27th August – 2nd September 2022 | Another week in the markets
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This week the US ban on chips export furthers the US-China trade war, the August jobs report shows slowing wage growth, and US stocks see low liquidity ahead of the Labor Day weekend.
- Starbucks names Laxman Narasimhan as the new CEO
- Pilots’ strike forces Lufthansa to cancel 800 flights
- Major VPN companies exit India as new internet rules threaten customers’ privacy
- US officials ask Nvidia Corp to halt chips export to China
- August jobs report shows signs of inflation easing
Taking stock | Single-origin Indian brew | Grounded | Privasee | Disintegrating circuits | Inflation easing? | Invest wisely
While Wall Street opened sharply higher on Friday on account of the August jobs report, stocks ended the trading week on a lower note. This was partly due to the concerns about the European gas crisis. All major indices had their third negative week in a row – S&P slid 3.29%, the Dow lost 2.99%, and Nasdaq fell 4.2%.
Single-origin Indian brew
On Thursday, Starbucks Corp announced its new Indian-origin CEO, Laxman Narasimhan. A day earlier, Narasimhan stepped down from his post as the CEO of Reckitt, the maker of Lysol disinfectants, Durex condoms, Enfamil baby formula, and other well-known consumer goods brands. Reckitt’s shares tumbled more than 4% after the announcement.
Though Narasimhan will be joining Starbucks on 1st October, he will take over as the CEO in April 2023. Until then, Howard Schultz will continue serving as the interim CEO. Starbucks has been going through a tough time, with more than 200 of its US stores being unionised in the past year. It’s also facing issues with higher costs for labour and ingredients while trying to rework its business model. Starbucks shares are down by over 27% since the year started. Narasimhan has also previously been PepsiCo’s global chief commercial officer and brings deep experience building powerful consumer brands.
Starbucks stock year-to-date:
Even though the demand for travel has picked up post the pandemic, the global airline industry continues to struggle due to staff shortages and strikes. This week Lufthansa, Germany’s flagship carrier and Europe’s second-largest airline, said that it would have to cancel 800 flights this Friday as the pilots’ union announced a one-day strike. After talks with the airline to increase pay failed, the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union said the pilots would go on a 24-hour strike. This impacts about 130,000 passengers along with cargo services.
It isn’t the first time this summer that Lufthansa was forced to cancel flights due to strikes and staffing gaps. Other European airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair have also faced multiple pilot strikes in August, which are likely to continue in the coming months. Several US airlines, like Delta Air, have been shelling out more in overtime and premium pay to avoid similar issues.
India’s new internet rules require Virtual Private Network (VPN) providers to collect customers’ IP addresses, names, and email IDs and provide this data to the government on demand. This would go into effect from 25th September, and major VPN providers have already started removing their servers from the country as the new rule strikes at the heart of their consumer value. India’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) backs the introduction of this rule to better handle cybersecurity cases and reduce the existing gaps. Global VPN firms see this as a violation of internet rights akin to the rules imposed in countries like China and Russia.
In yet another instance of the ongoing US-China trade war, officials have asked Nvidia Corp to stop exporting two of its high-end processors to China. These high-performance chips are primarily used for commercial applications. The new restrictions cut off major Chinese companies like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. from some of the world’s most advanced chips. While this hampers China’s ambitions to lead the world in artificial intelligence, the Asian giant isn’t the only one harmed. Nvidia Corp’s shares fell by about 11% on Thursday and its market value dropped by over $40 billion.
August jobs report showed a rise in the unemployment rate to 3.7% and cooling wage growth – the average hourly earnings rose 0.3% as opposed to the estimated 0.4%. This renewed hopes that the Federal Reserve may be less aggressive with rate hikes going forward as these could be considered signs of inflation finally beginning to ease.
Markets are as volatile as ever but don’t rush to sell off your investments just yet. According to research by JP Morgan Asset Management, over the last 20 years, the 10 best stock market days occurred after the massive declines during the 2008 financial crisis and the 2020 sell-off during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. By just missing a few days in the market, your returns can be reduced. Hence, don’t make any hasty decisions and continue to invest in a way that diversifies your portfolio across asset classes and geographies. Invest in high-performing US stocks and ETFs by downloading the Appreciate App today.
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