Benzinga Before The Bell: Record Inflows In 'Short Bitcoin' Funds, Elon Musk's Trillionaire Possibility, Gmail's Political Bias And Other Top Financial Stories Tuesday, July 5


Norwegian Offshore Workers’ Strike To Hit Norway’s Oil & Gas Output

  • Norwegian offshore oil and gas workers went on strike over pay after the members of the Lederne trade union voted down a proposed wage agreement that companies and union leaders had negotiated, Reuters reported.
  • “The strike has begun,” Audun Ingvartsen, the leader of the Lederne trade union, said in an interview, adding that the union would escalate the strike to pressure employers to address demands for the wage increase.
  • Equinor ASA EQNR has started to shut down the Gudrun, Oseberg South, and Oseberg East fields in the North Sea due to a strike.

Pilot Strike Forces SAS To File For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy In US

  • Scandinavian airline SAS AB SASDY has filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. to help accelerate restructuring plans.
  • Wage discussions between SAS and its pilots collapsed, sparking a strike that would add to travel disruption across Europe, Reuters reported.
  • A strike by SAS pilots has accelerated the airline’s decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S., the report quoted the airline’s CEO, Anko van der Werff.

Why Stellantis Shares Are Sliding Today

  • Stellantis NV STLA could lose 220,000 vehicles in 2022 as lost output due to the semiconductor supply crunch, Reuters reported, citing the Italy-based FIM CISL union.
  • The union also added that the 2022 drop would mark the fifth consecutive year of production decline in Italy.
  • FIM CISL said Stellantis’ vehicle production in the first half of 2022 declined 14% year-on-year to 351,890 units.

Federal Judge Says McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health Not Responsible For Opioid Epidemic

  • Federal judge David Faber rejected the efforts to force McKesson Corp MCKAmerisourceBergen Corp ABC, and Cardinal Health Inc CAH to pay $2.5 billion for the opioid crisis.
  • Faber said the companies did not cause any oversupply of opioids, saying doctors’ “good faith” prescribing decisions drove the volume of painkillers they shipped to pharmacies.


Wall Street Journal

July 4 Weekend Started With Cancellations And Delays For Air Travelers

  • Due to staffing shortages and other difficulties, travelers across United States airports had to encounter a busy and frustrating Fourth of July weekend.
  • The flight disruptions seemed to have eased Sunday and Monday.
  • With bad weather hitting multiple parts of the country Friday and Saturday, more than 1,200 flights had to be canceled, which makes up to 2.4% of the total scheduled.



Bank Of England Bats For Crypto Market Regulation After $2T Plunge In Value

  • The Bank of England has emphasized the need to regulate and impose tough laws on crypto assets after the crypto market plummeted in value by $2 trillion, Bloomberg reported.
  • The central bank said the plunge highlighted the crypto industry’s high vulnerabilities.
  • BOE’s policy committed cited that the digital asset market capitalization has nosedived to $900 billion from $3 trillion in the latter part of 2021.

Google Accused of Political Bias In Spam Filtering Political Emails; New Proposal Could Change That

  • Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL looks to allow polling updates, merch solicitations, and frantic fundraising pleas during election season after it realized that it filtered too much spam, Bloomberg reports.
  • Alphabet proposed suspending Gmail spam filters on messages from political parties and candidates to “enhance user and bulk sender experience” to the Federal Election Commission.
  • The pilot program, likely to launch during the upcoming election cycle, will still allow Gmail users to manually unsubscribe from each unwanted email list by clicking on one thirsty form letter at a time, making it very tedious and impractical process for the users.


Financial Times 

TikTok Aborts Europe, US Expansion Ambitions Shortly After US Senate Inquiry

  • TikTok dumped plans to expand its live e-commerce initiative in Europe and the U.S. following internal problems and failure to gain traction with consumers.
  • ByteDance Ltd launched the “TikTok Shop” in the U.K. in 2021, its first market outside Asia. Brands and influencers broadcast live and sell products through a clickable orange basket on the screen of the viral short-video app.
  • Livestream commerce, seen as the future of shopping by social media platforms, proved attractive for ByteDance, which has seen sales on Chinese sister app Douyin more than tripling year on year, selling more than 10 billion products.

Sequoia Capital China Nears $9B Fundraising Amid Domestic Regulatory Uncertainties

  • Sequoia Capital China is close to raising nearly $9 billion to invest in cash-strapped Chinese start-ups amid concerns over Beijing’s zero-Covid policies, a crackdown on technology groups, and heightened geopolitical risk, the Financial Times reports. The fundraising was oversubscribed by 50%.
  • The Sequoia Capital affiliate has backed several leading Chinese tech companies, including TikTok owner ByteDance, e-commerce juggernaut Pinduoduo Inc PDD, and delivery group Meituan MPNGY.



Amazon Unveils Emission Free Delivery In UK: All You Need To Know

  • Inc AMZN braces to deliver packages to customers by bike and on foot for the first time in the U.K.
  • Amazon’s new “micromobility” hub in London will account for a million more customer deliveries annually, with others likely to open across the U.K. in the coming months.
  • Delivery drivers will ride e-cargo bikes and walk to customers’ homes and offices in central London, dumping traditional van journeys on the city’s overcrowded roads.

Nio To Hold Power Day 2022 On Wednesday: What Investors Should Know

  • Nio, Inc. NIO has an imminent catalyst that could provide some support to the sagging stock.
  • Shanghai-based Nio plans to hold the annual “Nio Power Day” event on Wednesday at 3 a.m. ET, CnEVPost reported, citing a post on the Nio app.
  • “We will be live streaming the event to show how Nio Power is working further toward the vision of making powering up easier than refueling,” a statement from the company read.

Benzinga Asks: Could Elon Musk Become The First Trillionaire? 1 In 3 Say This

  • The world’s richest person turned 51 last week. Tesla Inc TSLA and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is the third youngest person ranked in the top ten richest people in the world.
  • Thanks to a rise in the valuations of Tesla and SpaceX, Musk has seen his wealth soar in recent years, which has prompted the question of if he could become the first trillionaire.
  • A study from done earlier this year compared the net worths of billionaires and their average annual gain to see if anyone was on pace to become a trillionaire.

AstraZeneca Strengthens Its Hematological Cancer Pipeline With TeneoTwo Acquisition

  • AstraZeneca Plc AZN has agreed to acquire TeneoTwo, Inc, including its Phase 1 clinical-stage CD19/CD3 T-cell engager, TNB-486, currently under evaluation in relapsed and refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
  • Deal consideration includes an upfront payment of $100 million. AstraZeneca will make additional contingent R&D-related milestone payments of up to $805 million and additional contingent commercial-related milestone payments of up to $360 million to TeneoTwo’s equity holders.
  • The acquisition of TNB-486 aims to accelerate the development of this potential new medicine for B-cell hematologic malignancies, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma.

‘Short-Bitcoin’ Funds See Record $51M Inflows In A Week

  • Bitcoin BTC/USDshort investment funds accounted for the majority of cryptocurrency inflows last week.
  • In its latest Digital Asset Fund Flows Weekly Report, CoinShares found that short-Bitcoin funds saw a record $51 million inflows for the week ended July 1.
  • Inflows towards shorting Bitcoin accounted for a significant majority of weekly inflows, which totaled $64 million.

38M Dogecoin (DOGE) Transferred On-Chain For $0.14 In Fees

  • On-chain data shows that $2.6 million worth of Dogecoin DOGE/USD was transferred for a fee of just $0.14.
  • According to an update from Dogecoin Whale Alert, 38 million DOGE was sent across the blockchain for 2 DOGE.
  • Transaction data from the DOGE blockchain explorer shows that an anonymous Dogecoin wallet was the recipient of a series of transfers from multiple different wallets.

No More’ Bitcoin Tourists’ In Crypto Market, Says On-Chain Analysis Firm

  • Bitcoin BTC/USDsaw one of its worst-performing months on record in June, along with a mass exodus of retail traders.
  • In a recent report examining the state of the Bitcoin network, on-chain analytics firm Glassnode noted the “near-complete expulsion of market tourists” with only long-term holders remaining resilient.
  • “Prices traded down 37.9% over the last 30-days, competing only with the 2011 bear market, for the crown of the worst month on record,” stated the analysts. The last time Bitcoin recorded such a massive monthly drawdown was 11 years ago when its price was under $10.

Coinbase Says Bitcoin Miners Selling $19M Coins Daily Doesn’t Matter

  • A report from Coinbase Global Inc COIN finds that even if all the newly issued Bitcoin BTC/USD was sold into the market every day, it would only equate to a minimal amount of selling pressure. 
  • In a report published last week, research analysts at Coinbase analysts explained that the extent to which miners sell their BTC holdings naturally increases during cyclical turndowns.
  • “In times of market turmoil and a declining bitcoin price, margins compress across the board and naturally force more miners to become net sellers of their bitcoin, whether they are simply trying to weather the storm or shutting down their operations indefinitely,” stated the report.

India Crypto Trading Volumes Plunge 70% As New Tax Laws Kick Into Effect

  • Trading volumes on major Indian cryptocurrency exchanges have declined by 70% after a new transaction tax came into effect on July 1.
  • Data shows that exchange volumes plummeted following the imposition of a 1% tax deducted at source (TDS) and 30% income tax on cryptocurrency transactions.
  • The 1% TDS is applicable to every digital asset transaction, including NFTs and other types of transactions on public blockchains.

Tesla Said To Be Pausing Giga Berlin Production For 2 Weeks: What’s Going On?

  • Tesla Inc TSLA will reportedly “interrupt” production at its Giga Berlin factory in Germany next week, as it looks to iron out speed and quality issues to achieve higher efficiency and meet surging demand for its electric vehicles.
  • According to the German tabloid newspaper Bild, the Elon Musk-led company will temporarily shutter its factory in Brandenburg for two weeks, starting next Monday, to upgrade the facility and add another shift.
  • The current production rate of 1,000 Model Ys per week is also well short of Tesla’s aim to produce 500,000 EVs a year at Giga Berlin, Bild reported on Monday, without citing any concise sources.

Vauld Halts Crypto Withdrawals, Citing Market Conditions

  • Crypto trading and lending platform Vauld on Monday announced it is suspending withdrawals, trading and deposits on its platform due to the financial challenges it is facing on account of volatile market conditions and financial difficulties of its business partners.
  • The Singapore-based firm, which has most of its employees in India, said couple of weeks back asserted that it did not have any exposure to Celsius or Three Arrows Capital and remained liquid despite market conditions.
  • The firm had assured investors at the time that all withdrawals would continue to be processed in the future.

This Warren Buffett-Backed Chinese EV Maker Reports June Sales Up Over 240% From A Year Ago

  • Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD Company Limited BYDDY reported Sunday deliveries that more than tripled from a year ago.
  • The Shenzhen-based EV maker delivered 69,544 battery EVs in June, up over 240% from the 20,016 units sold in the year-ago period. In May, the company sold 53,349 vehicles.
  • Additionally, the company sold 64,218 plug-in hybrids, taking its total new-energy vehicle sales to 133,762.
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