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Today in the Market (8/29/2023)

Good Evening! On Tuesday, stock prices surged, largely a response to recently released data indicating a slowdown in the labor market.  Market watchers believe a slowdown in the labor market precedes future rate decreases.

The S&P 500 saw a gradual increase throughout the day, topping off at a healthy 1.45%.  The Dow Jones rose by 0.85%. The Nasdaq Composite posted the most gains, ending the day up 1.74%.

SETTING EXPECTATIONS LOW

Best Buy (BBY) had a 3.86% increase in its share value during the trading day, mostly due to second-quarter results exceeding consensus projections by a significant margin. However, with the lack of optimism around Best Buy’s financial performance shown in its May earnings announcement, Wall Street had low expectations for the company’s financial results to begin with.

  • Revenue: $9.58 Billion vs. $9.53 Billion Expected
    • Same Store Sales: -6.2% vs. -6.4% Expected
  • Earnings Per Share: $1.22 vs. $1.07 Expected

However… upon closer examination, it can be seen that the store continues to face challenges in the evolving customer landscape with increased interest rates and persistent inflation. Consumers are more focused on choosing vacations over goods which isn’t helping discretionary goods businesses like Best Buy

It sadly doesn’t stop there… the company reported significant decreases in sales across phones, electronics, and appliances. Additionally, Q3 sales predictions indicates that the start of the back-to-school electronics shopping season is off to a sluggish start.

TRAVEL SEASON IS UPON US

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Speaking of travel… Google made an announcement stating that the optimal period to make plans for Thanksgiving or mid-December flights this year is to start in early October. Google’s travel-booking service, Google Flights, predicts travel prices will be lowest 71 days before departure.  Down from last year’s lowest average 22 days before takeoff.  Stressed about getting the best fare, don’t worry though, Google is here to help!

So how does Google Flights try to get you the best prices for this holiday season?

  • Optimal timing – With the current improvement, some listings now include a specific range of dates during which flights are expected to be the most affordable.
  • Monitoring Price Changes – The opt-in notifications function serves to notify users of price reductions on specified dates or within a time frame ranging from three to six months.
  • Price Guarantee (the best feature) – The appearance of a colorful emblem next to some flights indicates that in the event of a reduction in ticket price following the completion of the purchase transaction, Google will reimburse via the use of Google Pay.

Why is Google doing this? These upgrades are directed at competing airline ticket providers such as Kayak and Hopper. Even though these firms also provide comparable capabilities, they impose additional charges for their respective price guarantee offerings.

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