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.
The stock market had another rough-and-tumble week with possible rate hikes, the Ukraine crisis, and high inflation delivering a triple whammy of uncertainty to equity investors. In line with recent weeks, once-high-flying tech stocks suffered the most. Shares of Roblox, the fast-growing gaming platform and launchpad for the metaverse, plunged nearly 30 percent after missing analysts' estimates. Shares of Roku, the streaming device maker, dropped 25 percent, and Shopify, the e-commerce giant, dropped 23 percent, both for similar reasons as Roblox. Palantir, meanwhile, fell 15 percent because it wasn't growing as fast as expected. Notably, all of these companies reported growth, just not what was promised. Investors, it seems, are raising their expectations for tech companies as a tighter market looms.
Not every darling of the tech boom got drubbed. Airbnb's stock jumped 3.7 percent on the news that revenue climbed 38 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter. In a letter to shareholders, the company highlighted how the pandemic has actually led to a boom in long-term stays, as remote work has allowed people to travel even when they're not on vacation. Pent-up demand for travel was also a factor, as COVID restrictions end across the country, which the company said will continue to drive growth in the coming year and even push it beyond pre-pandemic levels. The summer travel season already has 25 percent more bookings than in 2019. Airbnb's share price grew more than 5 percent over the week.
Another stock that benefitted from what's increasingly looking like a new post-pandemic normal was DoorDash. The company's latest earnings showed a 35 percent year-over-year increase in delivery orders and a 36 percent increase in gross spending. For a lot of companies coming out of the pandemic, that gain might have been less impressive, but DoorDash excelled during the lockdowns. The fact that growth is still ratcheting up could be a sign that the delivery economy made some lasting gains. Shares were up 10 percent on Thursday.
ViacomCBS rebranded this week as Paramount Global in a bid to place its budding streaming service at the center of its business model. The media conglomerate was a latecomer to the streaming wars with its Paramount+ but is quickly gaining ground on competitors such as HBO Max and Netflix. Now it plans to bundle Showtime with Paramount+ and give it exclusive streaming rights to all Paramount Pictures movies by 2024. Investors weren't impressed, however, and shares tumbled 18 percent following its earnings report.
WALMART WEATHERS INFLATION
Meanwhile, the leading brick and mortar retailer showed that it's weathering inflation headwinds. Walmart's stock popped on Thursday despite the broader market downturn as the company reported solid earnings and evidence that it was largely absorbing higher costs. Due to its dominant position in the market, the company was able to keep shelves stocked and prices relatively low, even as inflation drove up prices throughout the economy. But even Walmart's status as a world-bestriding monopoly didn't save it from supply chain woes. The company reported that supply-chain costs were over $400 million higher than anticipated.