Morning Brief: Top Financial Stories Dominating on Wednesday, April 27

Reuters

Kellogg Sues British Government Over New Sugar Rules

  • Kellogg Co K is suing the British government over new rules stopping the display of its breakfast cereals in grocery stores due to high sugar content.
  • The company said the formula being used by the government to measure the nutritional value of cereals was wrong and not legally implemented.

Oil Prices Stable Amid Balancing Act Of Russia Supply Fears and Asian Demand Concerns On COVID-19 Restrictions

  • On Wednesday, oil was steady after Russia cut gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland. However, lingering concerns about Asian COVID-19 related lockdowns (especially in China) weigh on economic growth, and oil demand constrains the prices.
  • Brent crude futures rose $0.26, or 0.30%, to $105.25 a barrel by 0823 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 10 cents, or 0.10%, to $101.80 a barrel.
  • Russian energy firm Gazprom OGZPY halted gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland in a significant escalation of Russia’s broader row with the West over its actions in Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “military operation.

China Lockdowns Pose Earnings Risk For Major Industrial Stocks and Autos like Tesla

  • Industrial firms warned against China’s strict COVID-19 curbs, intensifying supply chain disruptions and rising uncertainty about the business outlook.
  • Even as companies shuffled to keep up with soaring costs of everything from labor to raw materials, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and related Western sanctions drove up energy prices.

Citi, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Shareholders Backed Proposals To Stop Financing New Fossil Fuel Supplies Doesn’t Get Enough Support

  • Citi, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Investors Offer Minimal Support To Stop Financing New Fossil Fuel Supplies
  • Investors at Citigroup, Inc C and Bank of America Corporation BAC hardly backed proposals, essentially asking the banks to stop financing new fossil fuel supplies.
  • Wells Fargo & Company WFC investors followed suit with a similar proposal.
  • An expert saw the results reflect the current instability in energy markets and activists’ challenge in persuading significant mutual funds to support their causes.

WSJ

Johnson & Johnson Initiates Legal Action Against Entities Selling Fake HIV Medications

  • Johnson & Johnson JNJ has filed the latest lawsuit to combat illicit sales of drugs in the U.S., alleging that several drug distributors and pharmacies are selling counterfeit versions of its HIV drugs.
  • J&J said in a suit that in some cases, bottles labeled as one drug were filled with pills of a different HIV medicine.
  • In at least one instance, a bottle purporting to be HIV medication contained antipsychotic pills, J&J said in court documents.

Why Mattel Shares Are Trading Higher Today

  • Mattel Inc MAT has held talks with private-equity firms about a potential buyout, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • The informal talks were held with firms including Apollo Global Management Inc APO and L Catterton.

Bloomberg

First Bitcoin and Gold Combo Exchange-Traded Product Is Here

  • The first-ever exchange-traded product combining Bitcoin and Gold has launched in Europe, offering long-term rewards and inflation protection, at least in theory.
  • The physically-backed index product is known as the 21Shares ByteTree BOLD ETP (ticker BOLD). It was conceptualized by Swiss crypto ETP provider 21Shares and U.K. alternative investment provider ByteTree Asset Management.
  • According to the issuing parties, the novel ETP aims to bring together “the best of the old and new worlds of finance” by betting on the portfolio hedging power of Gold and the “strong” returns of the most well-known crypto token.

Indonesia’s Cooking Oil Export Ban Pumps Up Palm, Soyabean Oil Prices

  • Palm oil jumped 10% while rival soybean oil hit a fresh record high as traders gear up Indonesia’s export halt till the domestic cooking oil price cools down.
  • Malaysia, the second-biggest producer, will likely see higher demand for its products after top grower Indonesia banned RBD palm olein exports from April 28.
  • An expert saw every attention for olein demand turned to Malaysia, including China. Palm oil and soyabean oil prices rallied on short-covering ahead of the long holiday, a weakening ringgit, and a sudden surge in May demand for processed oil, adding “widespread belief” that Malaysia’s exports will soar.

Wall Street Banks Slash Chinese Companies’ Profit Forecasts - Read Why

  • Some Wall Street banks slashed their profit estimates for Chinese companies, citing the recent Covid resurgence and subsequent lockdowns.
  • China’s Covid Zero policy has dealt a heavy blow to the economy, as stringent restrictions pressure supply chains and chill consumption.
  • A week-long lockdown that shut down much of Shanghai expanded to parts of Beijing, triggering fears of broader regulations.

Benzinga

GM To Spend $2B On Self-Driving Startup Cruise This Year, Just A Permit Away From Charging Customers

  • General Motors Co GM CFO Paul Jacobson said on Tuesday the company will spend about $2 billion on its self-driving taxi fleet Cruise this year.
  • What Happened: The legacy automaker said it is just a permit away from being able to begin charging for rides.
  • “Inclusive of the incremental stock compensation expenses, we expect full-year 2022 expenses at Cruise to be approximately $2 billion,” Jacobson told analysts on a post-earnings call.

Tesla Cushions Downside For Battery Supplier LG Energy Solution In Q1: What You Need to Know

  • Tesla, Inc.’s TSLA battery supplier LG Energy Solution (LGES) reported strong quarterly results amid an inclement economic and geopolitical environment. The better-than-expected results in its maiden report as a public company were helped by strong battery sales.
  • LGES, a spin-off unit from South Korea’s LG Chem, said its quarterly operating profit came in at 258.9 billion Korean Won ($200 million), down about 24% year-over-year. The decline was much smaller than what many analysts had anticipated.

Google Parent Alphabet’s Q1 Results: Analyst Delves On The Good, Bad And Ugly

  • Alphabet, Inc. GOOGL GOOG shares came under pressure late on Tuesday after the search giant’s mixed quarterly results.
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Justin Patterson delved into the standouts and sore points from the earnings report.
  • Google parent Alphabet’s Q3 was stymied by unexpected weakness in its YouTube video business. Cloud revenues came in line, and new product adoptions continued to be encouraging.
  • The massive buyback could boost bottom-line results in the near term.

Why Microsoft’s Results Are A Reminder’ Cloud Software Eating The World’ Mantra Has Further Legs

  • Software giant Microsoft Corporation MSFT reported late Tuesday forecast-beating results for its fiscal-year third quarter, and the stock reacted with a move to the upside.
  • The Microsoft Analyst: Piper Sandler analyst Brent Bracelin reiterated an Overweight rating and $352 price target for Microsoft shares.
  • The Microsoft Thesis: Microsoft’s Cloud segment climbed 32% year-over-year to $23 billion in the March quarter, defying the fluid and dynamic economic conditions, analyst Bracelin said in a note. Azure, the company’s public cloud computing platform, saw revenue growth accelerating from 46% in the previous quarter to 49%, the analyst noted.

Elon Musk Can’t Badmouth Twitter Or Its Representatives, Takeover Deal’s Terms Dictate

  • Tesla, Inc. TSLA CEO Elon Musk is prohibited from casting aspersions on Twitter Inc. TWTR, a definitive proxy statement filed by the social media firm on Tuesday showed.
  • Under the “public announcements” section, Twitter said the equity investor — a reference to Musk — shall be allowed to tweet about the merger, provided it does not “disparage” Twitter or any of its representatives.
  • Musk has premised his interest in Twitter on his quest to make it as a “platform for free speech” around the globe.

Walmart+ Offers Fuel Discount To Members

  • Walmart Inc WMT said members of its Walmart+ program would receive an instant discount of up to 10 cents on every gallon of fuel they purchase at participating fuel stations.
  • Walmart+ fuel discount is available at more than 14,000 stations with the addition of 12,000 Exxon Mobil Corp XOM Exxon and Mobil locations across the country.
  • Member pricing will also be applicable at more than 500 Sam’s Club locations.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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