Good Evening. As markets continued to recover from heavy losses earlier this week, U.S. stocks ended significantly higher Thursday, powered by technology stocks.
The S&P 500 increased by 2.47%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 1.85%. On the heels of stronger-than-expected earnings from Facebook parent company Meta (FB), which sent shares up nearly 18%, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 3.06% to close trading, marking its best gain since March.
A BATTLE IN THE CLOUDS
Meta Platforms Inc. stock rose 17.6% after the company announced that its biggest social-media network, Facebook, added more users than expected in the first quarter. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, this increased its 37-year-old chief executive officer’s fortune by $11 billion, the largest one-day boost he’s ever experienced.
Meta’s stock is still down 39% this year, despite Thursday’s rally. In the first four months of 2022, Zuckerberg’s fortune dropped by $49.6 billion, more than any of the other 20 biggest billionaires.
However, Facebook’s recent user increase is a dramatic contrast to Meta, which saw its first-ever user loss in the final three months of 2021. The rise in the stock price indicates that investors are less concerned about the company’s future growth prospects in comparison to competitors.
PALM OIL BAN
The restriction on palm oil exports from Indonesia, which accounts for one-third of the world’s edible oil supply, began today. It’s one of the most severe illustrations yet of how the conflict in Ukraine is upsetting global supply networks and fueling fears of food shortages thousands of miles away.
Palm oil is the most widely used cooking oil on the planet. It’s used in everything from instant noodles to ice cream and makeup to biodiesel. After prices skyrocketed, the Indonesian government decided to shut down its palm oil supply to prevent shortages among its own people.
The ban in Indonesia could cause vegetable oil prices to skyrocket. Unilever, which uses palm oil in goods such as Dove soap and Hellmann’s mayonnaise, cautioned investors that it would have to raise prices in the second half of this year.
Zoom out: The World Bank warned this week that the world is on the verge of experiencing the “biggest commodities shock” since the 1970s. A supply ripple in a hyperconnected global marketplace might quickly grow into a tsunami.