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Nvidia Releases Chip to Comply with China Export Restrictions, HG Vora Seeks Board Seats at PENN, and More

Fernanda T
Latest News
December 29 2023 4:14AM

In the pre-market of the last trading day of 2023, the U.S. index futures show a slight increase, with Wall Street nearing the end of a profitable year and possibly hitting a new record. The S&P 500 is close to a new all-time high, reflecting a strong rise in the last months of 2023. This growth was driven by excitement around artificial intelligence and large gains in technology stocks, despite challenges of rising interest rates.

At 07:21 AM, the Dow Jones futures (DOWI:DJI) rose 12 points, or 0.03%. The S&P 500 futures rose 0.03% and the Nasdaq-100 futures advanced 0.09%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bonds was at 3.888%.

In the commodities market, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for February rose 0.29%, to $71.98 per barrel. Brent oil for March rose 0.51%, near $77.54 per barrel. Iron ore with a 62% concentration, traded on the Dalian exchange, rose 0.3% on Friday, to $137.31 per ton, ending 2023 with a jump of 55.1%.

European stock markets are up on the last trading day of the year. All sectors were positive, anticipating weak trade due to the early closure of London markets. The Stoxx 600 index is expected to gain more than 12% in 2023, almost reversing the loss of 2022. The German DAX and the French CAC 40 had significant gains, while U.S. economic growth slows down, raising expectations of rate cuts in 2024. Data on Spanish inflation will also be released today. In the United Kingdom, Nationwide reported an annual fall of 1.8% in house prices until December, exceeding recent forecasts, but below initial expectations of a reduction of up to 10%.

The Asia-Pacific markets fell on the last trading day of 2023, except for Chinese stocks, driven by technology companies. Xiaomi, a Chinese consumer electronics company, revealed plans to enter the saturated Chinese electric vehicle market, seeking to compete with giants like Tesla (NASDAQ:PENN) and Porsche (TG:PAH3), investing more than $1.4 billion in its model. Over the year, China’s CSI 300 index fell 11.8%, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng index plunged 14%.

At the close on Thursday, stocks remained stable despite low liquidity. The S&P 500 approached its all-time high, maintaining optimism due to expectations of Fed interest rate cuts. Mixed data on employment and housing were released. The oil market fell more than 2% due to concerns about recent attacks in the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

Wall Street Corporate Highlights for Today

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) – Alphabet’s Google agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging secret user tracking in private browsing. The preliminary agreement, whose terms are unknown, ends a trial scheduled for February 2024, with expectations to present a formal settlement to the court by the end of February. The lawsuit sought at least $5 billion.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) – Nvidia launched the GeForce RTX 4090 D chip, a modified version to meet U.S. export controls to China. Promising advances in performance and AI graphics, it will be available in China from January. The chip is a response to export restrictions imposed by the Biden administration and is slightly slower than the model banned in the U.S., but still represents a significant leap in technology for the Chinese market.

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) – 2023 was an atypical year for Intel, marked by significant transformation and challenges. While facing fierce competition and declining PC sales, the company sought leadership in graphic chips and saw a 21% decrease in revenue with an operating loss of $2.5 billion. Surprisingly, its shares rose 91% for the year. Analysts view Intel as undervalued and anticipate a recovery in chip manufacturing and revenue growth. Intel is restructuring into several companies, including a possible division of its product and foundry businesses, which could significantly increase its market value.

Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) – Baidu announced that its generative AI chatbot, Ernie Bot, surpassed 100 million users. The chatbot, comparable to OpenAI’s GPT-4, is part of the Chinese company’s AI effort. Since its launch, Ernie Bot has generated billions of words in text, code lines, and travel itineraries. Baidu’s PaddlePaddle development platform also grew, with over 10.7 million developers and 860,000 models created.

Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), (NASDAQ:JD) – The Beijing Supreme Court ruled in favor of in a lawsuit against Alibaba, fining the latter $140.68 million for monopolistic practices. The decision found that Alibaba abused its market dominance with practices known as “choose one from two,” seriously harming Alibaba was previously fined $2.75 billion in 2021 for market abuse.

Tellurian (AMEX:TELL) – Struggling in the LNG sector, Tellurian hired a financial advisor after the resignation of its chairman, Charif Souki. The company seeks to manage its balance sheet and faces doubts about covering future expenses while restructuring its debt and seeing an increase in stake by a significant investor.

United States Steel (NYSE:X) – Shares of United States Steel rose 26% on December 18 following the announcement of its acquisition by Nippon Steel. On the same day, CEO David B. Burritt sold 252,458 shares for $12.6 million. This sale was part of an automatic trading plan established in June, not a reaction to the price increase. After the sale, Burritt still holds a significant amount of shares. The completion of the acquisition, expected in the third quarter of 2024, faces potential regulatory and political challenges.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) – By the end of 2023, all Boeing 737 MAX jets operated by Chinese airlines will be back in service, nearly a year after resuming flights following the global shutdown in 2019. The model, suspended after fatal accidents, resumed global operations at the end of 2020 with modifications and enhanced pilot training. Boeing China announced that nearly 100 planes have resumed operations. On Thursday, Boeing’s shares retreated after the company instructed airlines to inspect 737 MAX aircraft for a possible loose bolt in the rudder control system. Boeing recommends inspections within two weeks but states the planes can continue to fly safely.

VinFast (NASDAQ:PENN) – VinFast, a Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer, established its first partnership in the U.S. with North Carolina’s Leith Automotive Group, aiming to boost American sales. Shifting from Tesla’s (NASDAQ:PENN) direct sales strategy to a hybrid model, VinFast will open 125 sales locations in the U.S. The company, which delivered electric cars in California and debuted on Nasdaq, also operates a $4 billion factory in North Carolina, expected to start in 2026.

Morgan Stanley (NASDAQ:PENN) – Veteran banker Ted Pick will take over as CEO of Morgan Stanley next week, succeeding James Gorman. Known for his candor and effective management, Pick is praised for his ability to handle crisis situations, as demonstrated during the Archegos Capital collapse. Facing a period of economic uncertainty, Pick is considered adaptable and disciplined, essential traits to lead the company in challenging times.

Nasdaq Inc (NASDAQ:PENN) – Swedish traders are pressing Nasdaq Inc. to shorten trading hours on the Stockholm exchange, aiming to improve work-life balance and attract new talent. The Stockholm exchange has one of the world’s longest trading sessions, making it difficult to balance family life with work, especially for mothers. Despite interest and positive examples of reduced hours, such as the Oslo Stock Exchange, there is resistance to change due to market liquidity concerns. Nasdaq is open to the idea but seeks a coordinated approach across Europe.

Altice USA (NASDAQ:PENN) – Altice USA’s Cheddar News was acquired by Archetype, owner of various publications including Sunset magazine and Military Times. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Archetype, backed by Regent LP, plans to expand Cheddar’s reach. Shares of Altice USA rose up to 18% in the last 7 days following news of a potential acquisition of Altice’s Portuguese operations by Xavier Niel.

Penn Entertainment (NASDAQ:PENN) – Hedge fund HG Vora Capital Management, holding 18.5% of Penn Entertainment, including ordinary shares and swaps, expressed interest in obtaining board seats. The fund argued that the casino operator and online betting company’s shares were undervalued and discussed strategies to increase shareholder value. They requested to appoint qualified directors to work with management and other board members to maximize the company’s potential.