The daily business briefing: April 27, 2022
Stock futures rebound after Tuesday's selloff, Tesla shares plunge after Musk reaches Twitter takeover deal, and more
Stock futures rise after tech-fueled selloff
U.S. stock futures rose early Wednesday, putting Wall Street on track to regain some of its losses in a Tuesday tech-fueled selloff. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq were all up by more than 1 percent at 6:30 a.m. ET. The Nasdaq plunged by nearly 4 percent on Tuesday, its biggest one-day decline since September 2020, leaving it at a fresh 52-week low about 23 percent below its high. The Dow fell 809 points or 2.4 percent on Tuesday on mounting concerns about inflation, rising interest rates, and China's COVID-19 outbreak. Big companies are continuing to report earnings, with Ford Motor and Facebook parent Meta posting results Wednesday.
Tesla shares dive after news of Musk's Twitter takeover
Tesla shares plunged by 12 percent Tuesday as investors dumped shares on concerns that CEO Elon Musk might sell a significant number of shares to fund his $44 billion Twitter takeover. The decline reduced Tesla's valuation by about $126 billion. The electric-car maker's market capitalization is now down more than $275 billion since Musk revealed that he had become Twitter's biggest shareholder. The value of Musk's 17 percent Tesla stake is now down more than $40 billion. Tesla shares also have been dragged down by a broader selloff fueled by high inflation and slowing economic growth, and by anticipation of Federal Reserve interest hikes.
Pfizer asks FDA to authorize boosters for kids 5 through 11
Pfizer and BioNTech on Tuesday asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize giving their coronavirus booster shots to children ages 5 through 11. The companies gave the FDA test data showing that their low-dose COVID-19 booster for children in that age group could provide protection against the highly contagious Omicron variant, and renew waning immunity that has left other age groups vulnerable to Omicron and other variants. "Over time, immunity to the vaccine wanes," said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a Stanford infectious disease researcher who has helped test Pfizer's vaccine. Skeptics questioned whether younger kids need a booster after the initial two doses of Pfizer's vaccine.
Google-parent Alphabet revenue rises but misses expectations
Google's parent company, Alphabet, reported Tuesday that its first-quarter profit slipped despite a 23 percent increase in revenue over the same period last year. Alphabet shares fell about 3 percent in after-hours trading, as the company's earnings and revenue fell short of analysts' expectations. Earnings came in at $24.62 per share, compared to the $25.91 expected, according to Refinitiv. YouTube ad revenue came in below expectations, after benefiting earlier in the pandemic as people stuck at home due to coronavirus restrictions streamed more video. The miss also came as rival TikTok grabbed a growing share of social-media video users.
Walmart increases fuel discount for Walmart+ subscribers
Walmart announced Wednesday that it is increasing its fuel discount for Walmart+ members from 5 to 10 cents a gallon, effective immediately, and allowing members to use the discount at 12,000 Exxon and Mobil stations. The change, intended to boost subscriptions and renewals at a time of high fuel prices, sweetens a key perk in Walmart+ membership, which the retail giant launched in September 2020 in a challenge to Amazon's Prime subscription service. Other features of the $98 per year, or $12.95 per month, service include unlimited free delivery and a Scan & Go option for in-store shopping.