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Today in the Market (2/21/2024)

Good Morning! On Wednesday, U.S. equities had a late surge as investors awaited important earnings from Nvidia (NVDA), while also analyzing the Federal Reserve minutes, emphasizing the central bank’s cautious approach towards interest rate cuts.

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones both finished above by 0.13% in the last hour of trading, while the NASDAQ stayed in the red by 0.32%.

HOW FAR WILL NVIDIA GO?

Nvidia (NVDA) released its fourth-quarter financial results on Wednesday after the market closed, surpassing analysts’ forecasts for both revenue and profit, which sent the stock up over 8% in after-hours trading!

  • Revenue: $22.1 Billion vs. $20.4 Billion Expected
    • Data Center Revenue: $18.4 Billion vs. $17.2 Billion Expected
    • Gaming Revenue: $2.9 Billion vs. $2.7 Billion Expected
  • Adjusted Earnings Per Share: $5.16 vs. $4.60 Expected

No company is perfect! Although Nvidia exceeded expectations overall, CFO Colette Kress mentioned a decline in data center revenue from China in Q4 owing to U.S. licensing regulations. The U.S. has prohibited the sale of certain Nvidia processors to China due to concerns about their potential use for military purposes.

How is Nvidia doing compared to its competitors? Well… in the last year, Nvidia’s stock has surged over 200%, surpassing AMD Inc. (AMD) at 109% and Intel (INTC) at 57%, due to its dominant role as the top A chip manufacturer globally.

BUY NOW, PAY LATER MAY HURT IN THE LONG RUN

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Americans are facing difficulties in reducing their debt, and a recent study report indicates that the increasing use of buy now, pay later services could increase the financial challenges for individuals already in distress.

So who uses these services the most? According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, individuals who have a credit score below 620 were almost three times more inclined than financially secure individuals to utilize the buy now, pay later service five or more times in the past year.

But why is it hard to get out of this burden? Millions of Americans are facing credit card debt and persistent inflation, making it difficult for young individuals to pay their bills on time. It also sparked worries about the potential consequences of the widespread availability of the service, which is mostly unregulated. Those who are already having financial difficulties support these worries, which could push them over their financial limits.

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