Shrugging Off Inflation Signs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index closed at record highs Friday, while the Nasdaq Composite exited correction territory, as stocks shrugged off inflation fears despite data showing U.S. producer prices rose more than forecast. The main U.S. equity indexes all recorded weekly gains. The Dow rose 297.03 points, or 0.9%, to close at a record 33,800.60, after hitting a record intraday high of 33,810.87. The S&P 500 index rose 31.63 points, or 0.8%, to end at a record 4128.80, after setting an intraday record of 4129.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 70.88 points, or 0.5%, ending at 13,900.19 and exiting correction territory, defined as a slump of at least 10% from its prior closing record. For the week, the S&P 500 advanced 2.7%, the Dow rose 2%, and the Nasdaq added 3.1%.
U.S. Producer Prices Heated Up in March. Now the Inflation Debate Is Heating Up.
U.S. producers are facing sharply higher input costs as prices surge on everything from oil to transportation.
The Labor Department’s producer-price index rose 1% in March from a month earlier, double the rate reported in February as well as double the rate of increase economists had anticipated for March. From a year earlier, wholesale prices jumped 4.2%. That’s versus a 2.8% rate in February and versus the 3.8% gain economists projected.
Excluding the effects of food and energy, so-called core inflation rose a much higher-than-expected 0.7% month-over-month and 3.1% year-over-year. The figures follow a hotter-than-anticipated PPI report from China on Thursday night, showing price increases are happening globally.
Initial Jobless Claims Show Surprising Pickup, Defying Rehiring Trends
The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment insurance unexpectedly rose in the latest week, showing that layoffs continue even as rehiring is robust and job openings plentiful.
In the week ending April 3, seasonally adjusted initial claims increased by 16,000 to 744,000. That’s as the prior week’s level was revised higher by 9,000, to 728,000, with the latest figures pushing up the four-week moving average to 724,000. Economists polled by FactSet expected a sizable drop in the latest week’s round of claims, to 660,000.
Amazon Has Enough Votes to Beat Warehouse Unionization Effort
Turns out workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama don’t want to form a union, after all.
Amazon has enough votes to beat the unionization effort, making the e-commerce giant the unofficial victor in the monthslong battle. The no votes hit a simple majority on Friday, according to multiple reports. Union officials have already asked for an investigation, according to CNBC.
EU and U.K. Say AstraZeneca Vaccine Is Safe, but U.K. to Offer Alternative to Younger Adults
The European Union drug regulator said that “unusual blood clots” should be listed as a “very rare” side effect of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, but insisted the benefits of the shot outweigh the risks.
The U.K. regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), also said the cases were “extremely rare” and stressed the benefits outweigh the risks for the “vast majority” of people, and recommended no age restrictions on the vaccine.
However, Dr. June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA, said that for young people it was more “finely balanced.” As a result, the U.K. government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said people under age 30 would be offered an alternative vaccine, such as the one made by German biotech BioNTech with U.S. drug company Pfizer or the shot from U.S. biotech Moderna.
The commercial aerospace giant Boeing is recommending that 16 customers address electrical issues on 737 MAX jets before flying them again.
The MAX update, issued via a news release Friday, is short. Boeing has recommended to 16 customers that they address a potential electrical issue in a specific group of 737 MAX airplanes prior to further operations, reads the first portion. The company goes on to say the issue is related to electrical grounding and that it is working with the Federal Aviation Administration.
Coinbase Plans to Go Public Next Week. Its First-Quarter Revenue Jumped 847%.
One week before its initial public offering, Coinbase said the recent Bitcoin rally helped its revenue rocket by 847% during the first quarter.
Coinbase said Tuesday it expects first-quarter revenue of about $1.8 billion, up from $190.6 million for the same period in 2020. Its first-quarter net income jumped between $730 million to $800 million, from about $32 million last year. Assets on the Coinbase platform rose to $223 billion during the first three months of the year, versus $90 billion at the end of 2020.
Credit Suisse on Tuesday disclosed how much it has lost from the meltdown of Archegos Capital Management, as two high-ranking executives announced their resignations.
Credit Suisse said it will record a charge of 4.4 billion Swiss francs ($4.7 billion) in the first quarter and said Brian Chin, the chief executive of the investment bank, and Lara Warner, the chief risk and compliance officer, will step down.
Supreme Court Rules for Google in Long Copyright Fight With Oracle
Google won a victory Monday at the Supreme Court in a decadelong battle with Oracle over what constitutes fair use of proprietary software code.
In a case originally filed in 2010, Oracle claimed that Google had developed the Android operating system software, which has roots in the Java programming language, without a Java license, copying key code known as application programming interfaces, or APIs. The code allows various programs to talk to one another.
Java had been developed at Sun Microsystems, which Oracle acquired in 2010.
IMF Offers a Rosier Global Outlook, but Also Sounds a Warning
The International Monetary Fund offered a more upbeat outlook for global economic growth, largely because of faster growth in the U.S., but also raised concerns about a dangerous divergence in recovery prospects around the world and the financial risks they pose.
At the beginning of the IMF and World Bank’s annual spring meetings, being held virtually this week, the IMF raised its global economic growth forecast to 6% amid unprecedented stimulus from policy makers around the world and progress on vaccines. That would mark the fastest global growth since the 1970s and a half-percentage point faster than the IMF expected in January.