What a difference a month — and a day — can make. Meta Platforms Inc.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg pleased investors when the Facebook holding company reported its fourth-quarter results after the close on Feb. 1.
Rather than focusing on the build-out of the company’s metaverse virtual reality environment, Zuckerberg said his managerial theme for 2023 would be “Year of Efficiency.” This was exactly what investors wanted to hear, especially when the company reported a 4% decline in fourth-quarter revenue from the year-earlier quarter, along with a 22% increase in expenses, a 52% decline in earnings per share and a 58% decline in free cash flow.
Meta’s stock rose 23% on Feb. 2. To put that gain into perspective, here’s a three-year price chart for the stock:
Emily Bary sums up reactions of analysts, who are now in a forgiving mood.
A different view: Zuckerberg and Intel are shipping the proceeds from their layoffs straight to Wall Street
Also: Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg got $12.5 billion richer yesterday
Investors cheer Powell too
As widely expected, the Federal Open Market Committee again slowed the pace of increases to the federal-funds rate on Feb. 1, raising the target range by 25 basis points to a range of 4.50% to 4.75%. That followed an increase of 50 basis points in December, following four straight increases of 75 basis points.
The stock market continued to rise during Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference, following the FOMC announcement.
Coverage of the Fed’s moves and reaction:
More tech earnings
Tech giants continued to report earnings after the close on Feb. 2, setting up negative reactions for their stocks in aftermarket trading:
Blame game: Many companies try to blame their poor earnings on the U.S. dollar. Don’t believe it.
ChatGPT grows up in a hurry
ChatGPT is a new and popular artificial intelligence app that anyone can use. It was developed by OpenAI, which used seed money provided by Microsoft
And now Microsoft is investing billions more to take a 49% ownership position in OpenAI.
Users of ChatGPT have been so enthusiastic that the service can slow down during times of peak demand. Soon premium users will be able to jump the line for $20 a month.
Jurica Dujmovic explains how ChatGPT threatens Google, and what Alphabet plans to do about it.
Read on: Cheaters beware: Maker of ChatGPT releases AI-detection tool for teachers
The crypto rally
The price of bitcoin has risen 42% this year, following last year’s 64% decline. But what may even more interesting is that some crypto-related stocks have more than doubled this year, and some have tripled, as France Yue reports in the Distributed Ledger newsletter.
A time to get paid
Christine Idzelis writes the ETF Wrap newsletter, covering trends and news in the world of exchange-traded funds. Many investors came of age during a long period of super-low interest rates and have only considered ETFs to be growth vehicles. But as those rates have risen and bond prices have fallen, many ETFs can now provide high income.
More: ETFs are cost-effective and easily available – when should they be in your retirement plan?
Trouble in Paradise
Lukas I. Alpert tells the tragic and criminal story of how a brilliant, but troubled ophthalmologist who struggled with bipolar disorder was deceived robbed and eventually allowed to die by a two people who ran a yogi center.
See: Death and deceit in Malibu: How yogi couple befriended and stole millions from vulnerable rich doctor
Traveling slowly, or from home
“Flying is harassment.” This was said by an elderly family member long before the pandemic disruptions began in 2020. Maybe air travel will always include myriad hassles, but one way you might better enjoy your travels is to slow them down and explore more.
Related: Travel to your hometown or play chess with your grandchildren 3,000 miles away: Can virtual reality help older adults battle loneliness?
The big airplane that could
747 has been a resounding success since the first wide-body twin-aisle passenger plane’s first test flight in 1969. But now the last 747 has been delivered. Claudia Assis shares photos and tells the story of the “queen of the skies.”
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