Morning Brief: Top Stories Dominating Financial Media on Thursday, March 24

Morning Brief: Top Stories Dominating Financial Media on Thursday, March 24

CNBC

Scientists Looking To Solve Why Most Kids Did Not Suffer Badly Due To COVID-19 Infection

  • Several theories have been suggested, including a more effective innate immune response, less risk of immune over-reaction in severe Covid, fewer underlying comorbidities, and possibly fewer ACE-2 receptors in the upper respiratory epithelium (that binds with the virus).
  • Another advantage children have is their greater exposure to viruses, particularly during a term when viruses can spread quickly among children at school.

Walmart Sues BJ’s Over Allegations Of Stealing Self-Checkout Tech

  • Walmart Inc WMT has filed a lawsuit against BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. BJ for allegedly stealing technology related to a self-checkout option in the Sam’s Club mobile app.
  • What Happened: Walmart and its big-box warehouse subsidiary Sam’s Club accused BJ’s of using the technology in its contactless offering ExpressPay, launched last year.

Reuters

Toshiba Shareholders Vote Down Competing Proposals, Spin-Off Plan

  • Multinational conglomerate Toshiba’s TOSSY shareholders voted down buyout offers, leading to an uncertain future of the company.
  • The company’s efforts to seek buyout offers and its plan to spin off Toshiba’s devices unit failed to gain the required vote.

BlackRock Chief Saw Ukraine Crisis Serving As Digital Currency Driver

  • CEO Larry Fink saw the Russia-Ukraine war revving digital currencies as a tool to settle international transactions.
  • BlackRock’s total client exposure to Russia declined to less than $1 billion earlier in March from $18 billion before the crisis.
  • Fink saw countless stakeholders exploring steps to prevent capital from being deployed to Russia.

Investors Sell Samsung Shares Worth $1.1B In Block Deal

  • Kookmin Bank sold 19.9 million Samsung shares at a discount.
  • The share sale matched the amount that Hong Ra-hee, wife of deceased Samsung patriarch Lee Kun-hee, agreed to keep in trust with Kookmin Bank in October.
  • Samsung’s controlling family looked to use shares to settle $10 billion in inheritance tax.

Wall Street Journal

Amazon Prepares To Face Warehouse Union Vote In New York: WSJ

  • Amazon.com Inc AMZN looks to face union elections at separate warehouses in the pro-union New York City in April.
  • The pro-union campaigners looked to improve pay, benefits, and working conditions.
  • A mail-in revote is also underway at an Alabama facility.

Biden Administration Renews Tariff Exemptions For Some Chinese Products

  • The Biden administration renewed tariff waivers for 352 categories of goods from China after previously granted exemptions expired.
  • The items include certain kinds of bicycle parts, electric motors, machinery, chemicals, seafood, and duffel bags.
  • The USTR declined to renew exclusions on 197 categories of products.

Bloomberg

White House To Seek $813.3B As One of Biggest National Security Budget

  • Citing officials familiar with the plan, Bloomberg reported that President Joe Biden would request $813.3 billion in national security spending, including $773 billion for the Pentagon, in the federal budget he will send to Congress on Monday.
  • A White House official said it marked one of the biggest national security investments in American history to strengthen U.S. allies in Europe and the Indo-Pacific and provide assistance to Ukraine.

Nickel Turmoil Saga Continues With Another 15% Limit-Up Spike On LME

  • Nickel surges by the 15% exchange limit for a second day at The London Metal Exchange, putting fresh pressure on bearish position holders after an unprecedented short squeeze earlier this month.
  • Nickel is up 53% during March in LME after wild swings.
  • The report added that Nickel prices surged to $37,235 a ton in early trading on LME, leaving the market locked up again after a 15% jump on Wednesday.

US Goods Risk Delay As China’s Lockdowns Heightens Shipping Port Jams

  • The key Chinese ports of Shenzhen and Hong Kong face congestion, which rose to the highest level in five months due to COVID-19 lockdowns. It could pose possible delays to goods heading to the U.S. this summer, reported Bloomberg.
  • With infections in Shanghai still on the rise, measures to combat the virus could affect transporting goods to the world’s biggest port.

GIF Architect Succumbs To COVID-19 At 74

  • Graphics Interchange Format creator Steve Wilhite surrendered to Covid-19 in early March.
  • The computer scientist was 74.
  • GIF became a signature feature of the go-to means for social media jokes, memes, and reactions.

Financial Times

Renault Halts Russia Operations; Looks To Shed AutoVaz Stake

  • Renault RNLSY has halted some of its Russian operations indefinitely, facing pressure to act on the Russia Ukraine crisis.
  • The carmaker is also planning to step back from its investment in Lada maker AvtoVaz.

Boston Consulting Group Slaps Lawsuit On GameStop Over Outstanding Fees

  • Boston Consulting Group prosecuted GameStop Corp GME over outstanding bills worth $30 million.
  • GameStop allegedly failed to take remedial actions proposed by BCG for a turnaround plan and refused to pay.
  • GameStop chose to fight, citing BCG’s seemingly meager impact.

Benzinga

Why Analyst Expects Tesla Rival Xpeng To Deliver Solid Q4 Earnings On Monday

  • U.S.-listed Chinese electric vehicles maker Xpeng Inc XPEV is expected to deliver a “solid” quarter when it reports fourth-quarter earnings before the bell on Monday, CnEVpost reported, citing Deutsche Bank analyst Edison Yu.
  • What Happened: The analyst has maintained a ‘buy’ rating on the stock but lowered the price target to $55 a share from $57.
  • “We expect a mostly solid quarter, supported by upside from vehicle deliveries,” the report said, citing the Deutsche Bank research note.

Apple Could Ship This Many Units Of Mac Studio And Studio Display In 2022

  • Apple Inc AAPL could ship up to 600,000 units of the Mac Studio and Studio Display this year, according to prominent analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
  • Kuo predicts that Apple’s shipments of both the devices could be in the range of 500,000 to 600,000 units this year.

This Tesla Rival Confirms Making Its First Semi Truck, Targets Up To 500 Deliveries This Year.

  • Nikola Corp NKLA said on Wednesday it had started production of its first semi-trucks earlier this week, sending shares of the electric truck maker higher after the bell.
  • Nikola plans to begin deliveries for the electric Tre semi-truck in the U.S. in the second quarter, the company told analysts during a presentation.
  • It said it expects to deliver between 300 to 500 trucks this year, generate “meaningful revenue” in the second half, and break even in 2024.

Meta Files Trademarks For Crypto Tokens, Trading, Wallets And Blockchain Software

  • Meta Platforms Inc FB has filed eight trademark applications for its logo on several applications in the digital asset space.
  • The social media giant has filed trademark applications covering cryptocurrency tokens, blockchain software, virtual currency exchanges, wallets and exchanges, as well as digital, crypto, and virtual currencies, trademark attorney Mike Kondoudis said on Twitter.

Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Neutralizing Antibody Response In Kids Under 6

  • Moderna Inc MRNA has announced interim data from the Phase 2/3 KidCOVE study of its COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA-1273) in children six months to under six years.
  • The interim analysis showed that two 25 μg doses of mRNA-1273 in participants 6 months to under six years met the primary endpoint with robust neutralizing antibody response similar to adults mRNA-1273 and a favorable safety profile.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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