Morning Brief: Top Financial Stories Dominating on Monday, May 9

CNBC

Ford Motor Selling 8M Shares Of Rivian Automotive

  • Ford Motor Company F will sell 8 million Rivian Automotive Inc RIVN shares, according to a CNBC report. The post-IPO lockup period for Rivian ends on Sunday.
  • Ford will sell the shares with the help of Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.
  • In March, Rivian reported fourth-quarter revenue of $54 million, missing a consensus estimate of $60 million.

 

Reuters

Hyundai Motor Set To Open New EV Facility In Georgia, US: Reuters

  • Hyundai Motor Company HYMTF is planning a new electric-vehicle manufacturing plant in the U.S. The company has held discussions with officials in Georgia, the report further noted.
  • When finalized, the Georgia facility would serve both Hyundai and Kia for their fully electric SUVs, the Ioniq 7 and EV9, aimed at the U.S. market.
  • “We are excited to announce a new EV plant plan in the United States soon, but we do not have details to share at this stage,” Hyundai Motor said in a statement to Reuters.

IKEA To Invest €3B In Expansion; Lays Out Plan For ECommerce Adoption

  • Ingka Group, the largest IKEA retailer, plans to invest €3 billion ($3.2 billion) through 2023 in new and existing stores.
  • The company will focus its expansion investments in new physical stores and revamp existing ones to support the increasing demand for e-commerce and home deliveries.
  • Tolga Öncü, Retail Operations Manager, Ingka Group, noted close to €1.2 billion invested in London.

President Biden Did Not Consult Global Energy Partners Before Its Massive Reserve Release

  • The International Energy Agency members have become worried that U.S. President Joe Biden is using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to put a cap on domestic inflation for political reasons, Reuters reported citing two sources.
  • According to the sources, the agency said the reserve release does not protect consumer countries from global supply disruption.
  • “The IEA was embarrassed by the (U.S.) release, which was at the start done essentially unilaterally by the U.S.,” said a source familiar with the diplomacy around the release.

 

Wall Street Journal

AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Others Join Government’s Low-Income Broadband Plan

  • Twenty internet providers agreed to help offer high-speed internet to millions of unconnected households through the bipartisan infrastructure law.
  • The companies included AT&T Inc TComcast Corporation CMCSA, and Verizon Communications Inc VZ.
  • The companies agreed to increase their internet speeds or cut prices to ensure that all eligible households can tap into high-speed internet plans up to $30 a month.

Moderna Files Motion To Dismiss COVID-19 Vaccine Related Patent Claims

  • Moderna Inc MRNA is trying to fight off rival companies’ patent infringement claims related to its COVID-19 vaccine, arguing that the companies may only pursue their claims by seeking royalties from the federal government.
  • As per Wall Street Journal report, Moderna filed a motion to dismiss some of the patent-infringement claims in the lawsuit filed by Arbutus Biopharma Corp ABUS and Genevant Sciences GmbH in federal court in Delaware.

 

Bloomberg

Saudi Minister Links Refining Capacity Crisis To Surging Fuel Price

  • Saudi Arabia’s energy minister attributed the lack of global refining capacity to the surge in the gap between the price of crude oil and fuels that could discourage investors.
  • Crude and refined-fuel markets are firmly in backwardation, marked by near-term futures commanding a premium to those further out.
  • The downward-sloping curve means the companies’ long-term price assumptions are much lower than current levels.

 

Financial Times

Defense Companies Experience Supply Issues As Demand For US Weaponry Surges

  • Northrop Grumman Corporation NOC CEO Kathy Warden gave both good and bad news: the aerospace company anticipates increased demand for its weapons systems, but supply chain issues may hinder efforts to increase output, reported Financial Times.
  • “Proper now, it’s a query of how can we scale manufacturing to backfill stockpiles?” Warden stated on the Financial Membership of Washington, DC on Wednesday. She has also acknowledged labor shortages.
  • Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the most prominent US aerospace defense businesses are set to benefit as Western nations re-calibrate their safety procedures and increase defense spending.

 

Benzinga

Be Ready: New AirPods Pro, Fresh Colors For AirPods Max Could Be Coming This Fall

  • Updated AirPods Pro will launch in the fall alongside new colors for the AirPods Max over-the-ear headphones, according to Apple Inc AAPL -focused journalist Mark Gurman.
  • The fall launch for AirPods Pro was likely because the original model was released in fall 2019. Gurman said, “the batteries are already in trouble for some early adopters,” in his weekly newsletter, according to an Apple Insider report.
  • The AirPods Max refresh would reportedly encompass new colors. However, the analyst did not elaborate on what the new colors would be.

Tesla A Decade Away From Hitting Full EV Autonomy, China Future Uncertain, Says Morgan Stanley Analyst

  • Tesla Inc TSLA is over a decade away from achieving full autonomy at scale for its electric vehicles and its long-term future in China is uncertain, according to Morgan Stanley.
  • The Tesla Analyst: Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas has maintained an ‘overweight’ rating and a $1,300 price target on the Elon Musk-led company’s shares.
  • The Tesla Thesis: Jonas said he believes any expectations around Tesla’s full self-driving (FSD) technology majorly boosting margins are overestimated.

Apple Said To Be Planning Instacart-Like Service And This Would Be The X Factor

  • Apple, Inc. AAPL is reportedly exploring a new addition to its Services business, underlining Cupertino’s focus on this rapidly-growing unit.
  • What Happened: Apple has considered launching an Instacart-like service and has also discussed ways of differentiating it from the incumbent, Bloomberg columnist Mark Gurman reportedly said in reply to a reader query in his Power On weekly newsletter.
  • Instacart is a California-based company that offers grocery delivery and pick-up service in the U.S. and Canada through its website and mobile app. Since such services are low-margin businesses and highly unprofitable, Apple could exercise caution before dipping its heels into the arena, the Apple writer reportedly said.

More Trouble Brews For Alibaba, TikTok And Others As China Intensify Livestream Crackdown

  • China’s ban on younger users from sending virtual gifts on Livestream platforms could hamper companies, including Alibaba Group Holding Limited BABA, TikTok parent ByteDance Ltd, and Kuaishou Technology KSHTY, SCMP reports.
  • The government prohibited Livestream apps from providing minors with facilities for online transfers or virtual gift-purchase services.
  • In addition, the government also ordered platforms to stop providing Livestream feeds to minors after 10 p.m., Bloomberg reports.

Terra Plans $750M Bitcoin’ Loan’ To Market Makers To Defend UST Peg

  • The Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) plans to loan $750 million worth of Bitcoin BTC/USD to market makers as part of a wider strategy to protect the UST stablecoin peg.
  • The Terra LUNA/USD blockchain’s stablecoin TerraUSD UST/USD briefly lost its peg to the U.S. dollar on Saturday in what the community described as a “coordinated attack.”
  • The weekend’s events prompted the LFG Council to come out with a way to tackle the issue.

Robinhood Lists 2 New Crypto Products: What You Need To Know

  • Popular retail brokerage Robinhood Markets Inc HOOD has listed two new cryptocurrency products.
  • What Happened: In an announcement on Friday, Barry Silbert, founder of Grayscale parent Digital Currency Group (DCG), said Robinhood had listed the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust GBTC and Grayscale’s Ethereum Trust ETHE.

WeChat Gives Cues On Why Elon Musk’s Ambitious Twitter Revenue Plan Is ‘Achievable:’ Analyst

  • Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk’s plan to quadruple Twitter Inc’s TWTR revenue to $26.4 billion by 2028 is “achievable,” according to noted Apple Inc AAPL analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
  • What Happened: Kuo said Sunday evening that Twitter’s business may be partially similar to the one run by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Limited TCEHY, the company behind the super-app WeChat.
  • Kuo pointed out in a Twitter thread that Tencent’s revenue from social networking — including subscriptions — advertising, and fintech and business service in 2021 was $17.6 billion, $13.3 billion, and $25.8 billion, respectively.

Instagram To Integrate NFTs From Ethereum, Solana, and Polygon: What You Need To Know

  • Meta Platforms Inc’s FB Instagram is soon going to integrate NFTs (non-fungible tokens) from Ethereum ETH/USD, Polygon MATIC/USD, Solana SOL/USD, and Flow.
  • According to the report, Meta is expected to make an official announcement on this as early as next week. Additionally, Instagram will not charge users for posting and sharing NFTs.
  • Instagram will feature a small group of NFT enthusiasts based in the U.S. during the initial integration phase.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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