The world this week — Business
The world's stockmarkets continued to slide this week, as investors prepared for tighter monetary policy.
By January 26th the S&P 500 index had dropped by 9% since the start of the year.
Share prices elsewhere have been falling too.
The NASDAQ composite, a tech-heavy index, has dropped more sharply than the broader market.
Higher interest rates would lower the value that investors place on the future profits of speculative firms.
America's Federal Reserve signalled that it will indeed raise interest rates in March to try to bring inflation under control.
That will be the first increase since 2018.
The Fed also signalled that it will wind down its bond-buying programme, which was expanded during the pandemic.
Cryptocurrencies have also experienced a sell-off recently, partly caused by growing scrutiny from regulators.
Bitcoin sank to a six-month low this week.
It has lost roughly half its value since November.
The price of smaller currencies, such as Ethereum and Litecoin, also fell.
Microsoft said that its fourth-quarter sales grew to a record $51.7bn, up 20% from the same period last year.
Net income rose to $18.8bn.
The results were fuelled by its gaming and Windows software units.
But even though they beat analysts' forecasts, the firm's share price fell after the announcement.
It later recovered when the firm published rosy forecasts for its cloud division.
Boeing reported a loss of $4.3bn for 2021, its third annual loss in a row.
That is partly because of a charge of $3.5bn it had to pay to compensate customers for the delays in delivering its 787 Dreamliner.
Factory defects and regulatory problems have slowed production.
As part of a firm-wide restructuring plan Unilever, a consumer-goods giant, said that it will axe about 1,500 management jobs.
Pressure to improve performance has been increased of late by Trian, an activist hedge fund which has built a stake in the company, and by the firm's failed bid to buy the consumer-health business of GlaxoSmithKline, a British drugmaker.
Tesla reported record net profits of $2.3bn in the fourth quarter of 2021.
But Elon Musk, the electric-car maker's boss, warned that supply-chain woes, such as the shortage of semiconductors, would probably weigh on the firm's results during 2022.
He noted that Tesla's factories have been running below capacity for several quarters.