JP Morgan’s stock strategist predicts a rally in the end of the year

After the october plunge

The investors who helped pull the market down during the October plunge could be the same ones who fuel a rally into the end of the year, according to J.P. Morgan Chase strategist Marko Kolanovic.

With markets hovering around technical correction levels, Kolanovic notes that hedge funds went from their record-high long positions in September to the highest level of bets against the market since 2015 in October. Managers who rebalance their portfolios monthly are at their shortest levels since February 2009, just before a market bottom that led to the longest bull run in history.

http://www.cnbc.com

The rise of the hydrogen-electric truck

$11 billion preorders

Nikola Motor Company is welcoming everyone to Phoenix April 16-18, 2019 for a new blockbuster event, Nikola World. The first two days, April 16 and 17, are devoted to invite-only Nikola reservation holders, suppliers, media and investors while April 18 will be reserved for the public.

On April 16, Nikola will unveil the pre-production hydrogen electric semi-truck, 2.3 megawatt hydrogen station and the Nikola NZT 4X4. April 17 will be dedicated to demonstration drives and hydrogen filling. On April 18, the public is invited to see the latest trucks and NZT in action.

http://www.nikolamotor.com

IBM to acquire Red Hat in deal valued at $34 billion

Red Hat is a major distributor of open-source software

IBM is acquiring Red Hat, a major distributor of open-source software and technology, in a deal valued around $34 billion, the companies announced on Sunday.
According to a joint statement, IBM will pay cash to buy all shares in Red Hat at $190 each. Shares in Red Hat closed at $116.68 on Friday before the deal was announced.
The open source, enterprise software maker will become a unit of IBM’s Hybrid Cloud division, with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst joining IBM’s senior management team and reporting to CEO Ginni Rometty.

http://www.cnbc.com

Amazon drops on revenue

Amazon’s stock dropped roughly 9 percent in after-hours trading

The company gave fourth-quarter revenue guidance in the range of $66.5 billion and $72.5 billion, well-below consensus of $73.79 billion. The fourth quarter is the biggest and most important sales period for Amazon because of the holidays.

The results show how Amazon could have a disappointing holiday season in its all-important fourth-quarter, as the overall business sees a slight deceleration in growth. At the same time, it highlights the growth of Amazon’s high-margin businesses, like its cloud and advertising units, that are more profitable than its core retail segment.

http://www.cnbc.com

Tesla shares soar on surprise third-quarter profit

Better-than expected car sales 

Tesla shares soared by more than 12 percent after the company reported a surprise profit for the third quarter as CEO Elon Musk made good on his promise to start turning regular profits in the last half of the year. The company’s earnings report, released after the markets closed Wednesday, also showed better-than expected car sales and a faster timeline on its Model 3 production.
The electric car maker said its midsize Model 3 sedan, which it hopes to produce on mass scale, was the best-selling car in the U.S. when measured by revenue and the fifth best-selling car in terms of volume. Musk told analysts on a call it was an “incredibly historic quarter” for the young car company. It was welcome news for investors following an otherwise a tumultuous few months.

http://finance.yahoo.com

Synthego wants to democratize access to the new genetic technologies

Access to therapies is the problem

Paul Dabrowski, the chief executive officer of Synthego, which provides genetically engineered cells to scientists and researchers, worries about a future where access to the genetic technologies that will reshape the world are only available to the few who can afford them.

To hear him tell it, that’s why Dabrowski began working on Synthego in the first place — to democratize access to the new technologies that will give scientists, researchers, and consumers new ways to rewrite the code that has defined human existence.

“People talk about access to the tools, but the question is access to the therapies,” Dabrowski said. “We’re talking about the basis of what does it mean to be human not right now, but in the next 100 years.”

Now, the company has a fresh $110 million in cash from new investors at Founders Fund and the company’s previous backers — 8VC and Menlo Ventures — to try and drive costs down.

World’s longest sea bridge to open in China

The 55km bridge links Hong Kong and Macau to the Chinese mainland

The world’s longest sea bridge is set to open this week, linking the cities of Hong Kong and Macau to the Chinese mainland as part of a broader contentious plan to integrate the special administrative regions into China.

The $20bn Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge officially opens on Tuesday in a ceremony that Chinese president Xi Jinping is reportedly planning to attend. Officials are billing the 55km bridge as a key part of the Greater Bay Area plan, a campaign to connect Hong Kong and Macau to 11 Chinese cities to form a high-tech region to rival Silicon Valley.

The bridge links Hong Kong’s Lantau island to Zhuhai on the southern coast of Guangdong province and the gambling hub of Macau, a popular tourist spot for Chinese visitors.

Elon Musk says first tunnel is almost done, opens December 10

Musk has previously said that his tunneling company “started as a joke”

A company owned by Elon Musk that is trying to lower the cost of building high-speed transit tunnels is nearing completion on the first tunnel, Musk said on Twitter on Sunday. The first tunnel, under Hawthorne in the Los Angeles area, is almost done and will open on Dec. 10, Musk said. Privately held Boring Co has been promoting its plans for tunnels that would allow high-speed travel between cities.

Germany and France draw up no-deal Brexit plans

Angela Merkel tells German MPs they must ‘prepare for every scenario’ of UK’s exit

Germany and France are starting to step up their preparations for a no-deal Brexit even though both publicly insist an agreement with the UK over the terms of its departure from the EU can still be achieved. While there was there was still a chance for a deal, it was “only fitting as a responsible and forward-thinking government leadership that we prepare for every scenario”, the German chancellor told MPs in Berlin. “That includes the possibility of Britain leaving the EU without an agreement.”

France has published a draft bill that would allow the government to introduce new legal measures to avoid or mitigate the consequences of a hard Brexit by emergency decree, as opposed to parliamentary vote, within 12 months of the law being passed. Angela Merkel revealed for the first time on Wednesday that Germany was drawing up contingency plans, saying the government had started making “suitable preparations” for the possibility of Britain leaving with no accord.

http://www.theguardian.com

Major Facebook investors want Mark Zuckerberg out as chairman

Zuckerberg holds absolute control of the board with a majority of the voting power

Major Facebook investors, including public pension funds and state officials, are pushing for Mark Zuckerberg‘s ouster as chairman of the company’s board.

The proposal is largely symbolic, since Zuckerberg holds absolute control of the board. But it comes at a difficult time for Facebook, as security breaches plague the company and spur questions around corporate oversight.

“We need Facebook’s insular boardroom to make a serious commitment to addressing real risks — reputational, regulatory, and the risk to our democracy — that impact the company, its share owners, and ultimately the hard-earned pensions of thousands of New York City workers,” New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said in a statement to CNBC.

http://www.cnbc.com

Netflix now has more than 137 million subscribers

The company’s stock surged nearly 14% after hours

Netflix added nearly 7 million new subscribers in its most recent quarter, about 2 million more than the streaming company expected. Netflix (NFLX) now has more than 137 million people tuning in around the world. The company’s stock surged nearly 14% after hours. That’s welcome news for a company that had been hammered by shareholders after July’s lackluster earnings and last week’s big tech sell-off. Beating its own subscriber expectations is a big win for the company. Last quarter the company said that it gained about 1 million fewer customers than it expected, sending its stock plunging. 

Netflix expects to add another 9.4 million subscribers in the last part of this year.
During an investor presentation Tuesday, CEO Reed Hastings attributed the discrepancy between the company’s subscriber estimates and its actual totals to a “forecasting” issue, as opposed to anything changing with the business. He said that in the future, the company will focus on paid subscribers — right now, its overall totals include people who are using free trials. Without those trials, Netflix has about 130 million people who pay for a subscription.
http://www.cnn.com

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, is dead at 65

Cancer of the lymphatic system

Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, died Monday. He was an investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist who influenced many aspects of modern life — from technology and science to sports and music.

Allen was 65, his investment firm Vulcan said in a statement announcing his death. He died in Seattle from complications related to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma two weeks after Allen said he was being treated for the disease.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, like the less-common Hodgkin’s disease, is a cancer of the lymphatic system.
http://www.cnn.com

Sears files for bankruptcy

Massive debt load

Sears has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, buckling under its massive debt load and staggering losses. Sears once dominated the American retail landscape. But the big question is whether its shrunken version can be viable or will be forced to go out of business, ending the final chapter for an iconic name that originated more than a century ago.

Sears filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y. Sears says it will “close 142 unprofitable stores near the end of the year. Liquidation sales at these stores are expected to begin shortly. This is in addition to the previously announced closure of 46 unprofitable stores that is expected to be completed by November 2018.”

Chairman and CEO Edeard Lampert is giving up his CEO role but will remain as chairman. Three executives will take over the CEO functions for now. The filing came just before Sears would have had to repay $134 million in loans later on Monday.

http://www.cbsnews.com

Two-thirds of the S&P 500 is in a correction

Sell-off worsens

Two-thirds of the stocks in the S&P 500 ended the trading session in correction territory or worse on Wednesday, as a sell-off led by technology names deepened a steep drop for the index in October.

When the dust settled on Wednesday, 332 of the S&P’s 505 components — or 66 percent of the index — had fallen by 10 percent or more from their 52-week highs. The S&P 500 fell 3.3 percent at 2,785 amid fears of rising interest rates and the flight from tech stocks.

There were 190 components in correction territory, meaning they have fallen by 10 to 20 percent from their 52-week highs. The stocks in correction included retail names like Michael Kors, financials such as Citigroup, and tech giants Amazon and Google’s parent Alphabet.

http://www.cnbc.com

Trump criticizes the rise of interest rates

The Federal Reserve has ‘gone crazy’

President Donald Trump knocked the Federal Reserve for continuing to raise interest rates despite some recent market turbulence. “I think the Fed is making a mistake. They are so tight. I think the Fed has gone crazy,” the president said after walking off Air Force One in Erie, Pennsylvania for a rally. Fears about rapidly rising rates helped cause the Dow Jones Industrial Average to drop more than 800 points Wednesday. The S&P 500 posted its worst day since February and clinched its first five-day losing streak since 2016.

“Actually, it’s a correction that we’ve been waiting for for a long time, but I really disagree with what the Fed is doing,” the President added. The Fed has raised interest rates three times this year and is largely expected to hike once more before year-end.

http://www.cnbc.com

SoftBank wants a majority stake in WeWork

Softbank ready to pay up to $20 billion

Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) is in discussions to take a majority stake in shared office space provider WeWork Cos, a source familiar with the matter said, a deal that would increase one of its biggest bets on a late-stage U.S. startup. Pricing and other details have yet to be firmed up, the source said, adding that it was not a done deal. A second source also said SoftBank is in talks about a major new investment in WeWork. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity as the details of the talks were private.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that SoftBank’s investment could be between $15 billion and $20 billion and would likely come from SoftBank’s Vision Fund.

http://www.reuters.com