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.
ROBINHOOD IPO FIZZLES
Online brokerage firm Robinhood had one of the worst public debuts for a company of its size in more than a decade, as critics lambasted the investing app and co-founder Vlad Tenev fell under investigation for failing to register with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a top Wall Street regulator. The stock started trading at $38 per share, already on the low end of its range, before plummeting 10 percent and ending the day around $34 per share, bumping up to $35 on Friday. Big-name investors such as Michael Burry and Warren Buffett criticized the company, which has presided over the recent boom in retail investing, for encouraging excessive risk-taking.
TECH EARNINGS MIXED
Tech earnings were a mixed bag this week. For Amazon CEO Andy Jassy's first quarter at the helm, the e-commerce giant reported another $100 billion quarter but missed sales expectations for the first time in a long time. Shares dropped 7 percent on the news. At Facebook, digital ad spending fueled a 56 percent pop in revenue, even as the company warned of a longer-term slowdown due to headwinds in the changing ad targeting business. Google parent company Alphabet, meanwhile, crushed Wall Street expectations, with a 69 percent jump in total ad revenue.
EVs: GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS
EV companies saw rallies, IPOs, and fraud charges this week. Tesla's stock soared Thursday on the news that the infrastructure package coming out of Congress could include $7.5 billion to build 500,000 electric vehicle chargers throughout the country. Lucid Motors also made its public debut via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as reservations for its electric luxury sedan stack up and CEO Peter Rawlinson hopes to vie for the status of the "Next Tesla." In the meantime, a federal grand jury charged Trevor Milton, founder of electric truck company Nikola, with three counts of criminal fraud for lying about multiple aspects of his business.
Stocks of Activision Blizzard slumped this week as employees staged a walkout after California filed a lawsuit against the video game company alleging widespread discrimination and sexual harassment of women and other marginalized groups. The workers demanded better working conditions and an end to the abusive practices. CEO Bobby Kotick issued a statement calling the company's response so far "tone deaf."
Chicken sandwiches and celebrity-sponsored meals powered an earnings beat at fast-food giant McDonald's this week. The company reported a 25.9 percent jump in same-store sales, crediting its new Crispy Chicken Sandwich and its "famous orders" promotion, which pairs meals with big-name pop stars. The latest promotion brought together an order of McNuggets and special sauces with K-pop group BTS. Next on the docket is hip-hop star Saweetie, whose "Saweetie 'N Sour" will include a Big Mac, four-piece Chicken McNuggets, medium fries, a medium Sprite, and BBQ sauce.