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Today in the Market (3/22/2024)

Good Morning! On Friday, U.S. equities ended with a mixed performance, with the Nasdaq reaching a new record high. This was driven by the expectation of a reversal in interest rate increases, which uplifted investors’ optimism.

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones both ended the day in the red by 0.14% & 0.77%, respectively, while the Nasdaq increased by 0.16%.

FEDEX Delivers

FedEx (FDX) achieved a strong financial performance despite facing challenging operational conditions. The economy’s concerns prompted major manufacturers and retailers to adopt a conservative approach toward inventories, resulting in a decrease in demand for transportation services.

  • Revenue: $21.74 Billion vs. $22.08 Billion Expected
  • Earnings Per Share: $3.86 vs. $3.48 Expected

What else is happening at FedEx? The current focus of CEO Raj Subramaniam involves the restructuring of the company’s delivery networks, which is a component of a comprehensive strategy that encompasses a reduction in the workforce by tens of thousands of positions. This overhaul marks a departure from Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, who consistently pushed for a two-network strategy as a way to gain a competitive edge.

So far… CFO John Dietrich stated during a conference call with analysts that there have been approximately 22,000 job cuts in the workforce in the past year. With the majority of the reductions have been attributed to attrition.

AS LOW AS $9 A HOUR

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Nvidia (NVDA) announced its collaboration with Hippocratic AI, a healthcare startup. The partnership aims to provide a selection of crafted “nurses” at a rate of $9 per hour. These “nurses” have the potential to serve as virtual human substitutes in various aspects of patient care. According to Gizmodo, the technology is currently being tested by over 40 healthcare providers.

So what is the goal of these nurses?  Hippocratic envisions AI bots performing non-diagnostic tasks that directly interact with patients, such as post-operative check-ins, nutritional guidance, or pharmacy calls, which are deemed to have a low level of risk (here is the video). But there’s more to the overall picture. With this, it could overcome persistent nursing shortages in the U.S. while simultaneously reducing healthcare providers’ expenditures on personnel compensation

Also, there have been measures set in place. According to Hippocratic AI, its generative AI nurses are unsuitable for diagnostic purposes. The AI healthcare agent has been trained to effectively interact with a human when deemed suitable.

Fun fact. The name Hippocratic is derived from the Hippocratic Oath, a set of ethical principles that physicians follow that emphasizes the principle of “first, do no harm.”

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