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Today in the Market (12/7/2023)

Good Evening! On Thursday, tech stocks in the U.S. took the lead, pushing the major indexes up. The NASDAQ and S&P 500 closed up 1.37% & 0.80%, respectively. The Dow Jones struggled to keep up, only increasing 0.17%.

BIG PACKAGE

The competition among streaming platforms has intensified significantly, resulting in an increase in advertisements, increased subscription fees, and more rivalry as companies strive to achieve profitability and attract paying subscribers. And with that, given the multitude of options now accessible to customers, it seems that the media industry is returning to the previous model of cable TV bundles, which streaming services first aimed to disrupt. But how so?

The hero we needed all along! Verizon (VZ) has declared its intention to provide a $10 package that combines the ad-supported subscriptions of Netflix (NFLX) and Warner Bros. Discovery’s (WBD) Max streaming services, which would result in savings of over 40%. However, the bundle is only offered to Verizon’s MyPlan subscribers. On top of that, the company will also provide a supplementary package that merges the ad-free Disney+ subscription with the ad-supported levels of Hulu, ESPN+, Netflix, and Max for a monthly fee of $20. Talk about savings! #NotSponsored

This isn’t new, but it is always appreciated! Recently, companies in this industry have begun providing their own services. Apple, for example, has a package called Apple One that combines Apple TV+ with other services, such as Apple Music and Apple Arcade.

 

BE CAREFUL!

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MIT researcher Stuart Madnick‘s recent analysis reveals a higher number of recorded ransomware attacks in the first nine months of 2023 compared to all of 2022. The analysis, financed by Apple (AAPL) but authored independently by Madnick, highlights a significant surge in cyberattacks, affecting up to 360 million individuals as of August.

But why has there been an increase? Madnick suggests that the increase in ransomware attacks may be due to the growing sophistication of ransomware groups, which now function as organized criminal gangs. These groups specifically focus on infiltrating institutions that own vital user data, such as government and healthcare facilities. Another factor contributing to the increase, as stated by Madnick, is the growing use of secondary suppliers by cybercriminals to infiltrate their primary targets.

Here are just a few examples… Madnick also highlights many recent instances of significant cyber attacks, such as the breach of 23andMe in October, the hacking of Discord in August, and the targeted attacks on Microsoft’s Outlook and Exchange networks.

But what can be done? Examine thoroughly any email, text messages, and phone calls you get from unfamiliar sources. Disregard any hyperlinks in an email requesting you to access your Amazon (AMZN), Best Buy (BBY), Apple, Google, Microsoft, or any other account. Instead, directly log into your account via the official websites of these businesses.

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