Tesla To Feel Pressure After Musk's Twitter-Deal News; OPEC Output Cut Disappoints Biden; Shell Profits Low: Top Stories Thursday, Oct. 6

Zinger Key Points
  • The five-day trial between Musk and Twitter, scheduled to begin on Oct. 17, is still on track.
  • The Department of Energy will deliver an additional 10 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Tesla To Feel Pressure After Musk's Twitter-Deal News; OPEC Output Cut Disappoints Biden; Shell Profits Low: Top Stories Thursday, Oct. 6

Benzinga

Tesla Shares Will Remain Under Pressure After Twitter-Deal News, Analyst Says — Unless Elon Musk Gives Clarity

  • Elon Musk on Tuesday renewed his interest in Twitter Inc. TWTR for the originally agreed-upon deal value of $44 billion.
  • Neither party has so far asked to put the lawsuit filed in the Delaware Chancery Court on hold, prompting Judge Kathaleen McCormick to rule that the five-day trial, scheduled to begin on Oct. 17, is on track. 
  • Shares of Musk's flagship electric vehicle business Tesla came under significant selling pressure amid the development.
  • Tesla shares will likely continue to underperform as long as Musk is tightlipped about whether he has to sell more shares to finance the Twitter deal, Future Fund analyst Gary Black said.

Shell Shares Slide After Profit Warning

  • Shell plc SHEL has issued a profit warning that the third quarter would be pressured by a near halving of oil refining margins, crumbling chemical margins, and weaker natural gas trading.
  • The energy giant reported a negative margin of $27 per metric tonne in its chemical unit versus a positive $86 in the second quarter after global demand for plastics slumped.
  • Shell also reported a decline in its refining margins as oil prices eased back from their recent highs.

Walmart Strategically Times Its Holiday Sales Event To Win More Shoppers From Amazon

  • Walmart Inc WMT will hold a "Rollbacks and More" sale event from Oct. 10 to 13 to counter Amazon.com Inc.'s AMZN Prime Early Access Sale.
  • Last week, Amazon announced that it's holding a Prime Day-like sales event on October 11 and 12, marking its first two sales events exclusively for Prime members in the same year.
  • Considering Walmart's sales event starts a day before Amazon's, the company is looking to get to customers first before Amazon's event begins.

White House Responds To OPEC+ Reduction In Oil Output

  • The White House responded to OPEC+'s historic reduction of oil, to which President Joe Biden said he is disappointed in the shortsighted decision by the coalition to cut production quotas in the current uncertain macro and geopolitical environment.
  • The White House also said the Department of Energy would deliver an additional 10 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

Microsoft Considers Investing In Play-To-Earn Gaming Platform

  • Microsoft Corp. MSFT discussed investing in the Indian play-to-earn gaming platform Zupee and proposed to lead a funding round of over $100 million.
  • A team within Microsoft has expressed apprehension about optics around betting and advised the global tech giant to steer away from the deal.
  • Like many other startups, including Oyo, in which Microsoft has invested in India, the Zupee deal sought to have the startup use Azure and other Microsoft cloud services as part of the deal.

Reuters

General Electric Cuts Workforce At Renewable Business Unit

  • To restructure and resize its onshore wind unit, General Electric Company GE is laying off employees in North America, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.
  • Onshore wind is the largest of GE's renewable businesses, employing 38,000 people worldwide at the end of 2021.
  • The Boston-based company also plans to cut its onshore wind workforce later in Europe and the Asia Pacific amid weak demand, rising costs, and supply-chain delays.
  • Roblox And Peers Draw Lawsuit Over Sexual Exploitation Of Minor

  • A San Francisco lawsuit accused online gaming firm Roblox Corp. RBLX of enabling a California girl's sexual and financial exploitation by adult men.
  • The girl, S.U., was born in 2009 and began using Roblox when she was nine or ten. Starting in early 2020, S.U. came across adult men through Roblox, who encouraged her to sign up for Discord, Snap Inc. SNAP Snapchat, and Meta Platforms Inc. META Instagram to communicate with them.
  • Honda Intends To Slash Car Production In October

  • Honda Motor Co. Ltd. HMC plans to slash car output at two Japanese plants in October.
  • Two lines at Honda's Suzuka plant in western Japan will cut production by about 20% in October, while its assembly plant in Saitama prefecture will decrease production plans by about 40%.
  • Volkswagen Plans To Invest €1B In China Joint Venture

  • Volkswagen AG VWAGY is planning to invest in a joint venture in China to boost software production.
  • The planned investment by the automaker could be above €1 billion (~$990 million).
  • The report noted that the company, which makes 40% of its sales and 50% profits in China, has a research and development center.
  • American Airlines Pilots Union Against Boeing Receiving Cockpit Alerting Extension

  • The union representing American Airlines Group Inc. AAL pilots opposed an effort to extend an exemption from modern cockpit alerting requirements for the Boeing Co.'s BA 737 MAX 7 and 10.
  • The Allied Pilots Association, a union representing 15,000 pilots, said, "Boeing needs to proceed with installing modern crew alerting systems on these aircraft to mitigate pilot startle-effect and confusion during complex, compound system malfunctions."
  • HSBC Explores Canada Unit Sale, But Domestic Players Might Be Discouraged In Bidding

  • HSBC Holdings plc HSBC is considering selling its business in Canada without disclosing the potential valuation of the business. It has tapped JPMorgan Chase JPM to handle a potential sale.
  • As per the lawyers and analysts, the potential sale could discourage big domestic banks from bidding as the government has charged the antitrust regulator to push for more competition.

Financial Times

FTC Jury Blames Ex-Uber Security Head For Concealing Data Hack

  • The former head of security at Uber Technologies Inc. UBER is guilty of covering up a 2016 data breach at the rideshare giant, according to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) jury.
  • Uber fired the employee in 2017 after two hackers notified the company of a security flaw that exposed the personal information of almost 60 million drivers and riders on the platform.
  • The employee, Joe Sullivan, hid details from the U.S. regulators and paid off a pair of hackers in return for their discretion.

Bloomberg

AT&T CEO Sees His Satellite Phone Service Way Ahead Of Its Popular Peers

  • AT&T Inc T CEO John Stankey said his company is way ahead of T-Mobile US Inc TMUS and Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk in efforts to provide mobile phone service to remote areas via satellites.
  • "I would say we probably have an 18-month lead on this," Stankey said in an interview. "SpaceX is going to have to go through the same process. And they're not going to have their satellite up for testing until the middle of next year."
  • Toyota To Resume bZ4X EV Sales After Recall

  • Toyota Motor Corp TM is expected to resume sales of its electric vehicle, bZ4X, after rectifying issues concerning wheels detachment.
  • The safety issue led to the automaker recalling 2,700 units worldwide.
  • Toyota has submitted the cause of the defect and remedial steps to Japan's transport ministry.
  • In the note, the automaker said freshly designed hub bolts would be used to attach the wheels instead of the old ones that led to the loosening.

Wall Street Journal

Chevron Likely To Resume Oil Production In Venezuela As Biden Administration Considers Easing Sanctions

  • The Biden administration plans to bring down sanctions on Venezuela to allow Chevron Corp CVX to restart oil pumping there.
  • The potential resumption of oil pumping is expected to reopen U.S. and European markets to oil exports from Venezuela.
  • In return for the sanctions relief, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro would resume talks with the country's opposition to discuss ways to hold free and fair presidential elections in 2024.
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