Skip to Content
Global News Select

Facebook, Apollo Global Management, Chevron: Stocks That Defined the Week

By Francesca Fontana 

Facebook Inc.

Washington is turning up the heat on Silicon Valley. In a combative House hearing Thursday, the leaders of Facebook, Twitter Inc., Alphabet Inc. and its Google unit were accused of running platforms that sow political discord and spread Covid-19 misinformation and lacking accountability. The hearing built momentum for revisions of Section 230, the law shielding platforms from liability for users' content. Facebook shares fell 1.2% Thursday, Twitter shares lost 1.4% and Alphabet shares ended flat.

Apollo Global Management Inc.

The Leon Black era at Apollo is officially over. The billionaire is stepping down as its chairman amid a governance overhaul kicked off by revelations of his ties to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. The firm previously said Mr. Black would stay in the chairman's seat while relinquishing his role as chief executive. Mr. Black cited his and his wife's health issues in announcing his decision Monday. An independent review previously revealed that Mr. Black paid Epstein a total of $158 million for tax- and estate-planning services, far more than was previously known. Apollo also said Monday that co-founder Marc Rowan has formally assumed the title of CEO, a transition the firm said in January would take place before July 31. Apollo shares rose 4.5% Monday.

Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft is close to a deal that could boost its videogame business and social-network presence. As of Thursday, Microsoft is in advanced talks to acquire messaging platform Discord Inc. for $10 billion or more as the software giant seeks to deepen its consumer offerings. Originally favored by gamers, Discord offers voice, text and video chatting. The platform's popularity has surged since the pandemic took hold as people stay home and connect online. Microsoft has been looking to reach more consumers; it held talks last summer to buy the popular video-sharing app TikTok amid a high-profile geopolitical standoff prompted by the Trump administration before abandoning the effort. Microsoft shares gained 1.8% Friday.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Warren Buffett wants to build emergency power plants in Texas after February's devastating blackouts. His conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway is pitching Texas lawmakers on a $8.3 billion plan to build 10 large natural-gas plants that would operate only during times of extreme need, and not otherwise compete in the state's power market. The Texas Legislature would need to approve changes to its laws to allow for a new regulated utility to provide emergency backup power. Meanwhile, some rival power generators such as NRG Energy Inc. expressed opposition and anger to the proposed idea. Berkshire Hathaway shares added 2.4% Friday.

Darden Restaurants Inc.

Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse are serving up higher pay. Starting Monday, hourly restaurant workers at both dining chains will earn at least $10 an hour in wages and tips combined, with further increases to $12 an hour to be phased in through 2023. The raise makes Darden Restaurants, the brands' parent company, the latest business to institute a wage floor higher than the federally mandated minimum. The company said that, on average, its hourly restaurant workers already earned more than $17 an hour in combined wages and tips. Darden also said it would give those workers a bonus to reward their work during the pandemic, setting aside $17 million for the one-time payments. Darden shares gained 8.2% Thursday.

Intel Corp.

Intel's new chief executive wants to reboot the semiconductor giant. The broad plan mixes increased outsourcing with a commitment to spend $20 billion on new factories that could help address a chip shortage. CEO Pat Gelsinger said Tuesday that Intel would rely more heavily on third-party chip-making partners, including for some of its most cutting-edge processors, starting in 2023. But Mr. Gelsinger said Intel wasn't abandoning its historic roots of being both a designer and manufacturer of chips and would retain most production in-house. The company is also renewing efforts to make chips for others and targeting customers such as Apple Inc. and chip rival Qualcomm Inc., he said. Intel shares fell 2.3% Wednesday.

Chevron Corp.

The fallout from the Suez Canal blockage is spreading through the oil and gas industry. The cost of renting tankers is rising and shippers are starting to plot alternative routes for supplies of oil and gas, after a giant vessel became stuck on one of the world's busiest shipping arteries. The 120-mile Suez Canal, which connects the Red Sea with the Mediterranean, is a vital route for tankers carrying oil and natural gas, and Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell PLC were among the companies with chartered vessels stuck. The blockage comes as global supply lines grapple with the pandemic's continuing effects, a global shortage of computer chips and adverse weather. Chevron shares added 0.4% Thursday.

Write to Francesca Fontana at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 26, 2021 19:11 ET (23:11 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Transparency is how we protect the integrity of our work and keep empowering investors to achieve their goals and dreams. And we have unwavering standards for how we keep that integrity intact, from our research and data to our policies on content and your personal data.

We’d like to share more about how we work and what drives our day-to-day business.

We sell different types of products and services to both investment professionals and individual investors. These products and services are usually sold through license agreements or subscriptions. Our investment management business generates asset-based fees, which are calculated as a percentage of assets under management. We also sell both admissions and sponsorship packages for our investment conferences and advertising on our websites and newsletters.

How we use your information depends on the product and service that you use and your relationship with us. We may use it to:

  • Verify your identity, personalize the content you receive, or create and administer your account.
  • Provide specific products and services to you, such as portfolio management or data aggregation.
  • Develop and improve features of our offerings.
  • Gear advertisements and other marketing efforts towards your interests.

To learn more about how we handle and protect your data, visit our privacy center.

Maintaining independence and editorial freedom is essential to our mission of empowering investor success. We provide a platform for our authors to report on investments fairly, accurately, and from the investor’s point of view. We also respect individual opinions––they represent the unvarnished thinking of our people and exacting analysis of our research processes. Our authors can publish views that we may or may not agree with, but they show their work, distinguish facts from opinions, and make sure their analysis is clear and in no way misleading or deceptive.

To further protect the integrity of our editorial content, we keep a strict separation between our sales teams and authors to remove any pressure or influence on our analyses and research.

Read our editorial policy to learn more about our process.