The two of the largest oil companies in the world collectively posted $18 billion in first-quarter profits, showing resilience even as oil and natural-gas prices declined. Exxon’s quarterly net income of $11.4 billion and Chevron’s $6.6 billion were both more than double their quarterly averages for the past 10 years.
This year, investors fear an economic slowdown could suppress energy prices, while rising supply-chain costs have steadied at high levels. The oil giants still pocketed hefty earnings that beat analysts’ expectations. Even so, both companies’ earnings were off more than 40% of the record quarterly profits they reached last year.
Apple (APPL:NASDAQ) reports better-than-expected earnings
Apple reported second-fiscal quarter earnings that beat Wall Street’s expectations, driven by stronger-than-anticipated iPhones sales. Apple reported $24.16 billion in net income during the quarter compared to $25.01 billion in the year-earlier period.
Total revenue was off 3% from $97.28 billion in the prior quarter. However, Apple’s overall sales fell for the second quarter in a row.
Apple didn’t provide formal guidance, continuing its practice that dates back to 2020 and the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
US could default on debt payments
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the United States may run out of measures to pay its debt obligations by June 1, sparking a potential debt crisis in the world’s largest economy. In a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Yellen said new data on tax receipts forced the department to move up its estimate of when the Treasury Department “will be unable to continue to satisfy all of the government’s obligations” to potentially as early as June 1, if Congress doesn’t raise or suspend the debt limit before then.
The announcement prompted President Joe Biden to call for a meeting with the “big four” congressional leaders — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, McCarthy and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries — at the White House on May 9
Fed increases interest rates
The Federal Reserve continues its fight against inflation with a 25-basis point increase in benchmark interest rates. The increase takes the fed funds rate to a target range of 5%-5.25%, the highest since August 2007.
The latest round f rate hike rattled markets, forcing a sell-off in bank stocks, while Treasury Yields moved lower.
JP Morgan (JPM:NYSE) acquires the first republic
JPMorgan has acquired embattled regional bank First Republic Bank in a government-led deal. The Wall Street bank agreed to the takeover after private rescue efforts failed to fill a hole in the troubled lender’s balance sheet. The deal puts to rest one of the turmoil that engulfed the industry in March. It also makes JP Morgan the biggest US bank even larger
Shopify (SHOP:NASDAQ) to sell off logistics unit, lays off thousands of workers
Shopify has announced that it would be laying off 20% of its workforce following a sale of its logistics unit and eCommerce platform to Flexport. The Canada-based online retail-services platform is also selling its 6 River Systems warehouse robotics operation to U.K. automated grocery-fulfillment specialist Ocado Group.
Some Shopify employees on the logistics team will move to Flexport or Ocado while others will be laid off, according to a person familiar with the transactions. Shopify didn’t detail how many employees would be laid off and how many would move to the new companies.
The transactions effectively end Shopify’s attempt to stand up its own logistics-fulfillment operation alongside the e-commerce sales-technology platform it offers merchants. Shopify bought Deliverr for $2.1 billion less than a year ago with plans to combine it with 6 River Systems into a single logistics unit. Shopify acquired 6 River Systems in 2019 for $450 million.