Good morning. I’m senior reporter Phil Rosen.
Thursday’s jobs data showed the labor market right now basically resembles the opposite of what it should look like ahead of a recession. It’s as robust as ever, even as fears of a downturn have yet to abate. Not to mention the economy itself, which is still growing.
This makes any type of economic forecasting more shaky, and strategists have been dishing different takes on a daily basis.
While tech companies like Amazon and Google have made headlines with headcount reductions, media outlets like The Washington Post and CNN have also been hit.
BuzzFeed’s part of that group too — but it’s come up with a peculiar idea to ramp up business (and stock).
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1. Similar to other companies, BuzzFeed laid off 12% of its workforce last month, citing a worsening economic environment. But unlike other companies, the online publisher said it’s turning to OpenAI’s artificial intelligence technology to provide a spark through uncertain times.
Investors cheered the announcement that the ChatGPT creator would help the company write personalized listicles and quizzes, even as journalists the world over quivered at the thought of a bot coming for their job.
The stock also got a boost from news of the media company’s partnership with Meta, which will see BuzzFeed bring more content to Facebook and Instagram.
According to the Wall Street Journal, that deal’s worth about $10 million.
Shares of BuzzFeed — which went public via a SPAC deal in 2021 — soared as much as 203%, trading at an intraday high of $2.88 yesterday.
In an internal memo, per the Journal, chief executive Jonah Peretti voiced his support in seeing AI play a bigger role in the company’s editorial and business operations. That could look like a robot-generated quiz, for example.
It’s unclear how ChatGPT’s parent, OpenAI, ties into Meta’s multi-million dollar deal with BuzzFeed, if at all, but the agreement is meant to boost creator content for Facebook and Instagram.
It’s not a stretch to say BuzzFeed at one point basically was the internet. It was the king of viral content and quirky listicles — and Facebook of course had a hand in getting eyeballs on BuzzFeed.
So let’s put all this together:
- BuzzFeed fired 180 employees in December
- Meta has inked a roughly $10 million deal for BuzzFeed to generate more creator content for Facebook and Instagram
- BuzzFeed says it plans to use artificial intelligence from ChatGPT’s creator to generate content, while remaining focused on “human-generated” journalism
- BuzzFeed stock goes to the moon
Maybe the Fed is watching all this from on high, nodding approvingly at the tighter labor market that ChatGPT may one day help create. It remains to be seen if the pervasiveness of AI is the best thing since sliced bread, or if we’d all be better off dusting off our cover letters.
What do you make of the idea of AI-generated journalism? Tweet me (@philrosenn) or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let me know.
In other news:
2. US stock futures fall early Friday, following more downbeat quarterly earnings reports. Meanwhile, investors are now turning to the release of data on core inflation, personal income and spending, and pending home sales — all due today. Here are the latest market moves.
3. Earnings on deck: Chevron, American Express, and more, all reporting.
4. These are the stocks positioned to benefit most from China’s reopening economy, according to Goldman Sachs. Analysts shared 50 US-listed names that will benefit greatly from the red-hot Chinese economy — see the list.
5. White House officials have suggested the economy shows no signs of an imminent recession. But the chief investment officer of Santa Lucia Asset Management isn’t buying it at all: “The Biden team needs to look at the numbers because they honestly don’t know what they’re talking about.”
6. FTX’s laundry list of creditors include the New York Times, Stanford University, and Netflix. Sam Bankman-Fried’s failed crypto exchange owes money to many name-brand institutions, according to a 116-page list of creditors — these are some of the biggest names.
7. Natural gas prices have dropped to their lowest level since April 2021. Weakening demand has spurred a 70% tumble from highs. On Thursday alone, prices cratered 8%.
8. Meet a 26-year-old college dropout who makes $73,000 a month in revenue selling products on Amazon FBA. He lost money on the first two products he tried to sell, but then he figured out what works. He broke down five tips to find the best products and sell them out.
9. This couple’s retirement plan was derailed in 2008 so they moved abroad for a lower cost of living. They knew “something drastic had to happen” when they moved to Ecuador after losing nearly everything. Here’s how they live comfortably on social security and spend $2,000 a month.
Tesla stock price on Jan. 27, 2023
10. Tesla shares climbed on Thursday as the company surged above a $500 billion market cap. The rally follows an upbeat earnings report from the EV maker this week — but its market value still remains far below its peak of $1.2 trillion.
Curated by Phil Rosen in Los Angeles. Feedback or tips? Tweet @philrosenn or email email@example.com
Edited by Max Adams (@maxradams) in New York and Hallam Bullock (@hallam_bullock) in London.