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More companies announce layoffs

25th June – 1st July 2022 | Another week in the markets

S&P 500 Nasdaq VIX DJIA Russell 1000 NYSE
3,825.33 11,127.85 26.70 31,097.26 2,099.54 14,636.76
-2.21% -4.13% -1.95% -1.28% -2.33% -1.18%
           
Nifty 50 Gold Silver Brent crude USD-INR EUR-INR
15,752.05 $1,812.90 $19.85 $111.48 78.95 82.33
0.34% -0.61% -5.11% 4.97% 0.90% 0.33%

Source: MarketWatch

Hello Saturday,

This week stocks end the month and the quarter on a grim note, more companies announce layoffs, and the crypto market finally sees a framework for regulations.

  • Gold sees its worst quarter since 2021, slumps by 7.12% 
  • Healthcare price transparency rules come into effect, aim to lower healthcare costs
  • EU becomes the first to set rules for crypto market regulation 
  • General Motors warns that quarterly earnings will be lower due to supply chain issues
  • Several companies announce job cuts and a hiring freeze amidst recession fears

Taking stock | All that gold does not glitter | X-ray vision | Coining terms | Generally Morose | Layoff season | Invest wisely

Taking stock 

Stocks ended the month and the quarter on Thursday in the negative booking a grim first half of the year. However, all major indices bounced back on Friday ahead of the 4th of July weekend. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both snapped out of their four-day losing streaks and gained 1.06% and 0.9%, respectively, while the Dow rose by 1.05%.  

No glitter

Gold slumped 7.12% this quarter, making it its worst quarter since early 2021. The primary reason for this safe-haven asset’s price falling is surging inflation and the aggressive stance of central banks around the world with regard to interest rate hikes. But it’s not just gold. This quarter has been bad for metals overall. Base metals recorded their worst quarterly slump since 2008, and the London Metal Exchange Index fell by about 25% since the end of March, its first quarterly drop since the beginning of the pandemic. Copper has dropped by 20%, tin by 38%, and aluminium by almost a third. 

Graph on LMEX Metals Index

X-ray vision

The healthcare price transparency rule, a part of the Trump administration’s transparency in coverage regulation, came into effect this Friday. This rule aims to help people access healthcare at lower prices by allowing them to estimate their medical bills and cost of treatment in advance as well as compare the costs of various hospitals. For this, it requires insurers and hospitals to publicly post in-network and out-of-network rates for all services and items online. They must also post a standard charges list or a price estimator tool for the 300 most common services. These costs are required to be updated once a month. Non-compliance can result in huge fines – in June, two hospitals in Georgia were issued the first fines for non-compliance, a total of $1.1 million. However, the setup cost for compliance is also significant for health systems. According to some insurers, the total setup and maintenance cost to comply with this rule will be 26 times higher than the estimated $510,000.

Coining terms

After months of volatility in the crypto market, the EU becomes the first to set rules for regulating the crypto market. On Thursday, EU officials agreed on the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) rules that aim to offer more protection to crypto users and require issuers of crypto assets and providers to seek authorisation in order to operate in the EU bloc. The proposed framework, however, still needs to be approved by the member states and the European Parliament and is not expected to kick in until 2023 or 2024. 

Generally Morose

On Friday, General Motors warned that its second-quarter earnings might fall short of Wall Street’s expectations owing to supply chain issues. The company revealed that it currently has about 95,000 vehicles sitting in its inventory that are still waiting for parts owing to the semiconductor shortage and other supply chain disruptions. The company expects net income to be in the range of $1.6 billion and $1.9 billion as opposed to the $2.46 billion as expected by analysts. 

Layoff season

Over the last two weeks, several companies have announced either significant layoffs or a hiring freeze as the fear of a recession continues to grow. This is across industries including tech, finance, health, auto and more. Tesla plans to lay off 10% of its staff while Netflix announced a second round of job cuts this year, 350 positions this time. Other major companies include JPMorgan Chase, Coinbase, CVS Health, and Meta.

Invest wisely

During times of high inflation, investors would turn towards gold as it was that one asset class that would tend to perform well even during such times. That, however, is no longer true. With gold falling over 7% this quarter as inflation continues to be at record-high levels, it’s important to focus on diversifying your investments. This can be done through products such as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and global equities. To gain access to a wide range of high-performing global stocks and ETFs, download the Appreciate App today.

Warm regards,
Another week
in the markets

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