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Today in the Market (2/23/2024)

Good Morning! On Friday, U.S. markets couldn’t keep the same momentum and barely finished the day up. The S&P 500 barely increased from the opening by 0.03%, while the Dow Jones had a small gain of 0.16%. However, Nvidia couldn’t carry the Nasdaq and the index fell by 0.28%.

WHAT A WILD RIDE!

Carvana’s shares (CVNA) rose by up to 32% on Friday after the used vehicle platform announced its first annual profit and released projections that exceeded expectations.

So how well did they do? A decrease in debt increased Carvana’s reported net income for 2023, which was $150 million. The firm forecasts a small increase in retail units for the current quarter compared to the previous year, with an adjusted core profit expected to exceed $100 million by a large margin.

Talk about a wild ride! The results mark a significant change for a corporation that was said to be on the brink of bankruptcy in December 2022, with a share price plummeting to $3.55. Also, we cannot forget when short sellers have increased their positions in the stock. During the first six months of 2023, stock prices increased by 1000% to over $50 per share, resulting in short sellers facing a $2 billion loss.

INSIDER TRADING

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In the most recent instance involving couples eavesdropping while working remotely, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed that a man, Tyler Loudon, from Texas, amassed $1.76 million by illegally trading on his wife’s discussions with her BP Plc coworkers.

But why was it illegal? Two words, insider trading! According to the SEC, “SEC Rule 10b-5 prohibits corporate officers and directors or other insider employees from using confidential corporate information to reap a profit (or avoid a loss) by trading in the company’s stock. This rule also prohibits the “tipping” of confidential corporate information to third parties. It also states, “You are responsible for ensuring that you and your family members comply with this policy.

But how serious is it? According to the SEC, a monetary penalty (in an amount up to three times the profit gained or the loss avoided); (b) a cease-and-desist order; and (c) an order barring the insider from serving as an officer and director of any public company.

So how did this story end for Loudon? Loudon agreed to pay a fine and hand up the money that he had earned from the trades, while his wife filed for divorce and moved out. However, when the wife informed BP about his trading, the company terminated her employment, even though the SEC found no evidence to suggest that she had intentionally disclosed the transaction.

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