European stock markets closed lower Friday as investors digested eurozone inflation data and a weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report. The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed down 0.5%, with most sectors in the red and major bourses pointing in opposite directions. Preliminary data showed Friday that headline inflation was 5% year-on-year. This is the highest level ever recorded and follows on November’s all-time high of 4.9%.
U.S. stock markets ended a tough first trading week of the year lower Friday, as technology stocks were weighed down by rising interest rates. Microchip Technology was one of the biggest losers on the Nasdaq, down 3.9%. Other semiconductor stocks also slipped, with Nvidia and AMD each losing more than 3%. Netflix fell 2.2%. Twilio lost 3.5%. On Friday, the Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy added far fewer jobs than expected in December. Nonfarm payrolls rose 199,000 in December, while economists had expected an increase of 422,000, according to Dow Jones.
Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed this morning as investors kept an eye on the coronavirus pandemic and rising interest rates in the United States. Australia’s benchmark ASX 200 index slipped 0.04% after recouping some of its earlier losses. The heavily weighted financials sub-index fell 0.2%, while the energy and commodities indices gained 1.18% and 1.63%, respectively.
Musk says Tesla will raise price for ‘full self-driving’ driver assistance
Elon Musk announced Friday on Twitter that Tesla will raise the price of its “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) package from $10,000 to $12,000 on Jan. 17 for U.S. customers only. In a series of posts, Musk wrote, “Tesla FSD price goes up to $12k on Jan. 17. US only. FSD price will increase as we get closer to FSD production code release.” Elon Musk has nearly 70 million followers on Twitter.
However, Tesla does not disclose in its earnings reports how many customers pay for FSD upfront or subscribe to FSD per quarter. Therefore, it is unclear to what extent a price increase in the U.S. could improve the company’s margins in the future.
Citigroup to lay off unvaccinated employees by Jan. 31
Citigroup reminded its employees Friday of its policy, announced in October, that they “must be fully vaccinated as a condition of employment.” The bank also said employees must provide proof of vaccination by Jan. 14. Citi Group will be the first major Wall Street institution to enforce the vaccination requirement. Citigroup, the third-largest U.S. bank by assets and a major player in the fixed-income markets, has the most aggressive vaccination policy among Wall Street firms. Rival banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, have been reluctant to fire unvaccinated employees.