From Wall Street to Silicon Valley, these are the top stories that moved markets and had investors, business leaders, and entrepreneurs talking this week on Cheddar.
S&P 500 Spites Inflation
Inflation worries have been gnawing at the markets in recent weeks, along with how Fed policy might proceed based on its rise. The sticker shock on consumer prices in May ranged from household furnishings to food costs. However, news that inflation jumped to 5 percent in May, coupled with a slight miss on the downward trending jobless claims, seemed to bounce off of the major indexes to some degree. While the Dow Jones Industrial dipped, the Nasdaq hit positive territory for the week, and the S&P 500 closed with its third straight weekly gain at/above records.
The meme stock roller coaster for the now household name GameStop climbed high once again — and then plunged sharply from its Wednesday high. Counterintuitively, the video game retailer posted earnings beats before the decline. Naming former Amazon execs Matt Furlong and Mike Recupero as its new CEO and CFO respectively also didn't stave off the fall. Largely, this was attributed to the announcements that the company filed to sell five million more of its shares and had received a request on May 26 for documents and information from the Securities and Exchange Commission related to a probe into GameStop trading activity. The other Reddit darling, AMC, dropped this week, and a surprising array of meme stocks from Clover Health to Wendy's were a mixed bag.
El Salvador's All-In on Bitcoin
After making headlines at the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele made good on his promise to send a bill to Congress that would make bitcoin legal tender alongside the U.S. Dollar in the Central American country. The bill went further than many expected, however. In addition to allowing citizens to pay debts in bitcoin, they can express prices in bitcoin, pay taxes in bitcoin, and use bitcoin as a form of payment at any merchant in El Salvador. Now countries across Latin America are going forward with their own proposals in what's shaping up to be a region-wide race to embrace the leading cryptocurrency.
Chinese ride-hailing giant Chuxing Technology Co. released its IPO papers this week in preparation for an offering in July that could fetch as much as $70 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. This would make it the largest IPO of all time, in a market where investors are already ravenous for new offerings. The news came after a busy week for IPOs of all stripes. 1stDibs.com, an online marketplace for furniture, started trading Thursday and ended the day with a market value of $7.8 billion. Katapult, a fintech company in the "buy now, pay later" space, hit markets via a special purpose acquisition company; and Monday.com, a work-management software maker, popped 15 percent from its offer price.
Biogen's Alzheimer's Drug Approved
However it's pronounced, aducanumab (branded as Aduhelm), an Alzheimer's drug developed by Biogen in partnership with Japan’s Eisai Co., broke through the FDA's drug approval program — to the surprise of the independent advisory body who had warned against doing so. The panel noted that data showing efficacy for treating the degenerative brain disease was debatable, and three of its members resigned following the approval notification. Trading of Biogen shares had halted last Friday prior to the news, and the stock climbed abruptly on Monday staying near $400 a share for the rest of the week. The treatment, the first new Alzheimer's drug in nearly two decades, also comes with an eye-popping annual list price of $56,000.