Federal Reserve skips rate hikes for first time since January 2022

Fed decides to skip rate hikes

The Fed’s tightening campaign appears to be coming to an end. For the first time since January of last year, the policymakers at the central bank decided to maintain interest rates at a range of 5% to 5.25% on Wednesday.

However, Fed officials hinted that they anticipate raising rates by another half percentage point by the end of the year, which is more than most people had anticipated. Even that, though, would be in question if the following inflation data reveals further cooling trends.

However, officials do not anticipate lowering rates any time soon; according to their current predictions, the range of rates at the end of next year is expected to remain 4.5% to 4.75%.

Markets regain appetite for IPOs as Cava Group debuts

Cava (CAVA:NYSE) soared in its stock-market debut Thursday, waking up a sleepy market for initial public offerings.

Shares of the Mediterranean-style restaurant chain opened at $42 a share, up 91% from its IPO price of $22 when it started trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CAVA.”

Cava’s initial public offering bodes well for what has been a historically quiet period for new listings. Last year was the slowest for new offerings in the U.S. in at least two decades.

Other restaurant companies—including Panera Brands and Fogo Hospitality—are also aiming to test investors’ demand for new listings this year. Cava shares closed at $43.78 Thursday, up 99% from its IPO price.

Nasdaq on track to closing biggest deal in its history

Nasdaq (NDAQ:NASDAQ) shares tumbled 12% Monday after the company agreed to acquire Adenza, a maker of software used by banks and brokerages, in a $10.5 billion cash-and-stock deal. If completed, it would be the biggest acquisition in Nasdaq’s history.

The acquisition furthers Chief Executive Adena Friedman’s efforts to transform Nasdaq into a more tech-centric company with steadier revenue.

The seller in the transaction is private-equity firm Thoma Bravo, which is poised to get 14.9% of Nasdaq’s outstanding shares as part of the deal, making it one of Nasdaq’s largest shareholders.

Cruise Operators & Airlines among the biggest gainers of the week

Cruise operators and airlines were among the top-performing stocks in the S&P 500 during the week following upgrades from Wall Street. Carnival was upgraded by analysts at Bank of America (BA:NYSE) and JPMorgan (JPM:NYSE), citing rising demand for cruises.

Carnival (CCL:NYSE) led the index with a gain of 21%, while rival Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH:NYSE) added 11%. Southwest Airlines (LUV:NYSE) gained 12%, and Delta Air Lines (DAL:NYSE) climbed 8.9%.

The industry has been recovering from issues like canceled business and heightened regulations earlier in the pandemic, and cruise lines are seeing booming occupancy rates compared to 2022.

Disney’s CFO steps down

Christine McCarthy, the chief financial officer of Walt Disney (DIS:NYSE), is resigning after a disagreement over strategy with senior management.

McCarthy urged the business’ Disney Entertainment division, which manages the company’s film, television, and streaming businesses, to further streamline its operations than it had already done earlier this year.

She had pushed for spending cuts to improve profit margins and give Disney a leaner structure more akin to Netflix (NFLX:NASDAQ).

Drilling stocks slump

Shares of the four largest onshore drilling companies have plunged by 32% on average this year. The S&P 500 energy index is down just 8.2% and the broader S&P 500 is up 15%.

The steep fall for drilling stocks comes after a wave of recent rig idlings, which investors fear could signal a coming drop in oil demand amid a slowing economy.

U.S. crude oil is trading around $70 a barrel, down from last year’s highs topping $120. A continued flow of Russian oil, output upswings in other countries and China’s wavering post-pandemic recovery have led to a global supply glut.

The slump in oil and gas prices marks a reversal in fortunes for energy companies, which were the only winners among the S&P 500’s 11 sectors last year,