Today in the Market (1/4/2024)

Good Morning! The decline in U.S. markets continued on Thursday as equities faced difficulty recovering from a poor start to the year. The S&P 500 was green all day until the last hour, falling by 0.34%, while the Dow Jones barely secured an up day by 0.03%. However, it was mainly all red for the Nasdaq and finished down by 0.56%.

ALMOST A 50% CUT!

The stock of Walgreens (WBA) had a decline of up to 12% on Thursday but later recovered some of its losses. This drop occurred when the company announced a significant reduction in its dividend, cutting it by 48% from $0.48 per share to $0.25 per share.

But why? The new CEO, Tim Wentworth, who previously served as the CEO of Express Scripts (CI), said that the choice to make this move was challenging but important. The board of directors approved this decision, as it aligns with the company’s objective to renovate its shops and strengthen its position as a major player in the retail industry.

What other moves is the company making? Walgreens, the second-biggest retail drugstore chain, has lately expanded its healthcare services and clinical trial capabilities. This has led to speculation that the firm may follow in the footsteps of its competitor, CVS (CVS), which entered the insurance industry by purchasing Aetna.

30 YEARS SINCE THE LAST CHANGE?

Microsoft (MSFT) is reinforcing its commitment to AI by introducing a new keyboard key exclusively designed for the company’s Windows Copilot. Microsoft’s OEM partners will start incorporating the Copilot key, the first upgrade to the Windows PC keyboard in over three decades, onto laptops and desktop keyboards starting in February.

What is the purpose of it? Yusuf Mehdi, the corporate vice president and consumer chief marketing officer at Microsoft, explains that tapping the key will activate Copilot. This feature enables users to search for online information, their own content, and basic PC functionalities using the app’s generative AI technology. Just like hitting the Windows button.

But why is this a big deal? Microsoft is demonstrating its belief in the essential connection between generative AI and the future of personal computing by persuading its hardware partners to include a Copilot key in their laptops and desktops. If you didn’t know… Microsoft’s most recent addition to their keyboard keys was the introduction of the Windows key in 1994. So this doesn’t happen often!

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