Meta’s Threads goes head-on against Twitter

US stocks down for the week

A stretch of strong economic data hardened investors’ expectations of further interest-rate increases, fueling a lockstep weekly decline for U.S. stocks and government bonds.

The Dow slipped 673 points, or 2%, for the week. The S&P 500 fell 1.2%, while the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.9%.

The narrow weekly losses put a dent in a period of extraordinary market calm, during which major stock indexes have jumped to some of the highest levels of the past year.  For much of the summer, volatility has ebbed and stocks have continued a steady climb.

Some of the recent data kindled a familiar fear—that signs of a hot economy would lead the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates higher than expected. Jobs data released Thursday showed that the private sector added 497,000 jobs in June, well above the gain of 220,000 forecast

Meta launches Twitter rival

Meta (META:NASDAQ), owner of Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp launched Threads on Wednesday. Threads is a microblogging tool meant to rival Twitter. The new app came out after Twitter did the unexpected by limiting how many posts its users could read at once.

Within 24 hours, more than 30 million people signed up for the new service, and it shot to the top of the charts for app store downloads.

A Twitter lawyer wrote a scathing letter about the launch, saying that Meta had hired Twitter workers and told them to help build Threads. A spokesperson for Meta since refuted the allegation from Twitter.

Meta shares increased 3.2% for the week.

Rivian shares pop after upgrade

Shares of Rivian automobile (RIVN:NASDAQ) spiked after Wedbush raised its price target to $30 from $25, citing an improved outlook.

The upgrade comes on the heels of an impressive quarter for the Irvine, Calif.-based electric vehicle maker. Rivian said Monday that it delivered 12,640 vehicles in the quarter ended June 30, more than the 11,000 deliveries expected by analysts. Rivian posted about 8,000 deliveries in its previous quarter, and just under 4,500 a year ago.

Shares of Rivian rose by 54% for the week.

UPS workers may go on strike

United Parcel Service (UPS:NYSE) could be facing a strike after its talks with the Teamsters fell through.

The package delivery giant and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a union representing approximately 330,000 employees, stated that labor negotiations had stalled and accused each other of abandoning contract negotiations. In North America, the UPS-Teamsters contract is the largest private-sector collective bargaining agreement.

The Teamsters-represented employees voted to authorize a strike if a new contract is not reached, a work suspension that could disrupt the supply chains of numerous businesses. In August 1997 was the last time Teamster-represented UPS employees went on strike.

UPS shares rose 2.1% for the week.

JetBlue and American Airlines part ways

JetBlue (JBLU:NASDAQ) is suspending its partnership with American Airlines (AAL:NYSE). Executives declared that JetBlue will not join with American Airlines in appealing the judge’s decision to reject the partnership, which came as a result of a Justice Department lawsuit.

JetBlue is instead focussing its resources on defending its intended $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit Airlines, which the government has contested in a separate lawsuit.

The takeover, which would result in the creation of the fifth-largest U.S. carrier, has been criticised by the Justice Department for stifling competition and raising prices for millions of passengers.

Shares of JetBlue finished 1.94% higher for the week

Tough quarter forces Levi’s to tighten outlook

Jeans maker, Levi’s,  reported a 22% decline in sales in its key market, the Americas region, and claimed it swung to a loss in the most recent quarter and lowered its year projection.

Instead of using outside merchants, Levi’s hopes to sell the majority of its denim through its own retail locations and website. The company spent more on advertising to support the 150th anniversary campaign for its classic 501 jeans and to increase sales through its direct-to-consumer channel, which contributed mostly to the last quarter’s net loss.

Levi shares fell 9.3% for the week.