U.S. stocks shrug off record inflation to post best week since first quarter
Good evening, Bull Sheeters. This is Fortune reporter Rey Mashayekhi, filling in for Bernhard with a special PM edition of the newsletter.
U.S. stocks ended the week in style, with the major indexes shrugging off record inflation data to post their best week since the first quarter. That enthusiasm wasn’t shared by the European bourses and Asian markets, unfortunately.
- The U.S. markets let neither inflation nor the Omicron variant keep them from ending the week on a strong note. The S&P climbed nearly 1% to close at a record high of 4,712 points, the Dow rose 0.6%, and the Nasdaq gained 0.7%. The S&P and Nasdaq recorded their best week since February, and the Dow its best week since March.
- As expected, Labor Department data showed that inflation hit its highest level in 39 years in November, with the Consumer Price Index up 6.8% year-on-year. Wall Street mostly shrugged off the number, as it was on par with expectations.
- The Justice Department has reportedly launched an expansive criminal investigation into short-selling by hedge funds and research firms.
- Corporate insiders including Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Satya Nadella, and the Walton family are selling their companies’ stock at historic levels.
- Speaking of insider stock sales, meme-stock AMC Entertainment saw its shares sink 7% Friday after both its CEO and CFO unloaded huge chunks of their equity in the movie theater chain.
- And in other selloff news, the new Sex and the City reboot may have played a part in tanking Peloton’s stock Friday.
- The European bourses all moved lower on the day. London’s FTSE fell 0.4%, Frankfurt’s DAX notched down 0.1%, the CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.2%, and the pan-European STOXX 600 shed 0.3%.
- Microsoft’s $16 billion bid to acquire speech recognition software firm Nuance Communication is reportedly set to receive the approval of EU antitrust regulators.
- Daimler Truck, a spinoff from the German automotive giant, had a positive public market debut in Frankfurt on Friday.
- Spanish banking giant Santander has been ordered by a judge to pay Andrea Orcel—now the CEO of Italian lender UniCredit—more than $75 million for reneging on a commitment to make him its chief executive.
- Royal Dutch Shell shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favor of the oil giant’s plan to end its dual share structure and move its headquarters to the U.K. from the Netherlands.
- Asian markets pulled back across the board. Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 1%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.1%, and South Korea’s KOSPI shed 0.6%. On mainland China, Shanghai’s SSE Composite and Shenzhen’s SZSE Component each slipped 0.2%.
- Chinese facial recognition software firm SenseTime has delayed its IPO in Hong Kong after being placed on a U.S. government blacklist.
- Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Global is reportedly tapping Goldman Sachs to advise on both its planned public listing in Hong Kong and its delisting from the U.S. market.
- Japan’s ruling coalition has rolled out a “new capitalism” plan that would deduct taxes on companies that raise wages.
- Gold notched up but remains below $1,800/ounce.
- The dollar eased on the day but is in a bullish mood.
- Crude oil rose, with Brent settling at north of $75/barrel.
- Bitcoin remains below $48,000.
That’s all from me for this week; Bernhard will be back at the helm on Monday. Please be sure to check out today’s reads below, and have a wonderful weekend.
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