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Today in the Market (12/6/2023)

Good Evening! On Wednesday, U.S. equities started strong but lost momentum, with oil prices reaching their lowest point since June.

All three indexes had a similar pattern, starting the day up and ending down, with the NASDAQ falling the most by 0.58%, the S&P 500 following with a decrease of 0.39%, and the Dow Jones closing down 0.19%.

THE AI BATTLE ISN'T OVER

The AI battle continues! Google (GOOG, GOOGL) introduced their latest Gemini generative AI model today. The platform functions as Google’s response to Microsoft-supported (MSFT) OpenAI’s GPT-4. DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis states that it is the company’s most proficient and versatile model to date.

So what is Gemini? Gemini is classified as a natively multimodal model, which implies its ability to evaluate many forms of data such as text, audio, video, pictures, and code. Google claims that Gemini distinguishes itself from other multimodal products by its comprehensive consideration of all channels from the outset. According to Hassabis, Gemini’s advantage lies in its ability to comprehend multimodal data better, resulting in superior outcomes for many types of information, including handwritten text, photos, and videos.

It comes in three flavors! Google is introducing three distinct iterations of Gemini: Gemini Ultra, Gemini Pro, and Gemini Nano. Gemini Ultra is the most advanced version of the AI model designed by Google specifically for very intricate jobs in data centers. Gemini Pro is the intermediate variant of the product, while Nano is the specifically tailored version for smartphones like Google’s Pixel 8 Pro.

BIGGER MAC

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McDonald’s (MCD) has declared its intention to have a worldwide presence in 50,000 locations by 2027, which would be the most rapid expansion in its history. Additionally, the company plans to invest in technology, loyalty programs, and other areas.

Why now? McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said that after updating its current 41,198 global locations, the firm is now ready to take advantage of the opportunity and construct new restaurants. Also, the company intends to take advantage of the growing trend among customers to seek value in 2024.

So where do they want the new restaurants? The newest update included the addition of 900 new locations in the United States, 1,900 in overseas areas where the company directly manages its own restaurants, and 7,000 in international markets where it operates via licensed partners. More than 50% of the 7,000 new additions will be located in China, a country that Kempczinski believes has the potential to become McDonald’s biggest market in the future.

Why China? China has served as a crucial arena for American chains, including big names such as Starbucks (SBUX) and Yum Brands (YUM), the owner of KFC & Tacobell. Kempczinski had a positive perspective on China, citing three key factors: the opportunity to expand the number of restaurants, increase same-store sales, and enhance profit margins.

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