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Today in the Market (1/11/2024)

Good Morning! On Thursday, U.S. equities rebounded from previous declines and closed the day with little change after a recent report on December inflation exceeded analysts’ expectations, leading to uncertainties about the Federal Reserve’s approach to interest rates. 

The S&P 500 almost made a full comeback but finished lower by 0.07%, while the Dow Jones and NASDAQ finished barely in the green by 0.04% & 0.00% (up by $0.54), respectively. 

EV DECLINE?

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (HTZ) intends to sell one-third of its electric vehicle fleet in the U.S. and use the proceeds towards acquiring gas-powered automobiles. This decision is prompted by the lackluster demand and excessive maintenance expenses associated with its battery-powered alternatives.

So how many EVs are they selling? The rental company said in a regulatory filing that sales of 20,000 electric vehicles (EVs) had started last month and would persist till 2024. Hertz will report a non-cash charge of about $245 million in its fourth-quarter financial results, specifically for additional net depreciation expenditure.

Why does this matter? The sudden reversal, after Hertz’s 2021 announcement to purchase 100,000 Tesla Inc. vehicles, highlights the declining interest in EVs in the U.S. The growth of EV sales had a significant deceleration during 2023, with an increase of just 1.3% in the last quarter. The increased costs and loan rates may be to blame for this slowdown.

LET'S GO SHOPPING!

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OpenAI has introduced the GPT shop, a platform that allows paying users of ChatGPT to exchange their own customized bots, referred to as GPTs, or get others’ bots at no cost. The store’s opening, originally scheduled for November, was postponed due to the controversy surrounding the Sam Altman-OpenAI board kerfuffle.

What will you find? OpenAI reports that there are already three million customized chatbots in existence. These include a chatbot developed by AllTrails that provides recommendations for hiking trails, as well as a chatbot specifically designed to generate blog entries that are optimized for search engine optimization (SEO). The GPTs in the shop are classified according to their specific functions, such as writing or productivity. Additionally, the business intends to provide a scoreboard in the future to showcase the highest-performing GPTs.

However, there are still questions to be answered… First is the method of payment for builders. OpenAI has said that it will unveil a payment structure within the first quarter, which will depend on user participation. However, they have not provided any more information about this.

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