CHRIS VERSACE: Good morning, members, and welcome to today's rundown. While we wait to hear from a Fed Chair Jerome Powell this afternoon, let's put some of the puzzle pieces together from what we've heard this week in the form of, that's right, quarterly earnings reports, and what they mean for the AAP portfolio.

Let's begin with the chip sector. Over the last few days, we've heard from NXP Semiconductor, Intel, Samsung, and the like. And what have they done? They've simply confirmed the weak first half of the year that was telegraphed by Micron and Taiwan Semiconductor. Here, we're talking specifically about PCs, as well as smartphones.

Now this likely means that we're going to see a stronger than seasonal decline, and we've stayed on the sidelines with these types of chips purposely given our concern about the consumer. Tonight, we're going to hear from Qorvo RF semiconductor company, and it's going to provide further granularity on what's ahead for the smartphone market. We'll be really interested in that of course because of our positions in iPhone maker Apple, but also with Qualcomm, which we have in the bullpen.

Now stepping back a little bit. We know that we lack exposure to the chip sector, but we consciously made this decision in 2022. And as we can see by the declines that happened in several quarters of 2022, that was a pretty prudent decision on our part. Now, we know that chip stocks tend to bottom early. Tech tends to be strong coming out of a bottoming of the market.

So we do have our eye on one chip stock in particular, and it's one that doesn't have meaningful exposure at all to PCs or smartphones. Rather, it's got nice exposure to some of the end markets that are holding up stronger than others. Here we're talking data center. Auto and communication infrastructure. That means we have our eyes on Marvell.

Now, let's move over to McDonald's and what they had to say yesterday clearly by its quarterly results. The consumer continues to eat out, shaking off price increases that McDonald's and others implemented during 2022 to fight down input cost inflation. This reinforces our view with Chipotle, especially given the pricing action that it took in 2022 and the fact that we're starting to hear about a number of its inputs starting to come down.

We're talking avocado. We're talking dairy we're talking chicken. All of this sets up a nice expectation for what Chipotle will tell us next week when it reports its quarterly results. Sticking with McDonald's for a second, it has a very wide international footprint, and that had us really paying attention to what it said about the dollar.

We've shared our thoughts with members that as we approach the start of the second quarter, the big dollar headwinds should really start to improve, falling by the wayside. And that's exactly what McDonald's had to say. Again, we're to continue to keep tabs on this and what it means for the portfolio, but especially those positions that have demonstrative international exposure. Here we're talking Microsoft, Google, Amazon.

And ahead of the big rush of Thursday after the close, when we got a lot of big tech companies, let's check in with what's going on in digital advertising that had us taking a look at what SNAP had to say. It was an interesting quarter. And I say that because while the quarter itself was good for December, it was the outlook that really weighed on things.

First off, they didn't give any formal guidance. And what they did say was a bit alarming. And that was quarter to date, their revenue was down 7% year over a year. To us, this signals the concern that we've had about advertising. Remember, it typically is one of those first things to go in terms of discretionary spending by companies as the economy softens, potentially heading into a recession.

At the same time, we know that the digital advertising space is becoming increasingly competitive as a lot of tech companies really lean in there, leveraging that access to the consumer that they have. Who are we talking about here? Well, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, of course. But also others that are using their apps to really lay in to the digital advertising market. Uber, Lyft, and the like.

After tonight's close, we have Meta Platforms, another company that is really, really dialed in to digital advertising. So of course, we're going to want to understand what they have to say, the outlook for digital advertising. All of that is going to lay the groundwork for Google Alphabet, which is going to report Thursday afternoon.

So that's some of the stuff that we'll be looking at. But remember, members, we've got a very, very jam-packed day to day. A lot of economic data. We of course, had the Fed and their monetary policy decision and then the press conference by Jerome Powell. So please, be checking your inboxes as we continue to update you with our thoughts throughout the day. Thanks for joining us.