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U.S. stocks drop over inflation fears and energy prices soar

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It’s been a rollercoaster week for US stocks, as tensions in Ukraine and renewed inflation fears drive the market

The Dow Jones dropped almost 450 points, or 1.3%.

The Ukrainian President called for more pressure on Russia from other countries as the conflict appears to be entering a stalemate.

Oil prices ticked higher on the day, with the price of crude gaining around 5% to nearly $115 per barrel. 

That led to a rally for energy stocks across the board.

Wall Street came off a strong session Tuesday after the Dow jumped more than 250 points and the S&P 500 climbed 1.1%.

Breather rally

“There’s a little bit of a breather today, but the breather really is signaling that equities have the ability to continue to move higher,” Jeff Kilburg, chief investment officer of Sanctuary Wealth, said Wednesday.

All three averages are on track to close the month more than 1% higher. The S&P 500 has recouped its losses since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

General Mills added nearly 2.5% after the food maker reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings Wednesday and raised its full-year outlook.

On the downside, Adobe shares fell 9.3% after the company forecasted lower-than-expected profit and revenue in its fiscal second quarter.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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Meta responsible for a massive data leak

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Meta responsible for a massive data leak as Irish regulator imposes fine

Irish regulator, the Data Protection Commission, has fined Meta $275 million dollars for breaching rules to protect user data.

An investigation found Meta’s Facebook was guilty of allowing sensitive user data to be accessed from the platform. After being downloaded it was later uploaded into an online hacker forum.

Users throughout 2018 and 2019 were most at risk of their private personal data being accessed and shared.

Meta admitted tools it had created to allow people to find their friends using their phone numbers was to blame. The function was removed from the platform soon after the breach was discovered in 2019.

Worldwide, the investigation also found that data was scraped from 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries. This included over 32 million records pieces of information form users in the U.S. and 11 million in the UK.

Even though the data is three or more years old, it may still be of use to cybercriminals keen to impersonate people to procure credit cards, mobile phones and make other online purchases.

This is yet another example of social media platforms being unable to adequately protect their users by devising and implementing preventative pre-emptive security measures.

While governments attempt to hold social media platforms like Meta accountable for the content they allow on their platforms and their lax data security measures, it remains to be seen whether the platforms will actually pay the fines being imposed. Moreover, will the fines result in any genuine change?

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META scales back its New York office

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Social media giant Meta has opted to scale back its presence in New York, as the company tries to reduce costs through a slowing online ad market.

The company revealed it will be subleasing a small portion of its facilities at a commercial tower at Hudson Yards.

A statement from the company says:

“The past few years have brought new possibilities around the role of the office, and we are prioritising making focused, balanced investments to support our most strategic long-term priorities and lead the way in creating the workplace of the future.”

In October, Meta issued a weaker-than-expected forecast for the fourth quarter and indicated revenue will drop for the period.

As well, the company revealed it was laying off over 11,000 workers, taking steps to become a leaner and more efficient company.

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Crypto’s Kraken slashes 30 percent of workforce

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One of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, Kraken, is laying off about 30% of its headcount, more than a thousand people.

The company’s co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell says the cuts are being made “in order to adapt to current market conditions.”

Powell wrote in a blog post that slowing growth, prompted by “macroeconomic and geopolitical factors,” had muted customer demand.

Powell says:

“We had to grow fast, more than tripling our workforce in order to provide those clients with the quality and service they expect of us,”

“I remain extremely bullish on crypto and Kraken.”

Crypto exchanges have been buffeted by withdrawals and regulatory scrutiny after the implosion of FTX, which is now spreading to other crypto exchanges.

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