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Aug. 13, 2022, 8:57 a.m. EDT

Weekend reads: the end of the streaming wars

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By Philip van Doorn

For years it seemed as if competitors in the streaming industry only had to worry about adding users as quickly as possible and at bargain prices, regardless of how many billions needed to be spent on content. But now that Disney has more streaming subscribers than Netflix , the industry is starting to “ pivot to a new wave of sobriety ” according to an industry analyst.

Disney /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS +0.76% plans to increase streaming prices while also launching a new ad-supported service. Here’s how much more you can expect to pay to avoid ads while watching Disney + and Hulu .

A new bull market? Not so fast

The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.22% excited its correction this week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.67% was lifted out of its bear market after the July Consumer Price Index numbers showed slower-than-expected price increases .

The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.0079% has now risen 12% since its 2022 closing low on June 22.

But what if this action has been a bear-market rally? Analysts at Jefferies looked at three decades of market data; here’s what they concluded (there’s good and bad in there).

William Watts reports on a history of head-fake rallies for the Nasdaq, while Mark Hulbert expects stocks to break below their June 2022 lows .

Plus: Why bulls looking for a stock-market bottom are obsessed with 4,231 on the S&P 500

How the Fed might react to that sunny inflation report

Investors breathed a sigh of relief after the July CPI report showed no movement in overall prices from the previous month. Gregg Robb digs into the numbers and considers how they might affect the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate policy .

Rex Nutting warns against reading too much into one month’s inflation data — so watch these prices for an early indicator before the next round of government inflation reports.

Why do eggs cost so much?

As investors cheered a lower inflation number, the July report still included a 1.1% increase in food prices from June, for a year-over-year increase of 10.9%. Here’s why egg prices are up 38% from a year ago — and when they might decline.

For back-to-school shoppers, here’s what is being hit, and not hit, by inflation .

Andrew Keshner interviewed consumers who described their efforts to get by .

Plus: Prices on some products are finally coming down despite red-hot inflation — but you’ll have to shop online to find them

What to make of the Inflation Reduction Act

The U.S. Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act on Aug. 7 and the House of Representatives appeared set to pass it on Aug. 12. Robert Schroeder breaks down what the package is expected to do for taxes, climate policy and drug prices . Andrew Keshner looks into what it might mean for investors .

Jessica Hall describes how Medicare will be able to negotiate drug prices .

And this company expects a windfall from the bill’s green provisions. You might also get in on the act with new solar rebates and tax credits .

Oh, and will it actually reduce inflation?

Related: The Inflation Reduction Act would send $80 billion to the IRS, but some tax experts wonder if it’s enough to help the backlogged agency

This is for investors who believe inflation will continue to ease

Mark Hulbert isn’t convinced headline inflation numbers won’t rise again from here. However, he expects inflation to be much lower a year from now, which should benefit these groups of stocks .

Also: These small-cap stocks will lead the market if the rally has legs

How to cut housing costs

Here’s a report about which cities people are trying to leave and which they are trying to move to for more affordable housing.

Another possible cost reduction: In this state, seniors can now freeze their property taxes — here’s how

And food for thought as elderly parents help the next generation: We are in our 80s and want to transfer ownership of some homes to our children. How should we do this in a tax-advantageous way?

A new angle for the banking industry’s merger mania

The banking industry has been consolidating for decades:

Year-end Insured US. commercial banks
2021 4,236
2011 6,279
2001 7,998
1991 11,855
1981 14,414
Source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Banks aren’t only merging with each other — an accelerating number are being bought by credit unions , as Steve Gelsi reports.

Golden summer for actors entering golden years

Hollywood’s obsession with youth might get a bit dull — at least for those of us above a certain age. But this summer, a number of successful movies have starred actors in their 60s .

<STRONG>Hear from Ray Dalio at MarketWatch’s <INTERNET LOCATION="EXTERNAL" URL="https://moneyfestival.marketwatch.com/">Best New Ideas in Money Festival</INTERNET> on Sept. 21 and Sept. 22 in New York. The hedge-fund pioneer has strong views on where the economy is headed.</STRONG>

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