Stocks stumble in return from break📉

The market made it two down days in a row on Tuesday, despite coming back from a three-day weekend.

Good Afternoon! 

Hey, everyone. It's Adam from Elite Trade Club. 

Here’s what moved the market today.

Markets 📈

Stocks continued to edge lower on Tuesday, extending Friday’s slide after the three-day President’s Day break. Small-caps and the Nasdaq underperformed.

  • DJIA [-0.1%]

  • S&P 500 [-0.6%]

  • Nasdaq [-0.9%]

  • Russell 2K [-1.5%]

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Market-Moving News 🔎 

🛒 Walmart Looks Beyond the Shelves

While Walmart's [WMT] shopping carts keep filling up, finding a way to plug its profitability gaps has turned into a strategic quest. This past quarter, Walmart U.S. reported a sprightly 4% jump in comparable sales, trumping the analysts' 3.2% growth forecast.

Yet, the cheer was somewhat dimmed as shoppers leaned heavily into groceries and health essentials, sidelining the more lucrative general merchandise.

💰 Margin Matters
The margin mix-up has thrown a wrench in Walmart's financial gears. Last quarter's gross margin stood at 23.3%, a tick above last year but still shy of the pre-pandemic holiday norm of around 24%. Even with this uptick, operating margins hovered at 3.5%, not quite hitting the 4% mark anticipated by market watchers.

🔍 A Surprise Boost
Despite these margin misgivings, Walmart managed to outdo earnings expectations, with a 5.3% year-over-year rise in earnings per share to $1.80, outperforming the forecasted 4.1% dip. This boost was underscored by a 13.2% leap in adjusted operating income, eclipsing a 5.6% increase in net sales.

🚀 Exploring New Avenues
Walmart's playbook for padding its profits now includes a deeper dive into alternative revenue streams like advertising, leveraging its online marketplace, and expanding fulfillment services. While these initiatives shine a ray of hope, they've yet to fully counterbalance the dent from a shift towards lower-margin products.

🌟 The Road Ahead
As Walmart navigates the retail rapids, these alternative profit streams represent not just a buoy but a potential accelerant for its stock value, according to Wall Street's optimists.

The question remains: Can these new ventures fortify Walmart's financial fortress against the tide of changing consumer preferences?

Top Winners and Losers 🔥

TRxADE Health [MEDS] $9.09 (+98.4%)
announced a sale of its Trxade Inc. subsidiary to Micro Merchant Systems in exchange for $22.5 million cash.

Avinger [AVGR] $5.45 (+83.1%)
was awarded a U.S. Patent titled "Occlusion-Crossing Devices, Imaging, And Atherectomy Devices."

Intuitive Machines [LUNR] $10.99 (+50.1%)
continued to edge higher as its recently launched lunar lander edged closer to its upcoming Moon landing without incident.

Rapt Therapeutics [RAPT] $6.87 (73.5%)
said the FDA placed clinical holds two separate Phase 2 trials of RPT193 (zelnecirnon) for atopic dermatitis & asthma.

AstaClear [ATCH] $2.03 (53.9%)
continued to downtrend in the wake of last week’s merger with Quantum FinTech SPACE.

Summit Therapeutics [SMMT] $3.74 (26.2%)
reported a wider loss on its Q4 earnings report and announced plans for a $450 million mixed-shelf offering this morning.

That's it for today! Please, write us back, and let us know what you think of the Closing Bell Roundup. We're always eager to hear feedback from our members!

Thanks for reading. I'll see you at the next open! 

Best Regards,
Adam G.
Elite Trade Club

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