since the invasion of Russia in February 2022.

What is the current state of the situation? Traders assert that the potential global grain shortage is unlikely due to Ukraine’s ability to transport grain through the European Union using road and rail networks. However, it should be noted that these alternative transportation routes tend to be more expensive.

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