Here is a rundown of Cheddar News' top trending market stories of the day.
GDP STILL RISING
U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) increased a healthy 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter. That is slightly slower than the third quarter, but still nothing to scoff at, especially considering rising interest rates, recession fears, and thousands of layoffs in the tech sector (read below).
SMARTPHONE SALES SLUMP
Smartphone sales have been sliding for years, but in 2022 they hit a new low. Global smartphone shipments were down 18.3 percent year-over-year, which is their biggest-ever single decline, according to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC). While Apple had previously bucked the industry trend, its sales were down 14.9 percent last year.
CHIPOTLE HIRING SPREE
Maybe you've never heard of "burrito season" — the period between March and Cinco de Mayo — but Chipotle sure has. The Mexican fast casual chain is hiring 15,000 workers to prepare for its busiest time of year, and it plans to launch a recruitment campaign to attract applicants.
Meanwhile, in the tech sector, heavy layoffs continue. IBM is cutting 3,900 jobs on the heels of a quarterly earnings report that missed its own cash flow targets. The legacy computer company is nonetheless anticipating modest but steady growth in 2023.
Tesla reported record net income in the last quarter of 2022, and now it's predicting that it will keep its profit margins higher than any other automaker in the coming year — despite the fact that it recently announced a series of steep price cuts on its most popular models.
The U.S. Transportation Department is investigating whether Southwest Airlines knowingly scheduled more flights in late December than it could handle amid systemwide delays and cancellations. “DOT is in the initial phase of a rigorous and comprehensive investigation into Southwest Airlines’ holiday debacle that stranded millions,” the department said in a statement.