The Week's Top Stories is a guided tour through the biggest market stories of the week, from winning stocks to brutal dips to the facts and forecasts generating buzz on Wall Street.
The stock market had its eyes trained on the job market this week, as multiple bullish employment reports clashed narratively with a series of layoff announcements from large tech firms such as Amazon and Salesforce. The Labor Department on Friday reported that the U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in December, and unemployment ticked down to 3.5 percent. The news might have sparked a sell-off — given investors' expectations that the Federal Reserve will continue raising interest rates until job and wage growth slows — but the opposite happened. The Dow Jones jumped 700 points following the news. That's because wage growth slowed in December, even as unemployment fell, suggesting that inflation in services could start coming down, or at least slowing, without a large spike in unemployment. That's the hope anyway.
BED BATH & BANKRUPT
Bed Bath & Beyond warned earlier this week that it's weighing a possible bankruptcy after reporting lower-than-expected sales in the third quarter. The former meme stock had quite the year, rising stratospherically over the summer and then crashing just as quickly after GameStop board chair Ryan Cohen sold his 10 percent stake. The retailer has struggled in recent months to keep shelves stocked, and customer traffic has fallen as a result. Now expenses are beginning to outpace cash flow, and something has to give for the embattled big box chain. The company said other financial options such as restructuring debt or selling assets are on the table, but some industry experts are now predicting a bankruptcy filing could come as early as next week.
Tesla is having a tough time easing into the new year. The company on Monday reported that it missed its delivery goal for the year, and the stock plunged around 12 percent. Things didn't improve much from there. The stock is down more than 5 percent for the week, and got dinged again on Friday after reports that Tesla was cutting prices again in China and other Asian markets. The big concern now for investors is whether demand for Tesla cars is flagging and what this could mean for the company's bottom line. CEO Elon Musk's preoccupation with his Twitter purchase hasn't helped either, especially with some critics saying that Tesla is losing momentum.
In 2021, General Electric announced that it was spinning off into three different companies. On Wednesday, the first of those new companies debuted on the stock market. GE HealthCare, which comprises the conglomerate's medical technology and pharmaceutical departments, started trading at around $54 per share, and is now up more than 8 percent for the week. The next spin-off is set for 2024 and will encompass GE's renewable energy and power units. The remaining company will focus on aviation.