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The Week's Top Stories: Tech Tanks, $2 Billion Vaccine Deal & Boeing 737 Max Latest

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A Boeing 737 MAX jet heads to a landing at Boeing Field following a test flight Monday, June 29, 2020, in Seattle. The jet took off from Boeing Field earlier in the day, the start of three days of re-certification test flights that mark a step toward returning the aircraft to passenger service. The Federal Aviation Administration test flights over the next three days will evaluate Boeing's proposed changes to the automated flight control system on the MAX, a system that activated erroneously on two flights that crashed, killing 346 people. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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.

U.S.-CHINA TENSION HITS MARKETS

Stocks broadly fell on Wall Street Friday amid increased tensions between the United States and China, in addition to a mixed batch of earnings reports. The U.S. and China went back and forth with orders to close consulates, drawing concerns from investors also dealing with the surging cases of coronavirus in the American South and the uptick in filings for unemployment benefits last week. The uncertainty in the markets, as technology and health care companies accounted for much of the selling, led to a record rise in the price of gold.

TECH TUMBLES

Tech companies did their part dragging down markets by the end of this week, despite a series of impressive earnings reports. Tesla beats made it eligible for the S&P, but the stock price still dropped as investors wonder where the EV-maker can go from here. Social media giants Twitter and Snap both saw their user bases grow, but a dearth of advertising dollars in the industry are raising questions about how they're going to make money in Q3. Intel stock also plummeted after indicating the storied manufacturer may move away from producing its own chips. 

VACCINES AND TREATMENTS

Even as the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpassed 4 million this week, some glimmers of hope came in the form of potential vaccines. Pharma companies Pfizer and  BioNTech made a nearly $2 billion deal with the federal government to deliver a working vaccine. The deal pushed stocks higher on Wednesday. Sorrento Therapeutics also received a big boost on the news that the FDA approved their COVID-19 treatment Abivertinib for a Phase 2 trial on hospitalized patients.

BOEING MAX UPDATE

Don't expect the Boeing 737 MAX to hit the skies in 2020, according to a report this week from The Wall Street Journal. But for investors, some news was better than no news: stock ticked up on the report. Boeing got another ding on Friday, though, as the FAA warned airlines to inspect older models of the 737 NG and Classic that haven't flown for a week over corrosion that could possibly lead to engine failure. 

MICROSOFT'S HARD KNOCKS

Tech giant Microsoft reported some stellar earnings news on Wednesday, beating analyst expectations on revenue by nearly $1.5 billion, as the coronavirus drove demand for the company's tools for remote work. But, the stock still fell nearly 2.5 percent on news of slowing growth for its Azure business. On top of that, the messaging app company Slack filed a complaint against Microsoft with the European Commission, citing anti-competitive behavior. Slack accused Microsoft of having "illegally tied" its Teams product to Office. Microsoft, however, added some positivity to the week announcing its part in a coalition of large companies called Transform to Net Zero with the goal of achieving carbon negativity by the year 2030.
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