9 min read

Keeping Up With the (Dow) Joneses

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Hi there,

Whether you’ve been investing for a month or a decade, you’ve likely noticed the seemingly endless factors influencing stock prices each day — company earnings, interest rates, the weather, etc. Here are a couple looming over the market this week (and one that is surprisingly not):

  • Investors cheer slowing inflation 📣 Inflation remains stubbornly high, with April data showing consumer prices rose 4.9% from a year ago. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a reason to cheer, but it’s less than economists had projected and still represents a big slowdown from last summer’s peak of around 9%, so stocks jumped as traders digested the new data.
  • ChatGPT is making 🌊🌊🌊 — Is generative AI the next big tech disruptor? That’s what everyone wants to know, and it’s causing a “stock-market ruckus” as investors evaluate how tools like ChatGPT will impact entire industries, reports The Wall Street Journal. For example, Nvidia, which makes the chips needed to power chatbots, has seen its stock rise 96% so far in 2023. Meanwhile, shares of online education company Chegg went into a tailspin after the company reported a hit to its business from generative AI.
  • Wait-and-see on the debt ceiling crisis ⏳ — The prospect of the federal government defaulting on its debt, which economists predict would be disastrous, doesn’t seem to be spooking the stock market (yet), according to The New York Times. This wait-and-see attitude might change as time trickles by, so we’ll be keeping an eye on how markets react as negotiations in Washington continue.

We know financial news can sometimes sound like the grown-ups in a Peanuts cartoon, so we’ve got more below on how to understand stock market benchmarks. And if you’re looking for some conversation topics for your Mother’s Day brunch, maybe brush up on why it pays to invest like a woman.

News you can use

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  • Companies are putting their money in the future of green energy! United Airlines is on track to triple its use of sustainable aviation fuel. The biofuel could contribute about 65% of the emission cuts required for the airline industry to reach net zero by 2050, but production needs to ramp up from 450 million liters last year to 450 billion liters in 2050. Microsoft signed the first-ever deal to buy nuclear fusion energy to power its data centers. NextEra Energy is talking about investing $20 billion in green hydrogen, according to The Wall Street Journal. Ever see a clean energy concept you don’t recognize? Get the scoop on clean technology.
  • It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it's an electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL)! The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released an airspace blueprint for “air taxis” that gives us the first glimpse of a future with rush hour traffic in the sky. In related news, Joby Aviation will deliver nine air taxis to the US Air Force as part of a contract marking its first opportunity to generate revenue. The FAA also recently granted commercial authorization to the first eVTOL – Guardian Agriculture’s autonomous drone-like crop dusters that promise a more cost-effective and sustainable solution for farming.
  • Mastercard, Medtronic, The Hershey Company, Toyota North America, and Lilly topped the 2023 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list from DiversityInc. The ranking, which is based on survey submissions from employers, looks at leadership accountability, HR metrics like total workforce, management and promotions, talent programs, workplace practices, supplier diversity, and philanthropy.

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