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Morning Brief: Top Financial Stories Dominating on Friday, May 13

CNBC

Salesforce Looks To Assist Employees For Access To Abortions Following Roe v. Wade

  • Salesforce, Inc CRM informed employees about helping them relocate for access to abortions or other medical procedures following an expected ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Roe v. Wade.
  • Of the 50 U.S. states, 26 would or are likely to ban abortion if the court strikes down Roe.
  • Salesforce and other large tech companies have committed to covering travel costs for their workers who may need to travel for abortions.

Reuters

Toshiba Bags Interest From 10 Potential Investors

  • Toshiba Corp TOSYY bagged interest from 10 potential investors after canvassing buyout offers, Reuters reports.
  • The deadline for submitting non-binding proposals is May 30.
  • Long under pressure from activist shareholders, the Japanese conglomerate also announced a special dividend worth $545 million for the second consecutive year.

Nissan Says Too Early To Predict EV Unit Spin-Off

  • Nissan Motor Co NSANY thinks it is too early to say whether it will spin off its electric vehicle (EV) business division, Reuters reported, citing a senior executive of the Japanese automaker.
  • “It’s too early to consider because of our diversified market portfolio and diversified product portfolio,” the report quoted COO Ashwani Gupta.
  • Meanwhile, in April, Renault SA RNLSY said it is considering options to separate its EV business, including a possible public listing as it tries to capture the growing EV market.

Micron Experiments With New Pricing Model

  • Micron Technology, Inc MU experimented with a new pricing model for its chips called forward pricing agreements, Reuters reports.
  • The agreements aim to stabilize the steep price fluctuations that afflict the industry.
  • Micron won a top 10 customer on this model with over $500 million a year of revenue for a three-year agreement.

Wall Street Journal

Biden Administration Drops Offshore Drilling Auctions

  • The Biden administration has canceled plans to auction drilling rights in two regions in the Gulf of Mexico and one off the coast of Alaska, writes Wall Street Journal.
  • The decision leaves oil-and-gas companies facing a blackout period of unknown length for access to new drilling spots in offshore acreage.
  • A five-year schedule for offshore lease sales expires at the end of next month, and the Interior Department has yet to propose a new one.

Rivian Recalls 502 EVs: All You Need To Know

  • Rivian Automotive, Inc RIVN, for the first time, recalled 502 battery-powered pickup trucks over potentially faulty airbags that could pose a safety risk to children in the front passenger seat, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that Rivian’s front passenger airbag may not perform appropriately during a crash due to a calibration error in the seat assembly.
  • In March, Rivian found that sensors designed to detect whether a child or a child seat was in the front passenger seat did not work correctly.

Bloomberg

The Top Chip Seller Looks To Hike Prices To Beat Macro Risks

  • Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd SSNLF negotiated with foundry clients over a 20% hike for manufacturing semiconductors to beat multiple macro risks like the Ukraine crisis, lockdown in China, rising interest rates, and inflation, Bloomberg reports.
  • The move translates into additional pressure on makers of smartphones, cars, and game consoles to lift the prices consumers pay.
  • Contract-based chip prices are likely to rise 15% – 20%, depending upon sophistication.

Goldman Sachs Think Artists Like Beyonce Are Recession-Proof – Read Why

  • Katie Koch, the chief investment officer for public equities at Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM), quips that “Beyoncé is ultimately recession-resistant,” and so are other popular artists.
  • That’s why the portfolios she helps oversee own shares of live-concert companies in the US and Europe.
  • Though Live Nation Entertainment Inc LYV got hit hard during COVID-19 lockdowns, she points out that the company weathered the previous recession well and managed to grow revenue in 2008 and 2009, Bloomberg reports.

Aluminum Inventories Reach A New Low, Prices Plunge

  • Aluminum available for withdrawal at London Metal Exchange warehouses fell to a record low. Still, the latest sign of supply shortages isn’t enough to break the pessimistic sentiment that is ruling metals markets as demand worsens.
  • On-warrant aluminum inventories fell 9.7% to 260,275 tons, breaking a record set in 1997 and surpassing a previous low set in 2000.
  • Stockpiles have fallen 63% this year, on track for a record annual drop, as strong demand and a string of smelter curtailments have pushed the market into a growing deficit.

Financial Times

Biden Administration To Inject $150M To Reactivate South Asian Alliances To Counter China

  • To boost economic engagement in Southeast Asian countries, the Biden administration will invest $150 million in the region as part of its strategy to counter China, Financial Times Reports.
  • The new package comes seven months after Biden promised Asean leaders that he would provide up to $102 million in investments for countries in Southeast Asia.
  • “This reflects a recognition on the part of the administration that we need to step up our game in Southeast Asia,” said one U.S. official.

Benzinga

Elon Says Twitter Deal On Hold: What You Should Know

  • After running the hard mile to mobilize finances for his Twitter Inc. TWTR buy, Elon Musk said early Friday the deal is on hold.
  • Musk tweeted that the deal is temporarily on hold, and the reason apparently is the discord over spam/fake accounts calculation.
  • “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” the Tesla Inc. TSLA CEO tweeted.

Bitcoin Bull ‘Pomp’ Reacts To Allegations He Pumped Terra (LUNA), UST Stablecoin

  • Bitcoin BTC/USD bull Anthony Pompliano, better known by the nickname “Pomp,” dismissed allegations that he had been “promoting” Terra (LUNA) or Terra USD (UST) stable coin.
  • Pompliano said in a recent note that a lot of people are inaccurately claiming he “was ‘promoting’ LUNA or UST.”
  • The entrepreneur-investor said he spends “hours a day” writing, interviewing, and recording content in order to better understand what is happening in the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Dogecoin Stages Sharp Recovery: What’s Driving It?

  • Dogecoin DOGE/USD shot up over 23% to $0.09 over 24 hours leading up to early Friday morning.
  • DOGE recovered alongside other major coins as the global cryptocurrency market cap rose 13.2% to $1.3 trillion at press time.

Tesla Gets Invite From Malaysia PM To Set Up Factory

  • Tesla Inc TSLA has been invited to open a car factory in Malaysia, local media reported on Thursday.
  • Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has invited U.S. investors and Fortune 500 companies to invest or increase their investments in the digital, green technology, and electric vehicle sectors in the country.
  • “I’ve suggested to Tesla to invest in Malaysia in producing electric cars,” the report said, citing Ted Osius, president and chief executive officer of the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC), according to Free Malaysia Today.

Terra’ Officially’ Halts Blockchain As LUNA Hits Zero

  • Terra LUNA/USD has officially stopped block production as the blockchain’s native token hit a low of $0.000033 on Thursday.
  • An update on Twitter from the network’s official account confirmed that the Terra blockchain had “officially halted” at block 7607789.
  • This is the second time over the last 24 hours that the blockchain has halted production.

$760M Liquidated From Crypto Markets As Bitcoin Reclaims $30,000 Level

  • Over 230,000 crypto traders saw liquidations worth $760 million over the last 24 hours.
  • Bitcoin BTC/USD rose 10% over the last day to $30,400, as per data from Benzinga Pro. Ethereum ETH/USD was up 7.7%, trading above $2,000.
  • As the cryptocurrency market staged a recovery, major altcoins saw double-digit gains. Dogecoin DOGE/USD was up 20% and trading at $0.09, while Cardano ADA/USD and Avalanche AVAX/USD gained 22% and 16%, respectively.

Tesla Rival Nio Now Bumping Up Prices Of Its ET7 Sedans

  • Nio Inc NIO is bumping up the price of its premium electric sedan ET7 from May 23 onwards due to an increase in global raw material prices, CnEVpost reported on Friday, citing the electric vehicle maker.
  • Shanghai-based Nio will hike the starting prices of all ET7 models by $1,470 later this month.
  • Customers who book the model before May 22 and receive delivery within the year would not be affected by the price change, the report said, citing Nio.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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