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Today in the Market (2/20/2024)

Good Morning! On Tuesday, U.S. equities ended the day with losses as investors awaited earnings reports from major retailers to gauge consumer strength amid uncertainty over the likelihood of a smooth economic slowdown.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were red all day by 0.60% & 0.92%, respectively, while the Dow Jones only decreased by 0.17%.


Walmart (WMT) is enhancing its advertising and media operations to rival Amazon Prime (AMZN). But how? The business announced its intention to purchase Vizio (VZIO), a smart TV manufacturer, for $2.3 billion, equivalent to $11.50 per share. According to experts, this action is expected to expedite the growth of Walmart’s retail media company, Walmart Connect, which increased fourth-quarter revenues by 22% compared to the previous year in the US.

But there’s more! Walmart will use TV viewing statistics to promote its items across its many platforms. The shop may potentially engage in direct e-commerce sales via the linked TV platform, seizing a significant opportunity due to the ongoing trend of people abandoning traditional cable services. This move would also enable the retailer to get more data on its audience and customers.

What else? The biggest retailer in America said that it views Vizio as a significant opportunity for data and advertising influence. Also, Vizio’s stock rose by over 15%, while its competitor Roku (ROKU) dropped by around 7% due to investor speculation about a potential loss of market share in the streaming technology sector.


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Speaking of deals… Capital One announced its acquisition of Discover Financial Services in a $35.3 billion megadeal that may impact how consumers choose their credit cards. A merger between Capital One and Discover would result in Capital One becoming the top credit card firm in the US based on loan volume, surpassing JPMorgan and Citigroup. Also, it is one of the biggest deals in the banking industry since the 2008 financial crisis.

Why Discover, though? Discover is a unique company that issues credit cards and also maintains a payment network, enabling transactions between issuers and retailers. Capital One CEO Richard Fairbank expressed his intention to create a competitive payments network by including Discover, aiming to rival industry giants like Visa and Mastercard.

However, it won’t be that easy… Authorities will closely examine this transaction to check for antitrust issues. As of last week, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director (CFPB) Rohit Chopra had warned about the lack of competition in the credit card market, which this deal would rank as the sixth-largest bank by assets.  

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