Weekly Dose

U.S. Economy Growth Slows, Tech Earnings in Focus, and More!

By:Vonetta Logan

Vonetta Logan's weekly recap of the big business, news, markets, political, cultural and viral trending stories featured this week on Daily Dose

What’s up tastynation! Welcome to this week’s edition of Weekly Dose! Each week, I recap the top stories that I covered on Daily Dose. If you missed any eps of Daily Dose you can catch up on them here

My car windshield literally frosted over yesterday, and I had to drive to work Ace Ventura style. It is almost May. BUT this weekend's temps are supposed to be 47(!!) degrees higher than last weekend. Let’s go.

A black horse and a white horse covered in blood literally ran through the streets of London, Big Ben stopped at exactly 9 a.m. the Royals are mad about jam, and we’re somehow supposed to just Keep Calm and Carry On???

Something crazy is happening or Taylor Swift’s marketing team is working overtime. The new album is amazing, and I have listened to nothing else since it came out. Watch the Fortnight video here

Let’s get to this week’s recap.

The market wants to enter a new era 

Out with the old! First, a Fed survey came out this week and said that inflation and political instability were the two key risks that could threaten the nation’s financial stability. Yawn.

Then, GDP came out on Wednesday and The U.S. economy grew at its slowest pace in nearly two years in the first quarter amid a surge in imports and small build-up of unsold goods at businesses. Ugh, I’m bored.

In with the new! The New York Stock Exchange this week expressed a desire to have trading move to a 24-hour cycle. Now we’re talking. In its poll, the NYSE asked market participants whether they thought the exchange should be open 24/7, or just 24 hours on weekdays, the Financial Times reported.

We also got news this week that a new ETF wants to offer investors 100% downside protection. Calamos Investments filed for so-called “structured-protection” exchange-traded funds that will track a portion of the returns of the S&P 500, Nasdaq 100 and Russell 2000 while hedging 100% of the downside via the options market, according to a Monday filing.

Your upside, however, is capped at 9.65%. You can hear Tom’s thoughts on this ETF here.

And then, just as we come close to a perfect trifecta of market changes, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission comes out and ruins our party.  The top Wall Street regulator is considering an outright ban on using derivatives to bet on U.S. elections as part of a crackdown on so-called event contracts, according to people familiar with the plans.

Gah! We were so close, you guys! Anyway, making changes to static market structure is always good. Hopefully more players enter to shake things up to give us new ETFs, more trading hours, and the ability to bet on our unhinged political candidates. 

Earnings learnings 

Class, what did we learn this week?

First, if you miss estimates on both top and bottom lines, but you post dank memes and promise robot cars, stock soars. Conversely, you do all the work for your entire group project, beat on both top and bottom lines, but say “hey, dunno how much longer I can keep doing this. I wanna wrestle dudes.” And the market shames you and your entire family.

That’s basically what played out in the markets this week as two tech titans had wildly different reactions to their earnings. Those companies being Tesla (TSLA) and Meta Platforms (META). Tesla posted first-quarter earnings-per-share that fell short of consensus forecasts but exceeded estimates for gross margin. Market don’t care. Tesla’s stock rip roared up over 10% on the news.

Meanwhile, Meta issued better-than-expected results for the first quarter, but the stock sank on a light revenue forecast. Meta sank 16% and took the Nasdaq (QQQ) with it. This week was the perfect example of “even if you had the number beforehand, you still wouldn't know what to do with it.”

Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) and Microsoft (MSFT) came to save the market Meta almost destroyed on Friday. Google announced it is buying back $70 billion in stock and will have a dividend for the first time ever. Microsoft and its newly realized market BDE also beat on earnings on the strength of its cloud offerings. More big tech earnings are on deck for next week, so buckle up, buttercup. 

Let’s Go Dark Brandon! 

The Biden Administration popped off this week with a spate of wild updates to current regulations.

First, the administration announced new rules to require airlines to be more transparent about extra fees and issue cash refunds automatically in certain cases. They’re like, if an airline hurts you, they must pay. I love the energy, Queen. No more "here's 5,000 miles for missing your own wedding." Oh, that non-refundable trip you missed because our planes are held together with tape and a dream? Here’s a voucher for free ginger ale.

Federal regulators are correct that no passenger should have to beg or haggle with an airline for their own money back.

Then, the administration was like oh, did you think we were finished? How about we ban all non-compete clauses? **mic drop** The Federal Trade Commission voted this week to enact a nationwide ban against non-compete agreements.

The FTC estimates that 30 million American workers, or roughly 18%, are currently subject to a non-compete agreement. Then, they were like, we know that you corporate girlies™ are on salary but are still putting in hours and hours. How about some overtime pay?

The administration unveiled a rule extending mandatory overtime pay to an estimated 4 million salaried workers. The U.S. The Department of Labor rule will require employers to pay overtime premiums to workers who earn a salary of less than $1,128 per week, or about $58,600 per year, when they work more than 40 hours in a week.

The administration also waved its magic wand and brought back net neutrality this week. The U.S. government on Thursday banned internet service providers (ISPs) from meddling in the speeds their customers receive when browsing the web and downloading files, restoring tough rules rescinded during the Trump administration. If you've never seen John Oliver's Last Week Tonight pieces on the subject, rectify that now.

Then as the crowd was on its feet, the administration, flush with confidence, decided to try again for a 44% capital gains tax. Womp, womp. This doesn’t have a chance of passing, and the Biden Administration tries to insert it into literally every budget proposal. Way to harsh my high, man.

The administration also signed into law the TikTok divestiture bill this week. President Joe Biden signed a bill into law on Wednesday that would ban TikTok if it is not sold within a year. The social media app is owned by Chinese company ByteDance. You guys, that’s a lot. It was only five days, lol. 

Random chicanery 

These are my favorite funny stories of the week

That’s it for this week! See ya next week! 

Vonetta Logan has more than a decade of markets experience and has been a trader for five years. She is an on-air personality, creative writer and news correspondent at tastylive. Vonetta appears Monday-Friday on Daily Dose and contributes to Luckbox Magazine. @vonettalogan

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