Record-low jobless claims can’t lift U.S. stocks as Wall Street awaits November inflation data

Good evening, Bull Sheeters. This is Fortune reporter Rey Mashayekhi, filling in for Bernhard for the rest of this week with a special PM edition of the newsletter.

Historically low unemployment claims couldn’t keep the U.S. markets from snapping their recent winning streak on Thursday—with all eyes now on the Friday release of November’s inflation data. Elsewhere, Amazon was dealt a big fine by Italy’s antitrust regulator, and Fitch had its say on a pair of defaulted Chinese property developers.

Markets update


  • It appears U.S. markets aren’t fully over the implications of the Omicron variant and wider macroeconomic concerns, as the major indexes all retreated on Thursday. The Dow was virtually unchanged, but the S&P fell 0.7% and the Nasdaq shed 1.7%.
  • Likely contributing to Wall Street’s tepid day is the expectation that November’s Consumer Price Index, due out Friday morning, could reveal that inflation is at its highest level in nearly 40 years.
  • There was positive news on the labor market front, however: U.S. weekly jobless claims hit their lowest level in 52 years in the week ended Dec. 4.
  • Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler has floated stricter rules around SPACs.
  • Brazilian digital bank Nubank (ticker: NU) raised $2.6 billion in an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. The fintech company’s shares closed nearly 15% above their $9 IPO price, giving it a market capitalization approaching $50 billion.
  • The head of the BlackRock-owned iShares’ Americas investment strategy has advised investors to hedge against inflation.
  • Employees at a Starbucks location near Buffalo, N.Y., have voted to form the first labor union in the coffee chain’s 50-year history.


  • The European bourses moved lower across the board Thursday. London’s FTSE slipped 0.2%, Frankfurt’s DAX fell 0.3%, and both the CAC 40 in Paris and the pan-European STOXX 600 inched down 0.1%.
  • Italian regulators have hit Amazon with a $1.2 billion fine over antitrust violations.
  • Gig workers at Uber and other companies would be classified as employees and entitled to more benefits under a new EU proposal.
  • Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has survived a contentious conflict with labor leaders to keep his job—but not without losing some responsibilities and seeing his management team reshuffled.
  • French media conglomerate Vivendi has launched a takeover bid for media group Lagardère.
  • British neo-bank Monzo is now valued at $4.5 billion after raising $500 million in a funding round.


  • The Asian markets were mostly higher on the day. While the Nikkei in Tokyo fell nearly 0.5%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 1.1%. On mainland China, Shanghai’s SSE Composite rose 1% and Shenzhen’s SZSE Component gained 1.2%. South Korea’s KOSPI picked up 0.9%.
  • Fitch is calling it: Chinese property developers Evergrande and Kaisa have both defaulted on their debts, according to the credit ratings agency. Meanwhile, China’s top central banker has attempted to dispel concerns about the fallout, and Chinese regulators have reopened an onshore funding vehicle for the country’s developers.
  • Chinese facial recognition software company SenseTime has seen its upcoming Hong Kong IPO sullied by reports that U.S. regulators will place the firm on a blacklist.
  • Toshiba investors are voicing concerns about the Japanese conglomerate’s plan to split itself into three companies.
  • Following its CEO’s arrest last month, shares of Macau gambling operator Suncity halted trading in Hong Kong pending a “possible loan default,” the company said.


  • Gold eased slightly and remains below $1,800/ounce.
  • The dollar rose.
  • Crude oil fell, with Brent settling above $74/barrel.
  • Bitcoin slid below $48,000.


That’s all for today; please be sure to check out today’s reads below. Have a wonderful evening and see you tomorrow.

Rey Mashayekhi

As always, you can write to or reply to this email with suggestions and feedback.

Today's reads

Nubank’s co-founder Cristina Junqueira talks inflation concerns, serving the underserved after blockbuster IPO by Felicia Hou

J.P. Morgan says 2022 will be a great year: COVID’s impact will diminish and the economy will fully recover by Nicole Goodkind

Meet the typical American crypto owner: A millennial who voted for Biden and earns over $50,000 by Megan Leonhardt

Buy your lumber now? Retail wood prices are about to spike by Lance Lambert

Life insurance payouts see highest increase in over 100 years by Chris Morris

Bitcoin miners have returned to the record activity they had before China’s crypto crackdown—but they are still looking for a home by Sophie Mellor

The next recession: Here’s when the ‘everything bubble’ will burst by Murray Sabrin

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Market candy


That’s how far Robinhood’s stock has fallen from its $38 July IPO price, after it closed Thursday’s session at $21.91 per share. As the Wall Street Journal notes, the stock-trading app is going through an exceptionally challenging stretch as a public company; its shares tumbled to an all-time intraday low this week, and are now 74% below their intraday high of $85 in early August.

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