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Target Reports Profit Drop of 52%

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Target‘s profit took a stunning 52% hit in the first quarter, missing Wall Street’s expectations badly. The company blamed higher expenses due to supply chain disruptions and consumers holding back on nonessential purchases because of rampant inflation as well. The shares of Target fell 25% on Wednesday, its worst day since 1987.

The broader market was not as adversely affected by Target’s bad news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 1,160 points (or 3.6%) but many retail stocks like Dollar Tree(DLTR), Costco(COST), and Best Buy BBY went down as well. The S&P 500 was down 4%.

Walmart’s earnings and stock price continue to fall as the company struggles with rising shipping costs. The biggest retailer in America, WalMart (WMT), is currently down 7%.

Target’s CEO, Brian Cornell released the following statement regarding their financial performance for this past year. “We faced unexpectedly high costs driven by a number of factors which SBAction resulting in profitability that came in well below our expectations and even lower than where we expect to operate over time,” said Mr. Cornell during an earnings call Wednesday morning with analysts present.

Target’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brian Cornell recently issued an apology for the company’s latest earnings release which showed that they had been much lower than expected. The statement read, “We faced unexpectedly high costs due to factors outside our control resulting in profitability coming far below what we anticipated and where Target expects itself to operate over time.”

With prices for big-ticket items skyrocketing, consumers are choosing to spend their money on smaller luxuries. According to the report from Target’s CEO last month – “lower than expected sales” in discretionary categories led them into writing down excess inventory stuck within warehouses that has no demand or future prospects at this point.”

Target shoppers are becoming more concerned with “the high and persistent inflation they’ve been experiencing,” according to Cornell.

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The latest data has shown that inflation is still a major issue for many retailers. This week, TJ Maxx and Marshalls owner TJX(TJS) reported earnings below estimates in sales compared to last month while also lowering their revenue outlooks.

The retail industry has been struggling with a shortage of workers, which is leading to higher pay for those who can find jobs. Target announced last week that it would be increasing its hourly rate in order to attract more employees as the company’s supply chain continues having problems due to this summer’s hurricanes and winter storm season combined with workforce outages at several distribution centers around America.

Last year’s earnings were boosted by federal stimulus checks from the government, but this has largely disappeared in 2022. Stifel analyst Mark Astrachan warned that “we view these results as disappointing” and against a backdrop of heightened costs or weakening discretionary spending, especially lapping the 2021 stimulus.”

During the earnings call, Cornell said that while they expected a post-stimulus slow down they didn’t anticipate just how much of a shift this would be. Home Depot reported strong sales on Tuesday thanks to the continued boom in housing, and rival Lowe’s also posted better than expected results Wednesday morning too.

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Massive Update: NEW Chinese Policy on NIO Stock

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The stock of NIO and other electric car companies is poised to turn the corner higher and head in the right direction after the Chinese government indicated that it was exploring “severe measures” to improve manufacturing production.

This is earth-shattering news for the stocks of Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers like NIO. China has become the global leader in the electric vehicle market. In point of fact, sixty percent of all of the world’s batteries for electric vehicles are produced there. As a result, the manufacturing of electric vehicles in China will continue to advance in lockstep with the growth of China’s overall manufacturing output. If companies can speed up the production of these autos, it won’t be long before they see a return on their investment and start turning a profit. And very shortly after that, the value of their stock will skyrocket.

Additionally, China has announced that it would be extending tax benefits for consumers who are acquiring their first electric vehicle. These consumers will be eligible for these benefits beginning in 2022. At the end of this year, these would become invalid because their time limit had been reached. On the other hand, in view of continuous economic volatility and issues with the supply chain, it has been agreed to extend the suspensions through the year 2023, and possibly even further than that.

As a consequence of this, demand ought to continue being consistent. The bull thesis on electric vehicle stocks is gaining ground as a result of the strengthening of demand drivers as well as supply issues. This is especially true for NIO, which Luke thinks is one of the top electric vehicle stocks that are now available for purchase.

About NIO: Corporate Profile

NIO Inc. is a pioneer and a leading company in the premium smart electric vehicle market. Founded in November 2014, NIO’s mission is to shape a joyful lifestyle. NIO aims to build a community starting with smart electric vehicles to share joy and grow together with users. NIO designs, develops, jointly manufactures and sells premium smart electric vehicles, driving innovations in next-generation technologies in autonomous driving, digital technologies, electric powertrains and batteries. NIO differentiates itself through its continuous technological breakthroughs and innovations, such as its industry-leading battery swapping technologies, Battery as a Service, or BaaS, as well as its proprietary autonomous driving technologies and Autonomous Driving as a Service, or ADaaS. NIO launched the ES8, a seven-seater flagship premium smart electric SUV in December 2017, and began deliveries of the ES8 in June 2018 and its variant, the six-seater ES8, in March 2019. NIO launched the ES6, a five-seater high-performance premium smart electric SUV, in December 2018, and began deliveries of the ES6 in June 2019. NIO launched the EC6, a five-seater premium smart electric coupe SUV, in December 2019, and began deliveries of the EC6 in September 2020. NIO launched the ET7, a flagship premium smart electric sedan, in January 2021, and began deliveries of the ET7 in March 2022. NIO launched the ET5, a mid-size premium smart electric sedan, in December 2021. NIO launched the ES7, a mid-large five-seater premium smart electric SUV, in June 2022.

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Intel’s CEO Threatens to Expand in Europe if Congress Doesn’t Act

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Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel, warned Tuesday that if Congress fails to pass $52 billion in government subsidies promised under the CHIPS Act, he may expand chip manufacturing in Europe instead of the United States.

At the Aspen Ideas Festival, Gelsinger remarked, “The rest of the world is moving rapidly despite the inability of Congress to get this finished.”

It was only in 2021 that Congress finally gave CHIPS the funding it needed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Attempts by the House and Senate to overcome differences on a broader package of policies to help the United States’ tech industry compete with China have left the money for subsidies stalled.

A shortage of government funding forced Intel to postpone the groundbreaking ceremony for a new $20 billion facility in Ohio, the company announced last week. He stated Tuesday, “I hate the idea of announcing a delay,” Gelsinger said.  Although Intel “would end up investing a lot more in Europe as a result,” he cautioned. A new $18 billion plant in Germany will be built as part of a $35 billion expansion of the chipmaker’s European operations.

According to Gelsinger, the CHIPS Act’s subsidies, which are limited to $3 billion per site, would help the United States “approximately competitive with other regions of the world.” There were no “handouts” in the industry, he claimed.

There are also calls from other semiconductor companies to support American chip manufacturers.

The construction of a $12 billion facility in Arizona by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation will necessitate the U.S. government to subsidize the gap in operating expenses between Taiwan and the United States.

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Taiwanese chipmaker GlobalWafer launched a new $5 billion facility in Texas on Monday. Despite this, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CNBC that the contract “will go away” if Congress does not approve subsidies for the project.

Government leaders in Taiwan are urging Congress to approve financing for the island nation. For the most part, this is because TSMC has already commenced construction in Arizona. Ming-Hsin Kung, a minister on Taiwan’s National Development Council, told the Washington Post on Tuesday that the Chips Act is expected to pass the Congress.

East Asian chipmakers “all believe they need to put more manufacturing in the U.S.” Gelsinger stated. There is no rivalry between us and TMSC or Samsung.” ‘We are not competing with TMSC or Samsung. We are competing with Taiwan and Japan and Korea,” he declared.

According to the European Chips Act, the European Union allocated $46 billion in support for chip manufacturing in February. Intel’s new factory in Germany will receive $7.3 billion of that money.

A $4.5 billion fund set up by the Japanese government to boost the country’s semiconductor industry would finance 40% of the cost of a new TSMC factory in Kumamoto.

As a matter of national security, according to Gelsinger, the United States must invest in chip manufacturing, transferring production away from East Asia. As he spoke, he said, “This is the future of geopolitics.”

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Robinhood Shares Rise 16% After Report FTX is Considering a Buyout

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The trading of the no-commission trading platform Robinhood (HOOD) was briefly halted after it was reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter, that cryptocurrency exchange FTX was looking into a possible deal to acquire the company. This report caused the shares of Robinhood to rise by approximately 16 percent, and trading was halted briefly.

The article states that FTX has not yet made a formal offer, and it is possible that the company will decide against moving forward with any plans. An SEC document made public in May disclosed that Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of FTX, had acquired a 7.6 percent ownership in Robinhood through Emergent Fidelity Technologies Ltd., a company based in Antigua.

“We are excited about Robinhood’s business prospects and potential ways we could partner with them, and I have always been impressed by the business that [Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev] and his team have built,” wrote Bankman-Fried in a statement. “That being said, there are no active M&A conversations with Robinhood.”

Coinbase (COIN) shares were downgraded by Goldman Sachs in a report published on Monday morning. The reduction was a result of the steep decrease in cryptocurrency prices and accompanying trading activity. Goldman Sachs raised shares of Robinhood from sell to neutral.

The price of a share of Robinhood has decreased by 47 percent so far this year. They have dropped by almost 75% since its initial public offering level in July of last year. The percentage of Robinhood’s revenue that comes from commissions earned from the trading of cryptocurrencies continues to rise.

About Robinhood (HOOD)

Robinhood is a cryptocurrency broker that not only makes trades easier but also enables users to buy stocks and alternative cryptocurrencies. You may purchase and sell a variety of cryptocurrencies within the Robinhood app, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and even Dogecoin. These cryptocurrencies are all offered by Robinhood. The absence of trading costs, which may be rather variable among traditional exchanges, is one of the primary benefits of trading cryptocurrencies on Robinhood, just as it is with the company’s other investing opportunities.

Its accessibility as an investment platform is a major lure for many users, regardless of whether they are investing in cryptocurrencies or the stock market; nevertheless, this accessibility is also what can make Robinhood risky for users. It has been criticized on the grounds that it makes trading too much like a game and that it promotes volatility through aggressive trading rather than the growth of long-term investments. If you approach an already speculative asset like cryptocurrency with such a mindset, it might make your investment an even bigger bet. This is similar to how stock transactions work. Always asses the risk involved when making investment choices and seek professional guidance to insure you make the right decision for your investment strategy.

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