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Today in the Market (5/3/2024)

Good Morning! On Friday, there was a significant increase in U.S. equities markets due to positive earnings from Apple (AAPL), which boosted investor confidence. Additionally, a jobs report showed weaker-than-expected results which led some investors to believe rates might be cut sooner than later expected.

All three indexes ended Friday on a great note with the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 both increasing by 1.18% & 1.26%, respectively, while the Nasdaq surged by 1.99%.

THE GRASS IS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE!

When it comes to the distribution of dividends to shareholders, Amazon (AMZN) is the only one of the largest technology companies that has not yet done so. However, there is a growing amount of pressure on the retail and cloud giant to become a member of the dividend club soon.

Let’s go down memory lane! First, was Meta (META), which announced in February that it would be paying a quarterly dividend in order to reinforce its exceptional profitability. Next up came Google Parent Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), which made the announcement the previous week that it would begin paying dividends, so lifting the market capitalization of the business to more than $2 trillion. Last but not least, Apple (AAPL) said on Thursday that it will be increasing its dividend to $0.25 per share, while also launching the biggest share buyback program in the history of the company, which would total $110 billion.

Why would Amazon feel the pressure to join? In every single one of the three instances, Wall Street rejoiced at the shareholder return efforts, which also announced stock repurchase programs just added the increase in share prices for each tech company.

AGREEMENT HAS BEEN MADE!

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After a roughly three-month disagreement, Tiktok and Universal Music Group (UMG)  have reached a new licensing deal, and the app will welcome back artists including Billie Eilish, Bad Bunny, Adele, Drake, and Adele.

But what started this whole disagreement? In January, UMG announced that it would no longer license material from the artists it represents on the social media platform owned by ByteDance, TikTok, and TikTok Music services after having not agreed to the conditions of a new arrangement with TikTok. The reason? UMG wanted TikTok to address three concerns: ensuring fair compensation for our artists and composers, safeguarding human artists from the detrimental impacts of AI, and enhancing online safety for TikTok’s users.

However, that is all in the past! UMG’s worldwide stable of artists, composers, and labels will get major benefits from their new arrangement. For example, the new agreement states that UMG and TikTok would collaborate to discover new monetization opportunities. As well as both companies will work together to eliminate unapproved AI-generated music from the site, and also develop tools to enhance artist and composer recognition. Of course, this means their music would be returned to TikTok as a result of this agreement.

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