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Australia Post to shift to alternate-day mail delivery

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In a move aimed at modernising its operations and accommodating the growing e-commerce industry, Australia Post has announced plans to reduce letter deliveries to every second day.

This significant shift is part of a broader strategy to expand its parcel business and adapt to changing consumer preferences.

Australia Post has recognized the declining demand for traditional letter services in an increasingly digital age. With more people communicating electronically and relying on email and messaging apps, the postal service has faced challenges in sustaining daily mail deliveries. By transitioning to alternate-day letter delivery, Australia Post aims to optimize its resources and focus on meeting the surging demand for parcel deliveries, driven by the booming online shopping market.

This strategic shift comes as a response to the changing landscape of postal services worldwide. Many postal agencies are diversifying their services to remain relevant and profitable. Australia Post’s move is expected to not only streamline its operations but also reduce costs associated with daily letter deliveries, ultimately benefiting both the organization and its customers.

While the change may be welcomed by those who prefer faster parcel deliveries, it raises questions about the impact on individuals and businesses reliant on daily mail services. Australia Post will need to address concerns regarding the potential delay of important correspondence and provide solutions to ensure minimal disruption for customers during this transition period.

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President Biden cancels another $1 billion in student loans

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President Joe Biden’s administration will cancel another $1.2 billion in student loans.

This move comes as part of the administration’s ongoing commitment to addressing the financial challenges faced by many Americans in the realm of higher education.

The cancellation will primarily impact borrowers who were defrauded by for-profit colleges and those who attended schools that have since closed.

The new wave of relief applies to people enrolled in a repayment program known as SAVE and covers those who borrowed less than 12-thousand-dollars and have been repaying the money for at least 10 years.

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Tooth fairy paying less for lost teeth linked to high inflation

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Even the tooth fairy is feeling the pinch of high inflation, according to a recent survey conducted by insurer Delta Dental.

The survey revealed that the average amount of cash left under children’s pillows by the tooth fairy (read: parents) dropped to $5.84 in 2023, marking a 6% decrease from the previous year’s average of $6.23.

This decline represents the first drop in tooth fairy payouts since 2018.

Even the loss of a first tooth, which typically commands a higher reward, saw a decrease in average gift value. Last year, the average gift for losing a first tooth was $7.09, down from $7.29 in 2022.

Tooth fairy generosity

The survey, which polled 1,000 parents of children aged 6 to 12, also found regional disparities in tooth fairy generosity.

Children in the western part of the United States received the highest average payouts, with lost teeth fetching an average of $8.54 in 2023, a notable 37% increase from the previous year.

Read more – why are fewer houses being sold in the U.S.?

In contrast, children in the Midwest experienced the sharpest decline in tooth fairy payouts, with the value of lost teeth plummeting by 36% to $3.63.

Similarly, children in the South saw a 16% decrease, with the average tooth fetching $5.51 compared to $6.59 in 2022.

Changing trends

The survey noted that the tooth fairy’s gifts historically correlated with the performance of the S&P 500, but this trend deviated in the past two years.

In 2022, despite an 18% decline in the S&P 500, the tooth fairy set a record high with an average gift of $6.23.

Conversely, in 2023, while the tooth fairy’s payouts decreased, the S&P 500 rebounded with a 24% gain, reflecting the resilience of the economy amidst challenges such as high interest rates and soaring inflation.

The survey results indicate that even the whimsical tradition of tooth fairy visits is not immune to the economic realities faced by households in an inflationary environment. As families navigate financial pressures, even the small joys of childhood may feel the impact of broader economic trends.

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Stocks jump to record close as Nvidia sparks AI frenzy

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The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average both surged to close at record highs on Thursday, fueled by a wave of investor enthusiasm for growth and technology stocks following Nvidia’s stellar earnings report and bullish outlook on artificial intelligence chip demand.

Nvidia’s shares (NVDA.O) skyrocketed after the chip designer projected a nearly three-fold increase in first-quarter revenue, citing robust demand for its AI chips.

The company’s performance surpassed expectations for fourth-quarter revenue, underscoring its position as a leader in the AI market.

The success of Nvidia’s earnings served as a litmus test for the AI-driven rally on Wall Street, particularly after the S&P 500 breached the 5,000-point milestone earlier this month.

Analysts had warned of a potential sell-off in technology stocks if Nvidia’s results fell short. However, the market responded with a surge, propelling both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average to record highs.

Significant gains

Unofficial closing data revealed that the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 456.54 points, or 1.18%, to 39,068.78, while the S&P 500 gained 105.14 points, or 2.11%, to 5,086.94.

The Nasdaq Composite also saw significant gains, adding 460.75 points, or 2.96%, to 16,041.62.

Jack Janasiewicz, lead portfolio strategist at Natixis Investment Managers Solutions, humorously remarked, “As Nvidia goes, so goes the world,” highlighting the company’s influence on market sentiment. Janasiewicz emphasized that Nvidia’s strong earnings dispelled doubts about the sustainability of the AI trade, suggesting further potential for growth.

Nvidia’s market capitalisation surge on Thursday surpassed Meta Platform’s historic $196 billion gain earlier in the month, solidifying its position as a market leader in AI technology.

Maintain its position

Market analysts predict that the S&P 500 will maintain its position above the 5,000 mark throughout the year, according to a Reuters poll.

Most sectors within the S&P 500 experienced gains, with technology stocks leading the charge.

The S&P 500 growth index recorded its largest daily percentage gain since November 2022.

In addition to Nvidia, other companies poised to benefit from the AI boom saw notable increases in their stock prices.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.O), Super Micro Computer (SMCI.O), and Arm Holdings all experienced significant jumps.

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