It’s all getting a bit petty between the world’s two richest men. Not content with competing over who has the biggest and best spaceship, Elon Musk has seemingly taken to goading his less wealthy counterpart.
Tesla CEO responded to Jeff Bezos’ tweet recalling the bearish May 1999 Barron’s “Amazon.bomb” cover with a silver medal emoji. Musk sits atop of the Forbes billionaire rankings with a net worth of $203.5 billion, while the
Amazon founder is in second place with $189.5 billion. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index has Musk at $222 billion after a secondary share sale boosted the value of his SpaceX company, extending his lead.
Besides the entertainment value, the spat offers a chance for investors to consider corporate valuations.
Tesla stock is around 12% up year-to-date. That’s some way off its incredible 730% surge in 2020 but compares favorably to Amazon, which is slightly lower year-to-date, and
Apple, which has climbed around 8%.
The electric-vehicle maker may be growing into its valuation. There are certainly positive signs. The auto maker has navigated the global chip shortage more successfully than its rivals and is set to ramp up production in 2022. Tesla delivered a record-breaking 241,300 vehicles globally in the third quarter, and China shipments rose in September despite a wider car sales slump.
The picture for Amazon and other Big Tech names is slightly murkier right now. Rising bond yields amid shifting inflation expectations and the Federal Reserve’s hawkish shift have hit technology stocks in recent weeks. As the energy crisis continues and earnings season gets under way, inflation fears are unlikely to subside soon.
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Here’s What Congress’ Legislative Calendar Looks Like
Congress in recent weeks has delayed passing the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better social spending package, focusing on temporary measures to raise the debt ceiling and avert a federal government shutdown. Here are Washington’s new deadlines, according to MarketWatch:
- By Oct. 31, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she wants the House to have passed the $1 trillion infrastructure bill. That’s also when a 30-day extension of transportation funding expires, and when President Joe Biden attends the United Nations’ COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland.
- Progressives also hope to pass the larger education, child care and climate bill by then. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat facing a Nov. 2 election for Virginia governor, on Sunday said voters are getting impatient. “Get into a room and get this figured out.”
- Dec. 3 is when the stopgap spending bill to keep the federal government running expires. That is also the expiration date for the last-minute measure the Senate passed last week to increase the debt limit by $480 billion.
- By Dec. 31, Congress must address the expiration of Covid relief measures, including the enhanced child tax credit and child and dependent care tax credit, said Ben Koltun, director of research at Beacon Policy Advisors.
What’s Next: Today the House will vote on the debt ceiling measure that passed the Senate last week, extending the deadline to December. The House will otherwise be out of session until Oct. 19.
—Janet H. Cho
Regulation of ‘Worthless’ Bitcoin Is Coming, Dimon Warns
Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co, reiterated during a press conference Monday his belief that Bitcoin was “worthless,” and added that governments will soon regulate the use of crypto-assets.
- “No matter what anyone thinks about it, government is going to regulate it. They are going to regulate it for [anti-money-laundering] purposes, for [Bank Secrecy Act] purposes,” Dimon said, according to Reuters, during a virtual talk at the annual meeting of the Institute of International Finance.
- JPMorgan’s wealth management customers have access to some crypto-asset funds, but the head of the U.S.’s largest bank said that his views differed from those of other bank executives and from the bank’s board.
- “I personally think that Bitcoin is worthless (…) I don’t think you should smoke cigarettes either,” he explained.
- “But I don’t care, it makes no difference to me (…) Our clients are adults, they disagree, that’s what makes markets (…) We can give them legitimate, as clean as possible access” to Bitcoin, he added.
What’s Next: Bitcoin prices didn’t seem immediately affected by Dimon’s comments. It paused Tuesday in early trading at around $57,000, after having risen by 5% Monday.
Netflix Will Sell ‘Squid Game’ Gear at Walmart.com
Netflix will sell exclusive merchandise tied to its hits Squid Game, Stranger Things and CoComelon through Netflix Hub, a digital storefront on Walmart.com. The goal is to reinforce “fan love” for their favorite shows, said Josh Simon, Netflix’s vice president of consumer products.
- Netflix, with more than 200 million subscribers, licenses its intellectual properties to manufacturers and gets a percentage from products sold to retailers. Merchandise includes Squid Game T-shirts, Nailed It! baking kits, and a Stranger Things Bluetooth cassette player.
- Squid Game is a South Korean survival drama where financially desperate adults compete in children’s games for the chance to win about $40 million. It’s the No. 1 show in more than 90 countries. Netflix is investing $500 million in Korean content this year.
Netflix Co-CEO Reed Hastings doesn’t expect e-commerce and videogames to generate significant revenue, but said the company launched them to boost its subscription service. Netflix faces increasing competition from
Walt Disney’s Disney+ and
Amazon.com’s Prime Video.
Walmart, the Netflix partnership is an opportunity to attract new customers from among Netflix’s fans by way of its most popular shows, Executive Vice President Jeff Evans said.
What’s Next: Walmart will introduce a crowdsourcing program called Netflix Fan Select to let fans vote for what merchandise they would like to see from their favorite Netflix shows. Walmart said its merchants will bring those ideas to life.
—Janet H. Cho
Merck Seeks FDA Approval for Its Antiviral Covid-19 Pill
Merck asked the Food and Drug Administration to give its antiviral Covid-19 pill emergency-use authorization after it was found to cut the risk of hospitalization or death from the disease in half. If approved by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the pills could be available by December.
- More than seven million vaccine doses were administered last week, the “highest seven-day total since July 4th,” White House Covid-19 data director Dr. Cyrus Shahpar tweeted.
- Hundreds of thousands of U.S. military members are unvaccinated or only partially…