Benzinga Before The Bell: Should Investors Worry About Tesla's China Sales, Gold Back In Focus, Nio Smartphone Could Soon Be A Reality Other Top Financial Stories Friday, August 5


International Airlines Prepare For Mayhem Of Summer Travel Season: Report

  • Since the Covid-19 outbreak first emerged, the aviation sector has been in complete turmoil. Airlines are already being forced to strengthen their battle plans to counter this summer’s travel turmoil due to a perfect storm of strikes and workforce shortages, writes CNBC.
  • The industry recently had a preview of the summer travel chaos, on July Fourth weekend, with around 525 flights canceled, according to figures from FlightAware.
  • To ease the situation, ticket caps are being used.
  • Another tactic being explored by the airlines is schedule adjustments.

Virgin Galactic Defers Space Tourism Flights: Report

  • Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc SPCE deferred the beginning of its commercial flights by another three months to the second quarter of 2023, citing delays in work refurbishing its carrier aircraft.
  • SPCE currently has one carrier aircraft, or “mothership,” called VMS Eve, which is about 14 years old and is undergoing a protracted refurbishment.
  • The jet-powered mothership plays a crucial role in Virgin Galactic’s flights by carrying the company’s spacecraft up to about 50,000 feet altitude for launch.



Italy, Intel Nears Chip Plant Deal

  • Italy neared a deal with Intel Corp INTC to build an advanced semiconductor packaging and assembly plant in the country.
  • The deal was initially worth $5 billion.
  • The investment is part of Intel’s broader plan to invest $88 billion in building capacity across Europe to improve self-reliance and counter the chip crisis.

Tencent Goes Aggressive On Its Overseas Endeavors As Domestic Crackdown Pinches

  • Tencent Holding Ltd TCEHY looks to raise its stake in French video game group UbiSoft Entertainment Inc UBSFY in its quest to tap the overseas market, Reuters reports.
  • Tencent, which purchased a 5% stake in Ubisoft in 2018, has expressed interest in increasing its stake in the firm.
  • Tencent reportedly aspires to become the single largest shareholder of the French company with an additional stake purchase.



Crypto Company Nomad Offers 10% Reward After $190M Hack

  • Following Monday’s theft of over $190 million from cross-chain cryptocurrency bridge Nomad, the company is offering a bounty to recover the money that was stolen, reported Bloomberg.
  • This hack again brings to attention security vulnerabilities in the digital token sector.
  • According to a statement from Nomad, anyone returning at least 90% of stolen tokens will be regarded as a so-called “white-hat hacker” that seeks to draw attention to vulnerabilities over pursuing malicious gains.



Gold Grabs Eyeballs As Recession Fears, China-Taiwan Tensions Prompt Risk Aversion

  • With geopolitical tensions mounting over simmering U.S.-China tensions and demand for safe-haven assets rising, investors are turning their eyes towards gold which traded near one-month highs on Thursday and was headed for its third straight weekly gain.
  • Why Gold Is Rising: China fired live missiles near Taiwan on Thursday, responding fiercely to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island. During times like this, when risk aversion is prevalent, investors flock to safe-haven assets like gold.
  • Spot gold was trading near the $1,790/oz levels on Friday after having breached the $1,794/oz mark, which is the highest intra-day level since early July.

Tesla Shareholders Approve 3-For-1 Stock Split — Elon Musk Shares Cybertruck Update, Teases New Factory

  • Tesla Inc TSLA held its annual shareholder meeting at its manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas on Thursday evening. Most of the 13 board recommendations were passed by shareholders, while CEO Elon Musk charted the electric vehicle maker’s progress.
  • On Tesla Directors: Despite the board’s opposition, shareholders passed an advisory proposal that will bolster the ability of shareholders to nominate directors. Two proposals related to slashing terms of directors to two years and removing supermajority requirements did not pass.
  • Stock Split Approved: Tesla’s investors have cleared the way for a three-for-one stock split, which will increase the company’s outstanding shares to 4 billion and is expected to make the stock more affordable to investors.

FDA Asks For Additional Study For Acadia’s Pimavanserin In Alzheimer’s-Associated Delusions

  • The FDA has issued a Complete Response Letter (CRL) to Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc ACAD regarding its supplemental marketing application for pimavanserin in hallucinations and delusions associated with Alzheimer’s disease psychosis (ADP).
  • The CRL recommended that Acadia conduct an additional trial in ADP.
  • The advisory committee voted 9-3 that Acadia’s pimavanserin doesn’t appear effective in treating ADP patients.

iPhone Assembler’s Shipments Face Scrutiny By Chinese Custom Officials After Executive Met Nancy Pelosi: Report

  • Apple Inc’s AAPL iPhone assembler Pegatron Corp PGTRF said its mainland China plant is operating normally after reports indicated that shipments to the factory were being held for scrutiny by Chinese customs officials.
  • After a senior Pegatron executive met Nancy Pelosi in Taipei — a Nikkie Asia report citing sources said that the shipments to its Suzhou facility were being checked to see if they violated a rule against cartons carrying the words “Taiwan” or the “Republic of China.”
  • Pegatron — which makes a wide range of products for many American companies, including Microsoft Corporation MSFT and Tesla Inc TSLA— said the production was not halted, and there is no stoppage in shipments.

Zillow Teams With Opendoor - What’s The Benefit For Home Buyers?

  • Zillow Group Inc ZG has signed a multi-year partnership with Opendoor Technologies Inc OPEN, a digital platform for residential real estate that enables customers to buy and sell houses online.
  • The partnership will allow home sellers on the Zillow platform to request an Opendoor offer to sell their homes.
  • Zillow Group’s mobile apps and websites had 234 million average monthly unique users in Q2.

Meta Platforms Teams With Coinbase And Dapper Labs For NFTs On Instagram: Here Are The Details

  • Meta Platforms META, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is updating plans for its launch of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
  • The Menlo Park, California-based company, is increasing the rollout of NFT integration on the social media platform Instagram to more than 100 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and the Americas.
  • Meta also announced it will support wallet connections with the Coinbase Wallet from Coinbase Global Inc COIN and Dapper Labs, the owner of the Flow FLOW/USD blockchain and NBA Top Shot.

Elon Musk On Aliens Asks If Universe Is 13.8B Years Old, Shouldn’t They Be ‘Everywhere?

  • Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk addressed the topics of aliens and Area 51 on Thursday.
  • Musk said on the Nelk Boys’ “Full Send” podcast that to the best of his knowledge, he hadn’t seen any evidence of aliens.
  • “I think I’d know,” said Musk, who also heads the space-faring company SpaceX. Musk addressed the Fermi Paradox proposed by the Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi in the interview.

Twitter Responds to Elon Musk’s Countersuit: Tesla CEO’s Claims A ‘Story That Is Implausible’

  • The mudslinging seems to go on endlessly in the Twitter, Inc. TWTR -Elon Musk saga. The latest episode has seen the social media platform filing a 127-page response to the Tesla, Inc. TSLA CEO’s countersuit.
  • Twitter’s Chairman Bret Taylor shared the document on the namesake platform late Thursday and said Musk’s claims are “factually inaccurate, legally insufficient, and commercially irrelevant.”
  • Musk’s claim in the countersuit that he was hoodwinked by Twitter into signing a $44 billion merger agreement is a “story that is implausible and contrary to fact,” the social media platform said.

Tesla China Sales Possibly Plummeted In July From Record June: Should Investors Care?

  • Tesla, Inc.’s TSLA red-hot sales pace seen in China in June may have cooled off a bit.
  • Tesla may have sold 30,000 Giga-Shanghai-made electric vehicles in China in July, according to preliminary estimates released by the China Passenger Car Association, CnEVPost reported.
  • Full July data is likely to be published by the industry body in the coming days.
  • The estimated July run rate represented a 9% drop from the 32,968 cars the company delivered a year earlier.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Ferries South Korea’s Debut Moon Mission

  • South Korea joined the race to the moon on Thursday after its first lunar orbiter successfully communicated with the ground control station.
  • The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO), also known as Danuri, was launched on Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in the U.S., opening a new chapter in the country’s space program.

Nio Gets Closer To Making Smartphones By Setting Up $100M Mobile Tech Firm

  • Nio Inc NIO has incorporated a new arm that could possibly aid the Chinese electric vehicle maker’s efforts to manufacture smartphones, CnEVPost reported on Thursday.
  • The company has set up Nio Mobile Technologies Co Ltd with a registered capital of $100 million, as per the report, which cited data provider Qichacha.
  • Qin Lihong, the co-founder and president of NIO, is reportedly the legal representative of the division with a registered office in Anting, Shanghai — the same place where Nio’s global headquarters is located.
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