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.
Markets started the week still reeling from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's Jackson Hole speech, which made it very clear that more rate hikes were coming in September. However, stocks got a temporary boost Friday morning after the August jobs report showed a slight deceleration in the labor market. The U.S. economy added fewer jobs than the month prior, and unemployment ticked up to 3.7 percent. Investors seemed to interpret the news as a sign that the Fed might moderate its policy stance, but apparently, this argument wasn't very convincing — at least not for long — as all the major indices lost their gains before the end of the day. Consumers, meanwhile, are actually feeling better about the economy. The latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, a monthly survey asking consumers about their view of business and labor conditions, increased for the first time in three months.
MARKETS TO NEW STARBUCKS CEO: WHO CARES?
Starbucks announced its new CEO on Thursday, and the response from Wall Street was basically a big shrug. Company founder Howard Schulz had been serving as CEO on a temporary basis while the company navigated a nationwide unionization drive. By all accounts, that struggle continues, and it's not clear if Starbucks will prevail in stopping more unions from forming across its national footprint. Indeed, news broke on Friday that New York City is suing the company for firing a barista who was organizing a union. This is one of several legal challenges Starbucks has faced for alleged union busting. Anyway, the new CEO is Laxman Narasimhan, a former PepsiCo executive. The next big landmark for the company is its investor day on September 12.
SNAP LAYOFFS GIVE AILING STOCK A BOOST
Shares of SNAP are up around 7 percent for the week following the announcement that the video-sharing platform will lay off 20 percent of its 6,000-person staff. The stock has struggled along with the rest of the tech sector; it tanked recently after the company released lackluster second-quarter earnings. Now it plans to restructure to deal with its financial situation. This will also mean pairing down some of its operations, including abandoning Snap Minis third-party apps and Snap Games. In the background of all this, of course, is the rise of TikTok, a similar short-video service that has become wildly popular in recent years.
SELF-DRIVING COMPANY SURGES ON RUMOR OF SALE
Aurora Innovation, a self-driving car company, saw its stock price shoot up 15 percent on Friday following reports that Apple or Microsoft may be exploring an acquisition. We know this because co-founder Chris Urmson inadvertently sent a memo outlining the deal to staff, according to a Bloomberg report. Urmson notably has a history of working under a large corporation. He used to work for Google's self-driving unit before setting out on his own. The stock is one of the biggest winners of the week, as its gains held out even as the overall market took a turn for the worse.