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.
RATE HIKE ANXIETY
It was a rocky week on Wall Street to say the least. Despite a slew of impressive earnings reports, the major indices careened in and out the red but ended up for the week on a strong Friday upswing. Markets initially struggled to digest Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's Wednesday speech signaling that a rate hike could be coming as soon as March, with more possibly on the horizon. This news caused jitters among investors concerned about what higher rates will mean for growth stocks, which played no small part in fueling the pandemic-era bull market.
TESLA POSTS BIG PROFITS
Amid what's increasingly looking like an electric vehicle renaissance, Tesla turned in a strong fourth quarter earnings report showing $5.5 billion in annual profits, which is up from $720 million in 2020. But the beat didn't help Tesla's stock, which is already highly valued. Shares fell 11 percent on Thursday on the news that Tesla will not produce any new vehicle models in 2022, due to supply chain issues and chip shortages, and were down on the week.
RECORD SALES FOR APPLE
Apple posted its highest-ever quarterly earnings this week, defying Wall Street expectations that supply chain issues would cut into the iPhone maker's bottom line. Sales came in at $123.9 billion, up 11 percent from the last quarter. Every product category, except iPads, beat expectations with the 5G-capable iPhone 13 showing numbers. CEO Tim Cook also hinted that he expects supply chain woes would ease in the coming quarter.
KOHL'S FOR SALE?
Kohl's saw its stock surge nearly 35 percent on Monday on the news that at least two buyers were interested in taking over the retailer. The two contenders, a hedge fund and a private equity firm are interested in taking the company private. One of them, the activist hedge fund Macellum Advisors, has been critical of the company's management during the pandemic and is now calling for a change of course.
MATTEL WINS BACK DISNEY
Shares of Mattel popped this week after the toymaker secured a deal with Walt Disney to put out a product line for the Disney princesses, including the popular Frozen franchise. The deal marks a comeback for the company, which lost the Disney license to Hasbro back in 2016. The loss back then spurred a string of leadership shake-ups, ending with current CEO Ynon Kreiz taking over. He has since tried to stabilize the company with $1 billion in cost cuts and efforts to revitalize legacy brands such as Barbie — which, if you haven't heard, is being developed as a movie starring Margot Robbie and directed by Greta Gerwig. This is on top of another of its brands, Masters of the Universe, getting a new live-action movie deal with Netflix after being stuck in development with Sony. The stock ended up almost five points for the week.