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.
Wall Street capped off a four-week winning streak Friday with broad gains across the stock market. The upswing marked a reversal of some recent trends, with tech stocks performing well, and energy slipping on the news of lower oil prices. Investors appeared encouraged by the latest consumer price index report, which showed zero percent month-over-month inflation in July. Some saw this as a sign that the Federal Reserve might ease up on rate hikes — which are largely behind the recent volatility — though multiple Fed officials have doubled down on the need for more tightening. This leaves markets in a somewhat uncertain position as the summer winds down.
CHIP STOCKS' ROCKY WEEK
Case and point: chip stocks. Despite President Joe Biden signing the long-awaited CHIPS Act, which provides federal support for the industry, semiconductor stocks tumbled Tuesday after Micron Technology warned of weakening demand in the current quarter and Nvidia reported earnings well below its outlook. The industry then reversed its fortunes following a big announcement from GlobalFoundries, the third-largest chipmaker in the world. The company struck a deal with Qualcomm to provide an additional $4.2 billion worth of semiconductors from its New York factory through 2028. Even Nvidia recovered following CEO Jensen Huang's announcement that the company had no intention of laying off staff despite the difficult quarter. Micron was also buoyed by the turn in sentiment and is up around 5 percent for the week.
DISNEY PULLS AHEAD IN STREAMING WARS
Disney is up around 12 percent this week as the entertainment giant pulls ahead in the streaming wars. The company reported that Disney+ subscriptions increased to 152.1 million in the last quarter, which was well above analyst expectations. It also raised its subscription price $3 to $10.99 a month, while rolling out a cheaper ad-supported option for $7.99 a month. The bullish report from the House of Mouse pushed back against the widely-held belief that the streaming market is oversaturated. However, it could also signal that Disney is simply in a stronger position than its competitors. Just last month, Netflix confirmed that it lost almost a million subscribers in the previous quarter. The OG streamer is exploring an ad-supported option but is still working out the details.
BED BATH & BEYOND'S MEME STOCK MOMENT
Meme stocks such as GameStop and AMC had another moment Monday, but this time they were joined by Bed Bath & Beyond. Shares of the home goods store popped nearly 40 percent, and after leveling off are still set to finish the week up more than 18 percent. This is particularly impressive because the company made no major announcements this week and by all accounts is still struggling to find its footing. None of this dissuaded retail investors from piling in with big bets on the stock. The surge in buying volume put pressure on short positions, which further boosted the stock. What's next for Bed Bath & Beyond isn't clear, but the Reddit crowd is banking on the involvement of activist investor and GameStop board chair Ryan Cohen to save the day.
Video game stocks continued to struggle this week, with shares of Take-Two Interactive, publishers of Grand Theft Auto and Farmville, falling on an earnings miss. Crucially, however, the company is still growing steadily. Net revenue was up 36 percent from a year ago, in large part due to the company's embrace of mobile, which contributed the lion's share of the gains. Indeed, headwinds in the video game sector mostly stem from the fact that companies are falling behind on the extremely high expectations that investors have for the space.