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.
Starbucks is in the middle of a leadership shake-up, and investors seem okay with that. The stock jumped this week on the news that founder Howard Schultz will once again serve as chief executive, despite current CEO Kevin Johnson's success in steering the company through the pandemic. Some analysts said Schultz's return is a bid for stability, as the company faces plenty of negative press around a wave of unionizations. Eight stores have successfully unionized, and 100 have filed for union elections. The National Labor Relations Board is also looking into a complaint that Starbucks penalized a worker for union activity. So good luck, Schultz.
GAMESTOP DROP AND POP
GameStop investors are no strangers to volatility, but the stock was especially jumpy Friday after the company posted its fourth-quarter earnings. It plunged as much as 10 percent in the morning, surged back into the green in the afternoon, and ended the day up about 3.5 percent. The initial drop was a response to the company reporting a net loss during the holiday quarter and CEO Matt Furlong citing supply chain issues and the omicron variant for the ding. Why the stock then reversed course is unclear, but it looks like a case of meme-stock momentum.
AMC'S GOLD GAMBIT
So AMC (a movie theater company) bought a large stake in Hycroft (a Nevada-based gold and silver mine), and many are wondering what exactly inspired such a random investment. The company said it's a diversification move. Others speculate it's AMC playing "meme-stock kingmaker" in an industry that might not be as responsive to the whims of retail investors. Whatever their motivation, investors approved: The stock is up 10 percent this week.
FedEx's latest quarterly earnings beat revenue expectations but showed a slight miss on earnings per share, causing the stock to slide Friday. The fuel-dependent logistics company didn't, however, blame high energy costs or supply chain issues for its troubles. Most of those costs are passed onto customers in the form of surcharges anyway. Instead, the company pointed to severe labor shortages as the main challenge cutting into its bottom-line.
MORE NICKEL NONSENSE
We mostly cover stocks in this weekly roundup, but nickel is having quite the week, and the impact could ripple across financial markets. The London Metal Exchange reopened on Wednesday after shutting down last week due to an unprecedented surge in nickel prices, spurred by fears of the war in Ukraine cutting off Russian supply. Commodities traders are still working through what happened, but in the meantime, nickel dropped 12 percent on Friday, which once again hit up against the exchange's trading limits. It's all very confusing, but one thing that is clear: This is the most anyone has talked about metals in a long time.