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Today in the Market (12/18/2023)

Good Evening! On Monday, U.S. equities increased slightly, continuing a seven-week upward trend. The S&P 500 was up 0.45%, while the NASDAQ rose 0.61%. The Dow Jones, however, barely ended in the green, up $0.86 or 0.00%.

GET THEM WHILE YOU CAN!

Apple’s (AAPL) stock fell almost 1% before recovering barely on Monday after the company announced it would cease the sale of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 towards the end of the month. Apple will discontinue the sale of the watches on its online shops by the afternoon of December 21st and in physical stores by December 24th.

Why did this happen? The dispute over the watch revolves around a patent dispute between Apple and Masimo (MASI) about the alleged unfair use of Masimo’s blood oxygen sensor technology by Apple in its gadgets. So, with that, the watches are being withdrawn as a result of the International Trade Commission (ITC) issuing cease-and-desist and limited exclusion orders to Masimo. These orders prohibit Apple from importing and selling the Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches in the U.S.

If you were still looking for one, you still have some time! If you visit another location (for instance Best Buy) that has the watches available, you will still be able to purchase them after December 21st and December 24th. However, once the existing inventories are depleted, Apple will no longer be allowed to import any of the watches to the U.S.

 

FOOD FRAUD?

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The FDA is currently looking into whether “economically motivated adulteration,” also known as food fraud, was to blame for the increased lead levels found in some cinnamon applesauce, which injured up to 125 children in the U.S.

But what is food fraud? Food adulteration refers to the practice of a manufacturer manipulating the contents of a food product to achieve a competitive advantage. According to some estimations, this kind of deception has the potential to incur losses of up to $40 billion annually for the worldwide food sector.

So who does this involve? The investigation is focusing only on a solitary manufacturing plant located in Ecuador, which has connections to the cinnamon applesauce pouches marketed under three distinct brands—Weis, WanaBana, and Schnucks—which were recalled in November.

So what was the crucial ingredient getting changed? Cinnamon! According to food safety experts interviewed by the NYT, lead may be intentionally added to spices that have a reddish tint in order to raise their weight, hence making them more expensive. Additionally, lead may also be used to enhance the vibrancy of the red color in certain spices. But why now? The FDA does not currently conduct lead testing on food imported or manufactured in the U.S., a practice that opponents argue exposes children who consume these items to potential harm.

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