Weekly Financial Recap April 22nd

Some highlights of this past week’s news in business

stream_imgUnited Kingdom Prime Minister, Theresa May 

U.S. Economy

  • For the week ending April 15, U.S. jobless claims surpassed initial estimates. The Department of Labor announced 244,000 initial claims, slightly overshadowing the estimated 242,000. This was an increase of 10,000 from the previous week’s claims. The 4-week moving average decreased by 4,250 to 243,000. Claims have now been under 300,000 for 111 weeks, a benchmark associated with a healthy labor market. U.S. financial markets were marginally influenced by the data.
  • The NASDAQ closed at a record high led by strong first quarter earnings’ reports. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 66 points (0.32%) for the week’s close. The Dow was led by a strong earning’s report from American Express which rose almost 5% at the end of the week to a price of $79.59. AMEX’s growth was accompanied by growth from other credit card companies including MasterCard, Visa, and Discover.

Technology

  • The streaming service, Spotify, sealed a multi-year licensing deal with Merlin Network, which represents more than 20,000 independent artists and labels. This move represents Spotify’s latest step in launching an IPO. The company also inked a deal with Universal Music in an effort to solidify sounder financial footing ahead of future signings with major music labels.
  • PetSmart announced their plan to acquire the fast-growing pet food and product site chewy.com for an astounding $3.35 Billion, the largest e-commerce acquisition in history. PetSmart, which was valued at only $8.7 Billion in 2015 when private equity investor BC Partners took it over, intends to be the one-stop-shop for all pet product needs while also dominating market share.
    • The 5-year company, Chewy.com, recorded $900 million in revenue just last year.

International Economics 

  • The British pound soared as Prime Minister Theresa May announced a snap election to strengthen the Conservative Party’s negotiation abilities in Post-Brexit negotiations. Polls show that the Conservative party is 20 points ahead of its main opposition, the Labour Party, in the upcoming election. The USD and GBP are trading at $1.28 per Pound as of 4/22/17. 

Ali Punjani
Independent Business Blogger

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