Arguably the biggest economic news of the week came on Friday when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced an increase in nonfarm payrolls of 379,000 in February. It was an enormously positive report, nearly doubling the 200,000 figure economists were expecting.
The job gains were largely led by the beaten-down leisure and hospitality industry, an encouraging sign as spring nears and the pace of vaccinations picks up. The unemployment rate finished February at 6.2%, an impressive improvement from the 14.7% jobless rate in April 2020 but still well off from 3.5% in February 2020.
All three major U.S. stock market indices finished higher Friday, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 572 points, or 1.9%, to finish at 31,496.
Epic Tesla decline. Elon Musk is a man of extremes. Even compared with fellow billionaires, his achievements, ambitions, intelligence and net worth are all extraordinary. The crown jewel of Musk’s investment portfolio, his holdings in Tesla (ticker: TSLA), has hit a rough patch recently, though.
In fact, Tesla’s recent decline from its all-time highs in late January clocked in at nearly 40% during Friday’s trading session, marking a roughly $330 billion decline in the company’s market value in less than six weeks.
New Robinhood IPO details. Robinhood, the free stock-trading app that helped usher in an era of unprecedented access to equity markets for everyday investors, is one of the hottest and most anticipated upcoming IPOs of 2021.
The company — which came under fire for trading restrictions it suddenly imposed on retail traders in stocks like GameStop ( GME) during the Reddit-fueled short squeeze of late January and early February — has reportedly elected to list its shares on the Nasdaq when it debuts.
Virgin Galactic slumps on Chamath sale. Shares of one of the most prominent SPACs, the commercial space company Virgin Galactic ( SPCE) fell 9.9% on Friday following news that chairman Chamath Palihapitiya sold a chunk of stock worth about $213 million during the week.
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