Google Parent Alphabet to Cut 12,000 Jobs Amid Wave of Tech Layoffs
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Google’s parent company said it would cut its staff by 6% in its largest-ever round of layoffs, extending a retrenchment among technology companies after record pandemic hiring. Alphabet Inc. said the cuts would eliminate roughly 12,000 jobs across different units and regions, though some areas, including recruiting and projects outside of the company’s core businesses, would be more heavily affected. The layoffs reached as high as the vice president level and affected divisions including cloud computing and Area 120, an internal business incubator that had already faced cuts last year, said people familiar with the matter. The Google cuts make January the worst month yet in a wave of tech layoffs that began last year. Last week, Microsoft Corp. said it would eliminate 10,000 jobs, the largest layoffs in more than eight years. Online furniture seller Wayfair Inc. said it is laying off about 10% of its workforce, and Unity Software Inc., which provides tools for creating videogames and other applications, also cut staff.
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The Swiss stock market ended modestly higher on Friday after staying positive right through the day's session, in line with markets across Europe. Optimism about Chinese economic growth helped offset concerns about inflation and interest rates. The benchmark SMI ended with a gain of 36.05 points or 0.32% at 11,295.02. The index touched a high of 11,320.38 intraday. Credit Suisse, the top gainer in the SMI, rallied 3.32%. Swiss Life Holding surged about 2.6% and Partners Group gained nearly 2%. UBS Group, Swiss Re, Zurich Insurance Group and ABB ended higher by 1.2 to 1.6%. Sonova drifted down 2% and Lonza Group ended 1.14% down. Logitech closed nearly 1% down, while Roche Holding and Novartis settled flat. In the Mid Price Index, Zur Rose climbed more than 5.5%. Swatch Group gained 2.16%. Schindler Holding, AMS, Schindler Ps, Adecco, Lindt & Spruengli Part, Baloise Holding, Kuehne & Nagel, Helvetia and Galenica Sante gained 1.3 to 2%. Bachem Holding declined more than 4%. Straumann Holding ended 1.08% down, while Tecan Group eased by about 0.4%.
European stocks closed higher on Friday, lifted by optimism about Chinese economic growth, cooling inflation and prospects of the Federal Reserve and other major central banks slowing the pace of their interest rate hikes in the coming months. Recent hawkish comments from some Fed officials limited markets' upside. The pan European Stoxx 600 gained 0.37%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 climbed 0.3%, Germany's DAX gained 0.76% and France's CAC surged 0.63%, while Switzerland's SMI ended 0.32% up. Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Turkiye closed higher. Poland edged up marginally, while Iceland and Russia ended weak. In the UK market, 3I Group climbed 3.3%. Frasers Group, SSE, JD Sports Fashion, Airtel Africa, Flutter Entertainment, Burberry Group, Rightmove, Glencore and Whitbread gained 2 to 3%. Hargreaves Lansdown ended 2.6% down. Pearson, AstraZeneca, Melrose Industries and Segro lost 1 to 2.2%. In Paris, Essilor, Thales, Safran, Carrefour, Airbus, BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, ArcelorMittal, Vivendi, Alstom, Vinci, AXA and Bouygues gained 1 to 2%. Michelin drifted down by about 1.7%, and Dassault Systemes ended lower by 1.6%. Sanofi and Eurofins Scientific posted moderate losses. In the German market, Zalando rallied nearly 4.5%. Covestro, MTU Aero Engines, Fresenius Medical Care, Deutsche Bank, RWE, Allianz, Deutsche Post, Munich RE, Adidas, Bayer and Fresenius gained 1 to 2.3%. Continental, Porsche, Merck and Deutsche Boerse ended notably lower. Ericsson shares tumbled nearly 5% in Sweden after the telecom major reported weak profit in its fourth quarter, hurt by hefty charges.
Stocks rose Friday, boosted by some solid corporate earnings, though two major indexes finished the week with losses after being weighed down by concerns about a slowing economy. The S&P 500 index rose 73.76 points, or 1.9%, to 3972.61, its first up day after three days of declines. The Nasdaq Composite gained 288.17 points, or 2.7%, to 11140.43, led higher by shares of Netflix and Alphabet. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 330.93 points, or 1%, to 33375.49. The Dow and S&P still suffered their first weekly declines of the new year, falling 2.7% and 0.7% respectively. The Nasdaq's rise on Friday gave the index a third consecutive week of gains. Stocks have been pressured in recent days by sobering pictures painted by companies reporting their financial results for the final three months of 2022. Netflix's stock jumped $26.72, or 8.5%, to $342.50 after the streaming giant reported strong subscriber growth that handily topped expectations. Paint and coatings manufacturer PPG Industries Inc. said it anticipates a second Covid-19 wave to disrupt its China business, after the virus’ spread there last month affected PPG’s sales and operations. Pandemic-related disruptions in China contributed to a dip in PPG’s quarterly profit, but executives said they expected the market to rapidly recover from an anticipated second wave and help boost the company’s 2023 results.
Stock market activity in East Asia was very limited at the start of the new week. In Tokyo, after strong Wall Street trading on Friday, the stock market rose by 1.3 per cent to 26,901 points and Sydney closed minimally higher, albeit for the fourth day in a row and at a nine-month high.
U.S. bond prices edged lower. That drove the yield on the 10-year Treasury note up to 3.483% from 3.396% a day earlier. Prices and yields move inversely.
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