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 week ended on a sour note for markets after a hard-nosed speech from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell rattled investors. The nation's top banker said, in so many words, that the Fed would continue raising interest rates until inflation reached its longer-run goal of 2 percent, even if that meant economic hardship in the short-term. The speech threw cold water on the possibility that recent signs of moderation in price increases were enough for the Fed to lighten its tone. Powell said it would take more than a "single-month's improvement" to change the Fed's current course, and that it was better to act decisively now than let prices get out of control. "We will keep at it until we are confident the job is done," he said. Point taken, Powell.
TESLA STOCK SPLIT SPUTTERS
One of the biggest stories out of Wall Street this week came from Tesla, which completed a three-for-one stock split intended to reset the market price of the EV maker's high-priced shares. The split generated enthusiasm among retail investors who were expecting the cheaper stock to give it a boost, but so far the price hasn't budged much since opening at its new price of around $300 per share. Some investors are still expecting the stock to have another big rally, while others say the stock split is just a distraction from the fact that Tesla has no other big announcements coming this year. In other news, the company has issued a cease-and-desist letter and is threatening to sue Dan O’ Dowd, the CEO of Green Hills Software, for launching a national ad campaign showing a Tesla car ramming into and knocking off the head of a child-sized mannequin — a rather different kind of split.
PELOTON PEDALS IN PLACE
Peloton shares whipsawed over two days earlier this week, rising 20 percent on the news that it planned to sell its workout bikes on Amazon, and then dropping 20 percent after an earnings report showed a sizable drop-off in revenues. So while the Amazon deal effectively signaled the end of Peloton's direct-to-consumer model, investors seemed to interpret it as a smart move, and a potential boon to customers. However, apparently, that wasn't enough to reverse the bad feeling around the stock as the latest earnings report marked the sixth consecutive quarter of revenue declines.
BAD NEWS FOR BUY NOW, PAY LATER
The buy now, pay later industry has stirred up plenty of controversy in its relatively short history, but now it seems the business model itself is faltering. Shares of Affirm Holdings, a major player in the sector, tumbled more than 20 percent Friday after the company released a forward guidance that further tempered expectations. Essentially, the company has been growing steadily, but now it's projecting flat growth in the coming quarter, which is never a good sign for public companies.
EURO VS DOLLAR
Finally, for the first time in two decades, the price of the Euro traded below the dollar. The news shocked currency traders who thought this was basically impossible — even though there have been several signs that it was coming down the pike. Theories vary about what exactly caused the dip, but the most common answer is that Europe's economic well-being is diverging from the United States, largely because of energy.