Tech Roundup: Meta's job cuts, Twitter's upheaval drive sector's erratic activity
With Big Tech layoffs taking place, more Twitter drama and politicians going after TikTok, there was more than enough going on in the tech sector this week to keep investors' heads on a non-stop swivel.
Oh, and there were the mid-term elections that managed to grab some attention all through the week, too.
Well, Facebook's Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) put an end to the rumors about its job-cut plans, when Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the social-media giant would lay off 11,000 workers, or almost 13% of its 87,000-person workforce. Zuckerberg said he was "accountable" for driving the company in a direction that led it having to implement the biggest job cuts in its 18-year history.
Along with Meta (META) shedding thousands of jobs, Zuckerberg said the company would continue with a hiring freeze into the first quarter of next year, and would look for more ways to cut costs in the months ahead. Wall Street got behind Zuckerberg's plans, and said he finally "gets it" with regards to the difficult steps the company is taking.
While Meta's (META) job cuts started kicking into gear, Elon Musk continued to raise more eyebrows in the wake of his acquisition of Twitter barely two weeks ago.
The Tesla (TSLA) chief executive held what was described as an "emergency" meeting at Twitter amid numerous executive departures and layoffs of approximately 3,700 employees, or half of the company's workforce. Musk also sent word out to Twitter employees that what had been called "forever" remote work was over, and those wanting to keep their jobs had to put in at least 40 hours a week in a Twitter office.
Meanwhile, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed that Musk had sold $4B worth of Tesla (TSLA) stock over the last week.
TikTok, the short-form video app owned by Chinese company ByteDance (BDNCE) came under fire from U.S. legislators. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI), jointly filed legislation calling for TikTok to be banned in the U.S. due to ByteDance's alleged connections to the Chinese government and military, and the app's access to U.S. citizens' personal information.
And speaking of China...Foxconn, which makes iPhones for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) at several massive manufacturing facilities in China, said it will take steps to "tweak" production to avoid disruptions in the making of the iPhone 14, in particular, as the holiday shopping season kicks into gear.
Foxconn also said it would launch a four-fold expansion of its workforce at its iPhone plant in India over the next two years.
Apple (AAPL) also said that it will invest $450M to power the new Emergency SOS system available on the iPhone 14. Apple (AAPL) said the majority of the funding will go to GlobalStar (GSAT), the company that operates the satellites that Apple (AAPL) uses for its SOS system.
Finally, there were the mid-term elections, which by the end of the week still hadn't been finalized in some races. Investors reacted largely positively to the returns that had been completed, as well as some upbeat data on inflation.