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Today in the Market (8/15/2023)

Good Evening! On Tuesday, there was a worldwide sell-off in US markets, coinciding with the start of a retail-focused week that demonstrated the ongoing consumer resilience in the US. However, China presented a bleak outlook for its economy, which holds the spot of the world’s second-largest economy.

The market ended the day with all three indexes falling more than 1% with the Dow Jones decreasing by 1.02%, the Nasdaq Composite sliding by 1.14%, and the S&P 500 declining by 1.16%.

REMODELING THE OUTLOOK

Home Depot (HD) reported earnings that slightly surpass profit expectations. This outcome was linked to a decrease in consumer expenditure on high-value discretionary products. In general, there seems to be a decreased level of consumer interest in house improvement, which might be related to the current higher interest rates.

  • Revenue: $42.92 Billion vs. $42.12 Billion Expected
  • Same-Store Sales: -2.0% vs. -3.64% Expected
  • Average Ticket Growth: up 0.1% vs. up 0.56% Expected
  • Earnings Per Share: $4.46 vs. $4.45 Expected

Home Depot is remodeling its outlook. Home Depot restated its projection for a decline in full-year sales ranging from 2% to 5% in comparison to fiscal year 2022. It is anticipated that there would be a decline in earnings ranging from 7% to 13% as well. The rationale for this decision stems from the CEO, Ted Decker’s concerns over the broader economic environment. Decker stated the following, “We don’t know how the monetary policy actions, which are specifically intended to dampen consumer demand, what that impact will ultimately have on consumer sentiment in the overall economy.”

However, there is some good news! The board of directors of Home Depot has additionally authorized a share buyback program worth $15 billion, set to commence on August 15, with the aim of improving the company’s stock price.

SIGNIFICANT DECLINE IN CABLE

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Based on the most recent statistics provided by Nielsen, linear television viewing had declined below the 50% threshold in the month of July, marking an important development. Both broadcast and cable television saw a significant decline, reaching all-time lows of 20% and 29.6% of total TV consumption, respectively.

On the flip side… According to the data, the duration of streaming activities via television had a 2.9% growth in July as compared to June, resulting in a new milestone of 38.7% of overall television use. In the month of July, YouTube (GOOGL), Netflix (NFLX), and Amazon Prime Video (AMZN) had a rise in viewing, with respective increases of 5.6%, 4.2%, and 5% compared to the previous month.

Why is this happening? The data reveals a growing trend known as cord-cutting, in which an increasing number of customers are abandoning their cable bundles in favor of streaming services. However, this shift poses a challenge for media businesses, given streaming services are often associated with lower profitability.

However… it should be noted that streaming services haven’t shown exceptional performance either. Macquarie analyst Tim Nollen reports that the collective subscription counts of major direct-to-consumer services such as Peacock, Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Paramount+, Max, and Discovery+ have seen a decline of around 500,000 subscribers.

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