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.
The August jobs report turned out to be a total fail. Economists were expecting 725,000 but the actual number of jobs added last month was just 235,000. President Joe Biden blamed the COVID-19 delta variant outbreak for the blow to job growth, hitting sectors like travel and hospitality that tend to shut down when the pandemic flares up. Biden urged Congress to pass his economic plan, saying "Our country needs these investments." Markets opened slightly lower after the report came out and stayed that way to end the week.
Speaking of hits to the travel market, Carnival had a particularly tough week. The cruise line sank to be the worst performer in the S&P 500 Friday after the jobs report was released. A day earlier it had to cancel the first four sailings on the iconic Queen Mary 2 flagship of the Cunard brand because it wants to keep trips closer to home when starting back up nearly two years after the pandemic began. Now the first sailing is scheduled for late November, and the first trips from U.S. shores will take off right before Christmas. Carnival ended the week down 6.8 percent.
Zoom stock fell off a cliff after releasing its quarterly earnings report Monday. Not only is growth slowing as people return to real, live actual offices, but it's facing tougher competition from the likes of Microsoft and Google. Don't count the stock out yet, though. It's not like the video conferencing behemoth is losing money — revenue was still up 54 percent year-over-year. It's just a far cry from the triple-digit jumps investors got used to seeing. ARK Invest CEO Kathie Wood still appears to be a believer, buying more than $50 million worth of Zoom stock after it plunged.
Affirm announced late last week that it is bringing its buy-now-pay-later Amazon. As you can imagine, placement on the world's largest ecommerce site sent Affirm's stock soaring more than 40 percent when markets opened on Monday, though the gains trailed off by the end of this week. Amazon also got a 2 percent bump on the news.
GameStop to the S&P 500?
Could GameStop — the original memestock — be headed back to the S&P 500? By value, it would make the grade, but it's unclear whether or not the anonymous committee that decides on how to rebalance the index will agree it deserves a place among the corporate elite. According to the Wall Street Journal, the committee has quite a bit of leeway in making these decisions, and some requirements, which GameStop may or may not meet, including positive earnings over the past four quarters. The video game retailer was dropped from the 500 back in 2016.