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.
META LEANS BACK
Meta's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, and the mastermind behind the company's advertising model, announced her departure this week after 14 years in the role. The news rattled some investors' faith in the company, which has already struggled to convince markets that its pivot to the metaverse was the right move. The stock dropped around 4 percent Friday amid a flurry of speculation about what this meant for the company formerly known as Facebook. It also came out Friday that Sandberg sold more than $1.7 billion worth of stock over the last decade — making her potentially one of the biggest inside sellers at a U.S. company of that era.
Making matters more complicated, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sandberg was under investigation by the company leading up to her departure.
NICE AND CHEWY
It's hard out there for e-commerce companies, which have struggled mightily as the economy has returned to a post-pandemic normal, but online pet supplier Chewy broke the mold this week with an impressive rally. Shares of the company jumped nearly 25 percent Thursday following an earnings report that showed a 14 percent year-over-year increase in sales. The report also showed an uptick in what are called "autoship" sales. These are arrangements where customers automatically receive a monthly order, which investors interpreted as a sign of some serious brand loyalty. The stock has struggled since the start of the year and is still down significantly from its 2021 highs, but management is anticipating a 15 to 17 percent year-over-year increase in sales.
Chewy pulled this off despite the fact that pet adoptions are actually beginning to slow after booming through much of the pandemic.
TOP GUN LIFT-OFF
Shares of AMC briefly spiked this week after the company announced that Top Gun: Maverick had brought in 3.3 million guests, out of 5 million guests total, which is a 100 percent year-over-year jump. The long-awaited sequel, starring an ageless Tom Cruise, is proving to be a boon for movie theaters. The blockbuster has so far raked in at least $200 million at the box office, blowing past the original Top Gun's numbers.
'IT'S A HURRICANE'
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is one of the most powerful figures on Wall Street, so when this Master of the Universe speaks, markets listen. This week, Dimon offered little reassurance to the investors surfing these turbulent markets: “You’d better brace yourself,” he said. “JPMorgan is bracing ourselves, and we’re going to be very conservative with our balance sheet.” What should investors be bracing for, exactly? To use Dimon's phrase, a "hurricane" is coming. Whether that means a bear market or a full-blown recession wasn't clear. Regardless, the message from JPMorgan's top executive didn't put markets at ease for what ended up being a pretty rocky week on Wall Street.