DOJ, 15 states file landmark antitrust suit against Apple

Is Apple (AAPL:NASDAQ) monopolizing the smartphone market? The U.S. thinks so.

The Justice Department, 15 states and the District of Columbia filed a landmark antitrust suit against the iPhone maker on Thursday. The government’s complaint alleges that Apple blocked competitors from offering better app and service options on its phones, resulting in higher prices for consumers.

The suit also claims the company makes it difficult for users to switch to devices that don’t use its operating system, like Android smartphones.

Apple said it plans to vigorously defend against the lawsuit. It is the latest tech giant to face antitrust scrutiny. U.S. officials have also filed anticompetitive lawsuits against Amazon (AMZN:NASDAQ), Google (GOOG:NASDAQ) and Meta Platforms (META:NASDAQ).

Apple shares dropped 4.1% Thursday, and ended the week 1.8% lower

Reddit shoots for the moon in IPO

Shares of Reddit (RDDT:NYSE) surged 48% Thursday on their first day of trading. The stock closed at $50.44, giving the company a valuation of around $9.5 billion.

The social-media company is known for its wide-ranging message boards and calls itself the “front page of the internet.” The 19-year-old company boasts roughly 73 million daily users and more than $800 million in revenue, but has yet to turn an annual profit.

The stock’s debut is an encouraging sign for other companies looking to go public in 2024, since the U.S. IPO market seized up in late 2021. Reddit’s IPO is the first for a social-media company since Pinterest went public in 2019.

Reddit shares ended the week 14% lower

Fed leaves interest rates unchanged

Markets cheered this week’s Federal Reserve decision to leave interested unchanged, or the fifth consecutive time, as expected, keeping its benchmark overnight borrowing rate in a range between 5.25%-5.5%. The US central bank also said it still expects three quarter-percentage point cuts by the end of the year.

The message fueled a market rally in both the U.S. and beyond. The three major stock market indexes in the U.S. all closed at record highs Wednesday, while in Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 rose to a fresh record high on Thursday morning as investors cheered the prospect of multiple rate cuts.

Traders are currently pricing in a roughly 68% chance of a first Fed rate cut in June, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.

Trump in line for a $3bn windfall

Trump’s winning lottery ticket would come from Truth Social, the social-media platform he launched in 2021. Truth Social was created by Trump after he was removed from the major social-media platforms.

After a twisted path that included tens of millions of dollars in losses and insider-trading convictions, the shell company taking Truth Social public, Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC:NASDAQ) became the market’s latest meme stock.

Trump’s supporters banded together to push up the stock after DWAC’s shareholders approved a merger with the social media company owned by former President Donald Trump valuing Truth Social to a staggering $6 billion.

The newly merged company, Trump Media, could begin trading under the new ticker DJT next week.

FedEx delivers surprise quarter

FedEx FDX delivered a surprise in the latest quarter despite lower demand for parcel deliveries. the shipping giant posted better-than-expected results thanks to its restructuring efforts.

The results come amid an industry slump after a pandemic-fueled surge in online shopping and continued competition with Amazon and UPS. The company’s turnaround plans included layoffs, facility closures and combining its Ground and Express businesses.

FedEx also unveiled a new $5 billion buyback program as it explores the possibility of restarting its business relationship with Amazon after their high-profile 2019 split. They discussed FedEx accepting Amazon package returns at their retail locations, but the two sides didn’t reach a deal.

FedEx shares advanced 7.4% Friday, and ended the week 12% higher.