Thursday, April 14, 2022

Stocks Fall Thursday to End Holiday Week Lower. U.S. stock indexes finished lower Thursday, booking weekly declines in an abbreviated week of trade, with investors digesting quarterly results from major Wall Street banks and economic data, including March retail sales. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 113 points, or 0.3%, ending at 34,451. The S&P 500 lost 54 points, or 1.2%, finishing at 4393, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped nearly 293 points, or 2.1%, to close at 13,351. For the week, the S&P 500 shed 2.1% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 2.6%, with both booking a second straight week of losses. The Dow lost 0.8%, recording a third-straight week of losses. U.S. equity markets will be closed on Good Friday.

Elon Musk Wants to Buy Twitter. Now Watch Its Board.

The next move is up to Twitter’s directors.
After more than a week of vague posts, the disclosure that he is Twitter ’s biggest shareholder with a 9.2% stake, and an about-face on taking a board seat, Elon Musk finally played his hand, making it explicit he wants to control the company. The Tesla CEO said in a regulatory filing that he made a nonbinding offer to buy Twitter at $54.20 a share.
Twitter said it received the offer, which is about 18% above the stock’s closing level on Wednesday, and would consider it. The board will need to weigh the roughly $43 billion Musk has bid against what it views as fair.

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Mortgage Rates Hit 5%, Highest Since 2011

Mortgage rates just keep going up. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage reached 5% for the first time since 2011, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market survey.
Mortgage rates have been gaining quickly. Since the end of 2021, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has increased by 1.9 percentage points, adding about $300 to monthly payments on a $350,000 home loan, according to a Realtor.com mortgage calculator.

Retail Sales Rose Slightly in March Even as Gas, Food Prices Spike

Data from the Census Bureau Thursday showed retail sales rose less than expected in March, even as consumers shelled out more for gasoline.
Retail sales were up 0.5% in March from the previous month, below the 0.6% that economists were predicting. Sales excluding auto sales and gasoline were up 0.2%.

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Meta Plans to Charge Up to 50% Fees for Transactions in the Metaverse

Meta Platforms plans to charge fees of up to 47.5% for transactions that take place in virtual worlds hosted on its platforms, setting the tech giant up to dominate digital-asset markets in the metaverse.
Creators in the virtual worlds hosted by Meta will be able to sell digital goods to users, the company announced this week. Those sales will be subject to a 30% platform fee from the Meta Quest Store—where Meta’s virtual reality headset users buy games and apps—in addition to a fee of as much as 17.5% from Horizon Worlds, Meta told Barron’s on Thursday.

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Peloton Cuts Bike Prices in ‘Strategic’ Bid for Market Share, Boosts Subscription Cost

Peloton Interactive said it was slashing prices of its signature bikes and treadmill products while hiking monthly subscription costs in a bid to grow market share.
Peloton will lower the cost of its original Bike by $300 to $1,195. The Bike+ will drop $500 to $1,995. Peloton’s treadmill will drop by $150 to $2,345.

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Biden to Allow Higher-Ethanol Gas to Be Sold Over the Summer

President Joe Biden will allow sales of a higher-ethanol gasoline blend this summer as he tries to find ways to ease elevated fuel prices. The president commented on the plan during a visit to a bioethanol production plant near Menlo, Iowa, this week.
Ethanol is a liquid fuel made from corn, and Iowa is the nation’s leading corn producer. Adding a higher-ethanol blend as a gasoline option “stretches the supply,” Biden said. “It gives you a choice at the pump. When you have a choice, you have competition. When you have competition, you get better prices.”

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Air Travel Is Back. Buckle Up for Sky-High Fares.

The pandemic compensated intrepid travelers with cheap fares. That’s over.

Delta Air Lines and other carriers are bringing cheer with earnings reports citing surging demand. So the higher fares they’re charging for summer flights look like they will stick.

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Hasbro Pushes for Digital Growth of Dungeons & Dragons With $146M Acquisition

Hasbro is acquiring D&D Beyond, a digital toolset for the toy maker’s flagship Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, for $146.3 million in cash, the company said Wednesday.
D&D Beyond, which is owned by fan entertainment site Fandom, allows gamers to create Dungeons & Dragons characters and encounters, and to access game rules, handbooks, and other resources online. The online resource has nearly 10 million registered users, Hasbro said in its news release.

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This Measure of Inflation Just Rose at a Record Rate.

Businesses felt the bite from inflation in March as prices for goods and services surged more than expected.
The producer price index, or PPI, rose 11.2% year over year in March on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department said this week. This is the largest increase since 12-month data were first calculated in November 2010, and follows a 10% increase in February.

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Google Is Betting Billions on Offices and Physical Locations

Alphabet’s Google unit this week said it would invest roughly $9.5 billion on its U.S. campuses and data centers this year.
The expansion will lead to at least 12,000 new full-time Google jobs by the end of the year, and thousands more among its network of local suppliers, partners, and communities, the company said.

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