Biden signs the Chips and Science Act into law. The bill includes more than $52 billion for U.S. companies producing semiconductors, as well as billions more in tax credits to encourage investment in chip manufacturing. The White House said that multiple companies, “spurred” by the chips bill, have announced more than $44 billion in new semiconductor manufacturing investments.
SoftBank sells 12 million SoFi shares in a bid to reduce costs ‘dramatically’. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, SoftBank disclosed it had sold 6.68 million shares of SoFi at the price of $8.17 a share. Three days earlier, the company sold 5.4 million shares at $7.99 each.
Zales owner Signet buys online jewelry brand Blue Nile to bolster its portfolio. Signet will acquire the online jewelry retailer for $360 million in an all-cash deal. The deal is a bid to appeal to younger consumers and grow its bridal business. Separately, Signet cut its financial forecast for the second quarter and full-year fiscal 2023, saying it started to see softer sales in July as consumers reigned in their spending amid inflation. Read more here.
U.S. solar shipments are hit by an import ban in China’s Xinjiang region. This part of China produces almost half the world’s supply of a crucial component in solar panels. The extent of the disruption is still hard to gauge: The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, or UFLPA, went into effect at the end of June, and importers, suppliers, and customs agents are still feeling their way on what it will take to get goods into the country.
US productivity falls for a second quarter. Productivity slumped for a second-straight quarter as the economy shrank, driving another surge in labor costs that risks keeping inflation elevated and further complicates the Federal Reserve’s efforts to tame price increases. Productivity decreased at a 4.6% annual rate in the second quarter after falling at a 7.4% pace in the previous three months.
Rapid wage growth keeps pressure on U.S. inflation. Average hourly earnings grew 5.2% in July from a year earlier, and annual wage gains have exceeded 5% each month this year, the Labor Department said Friday. The rapid earnings growth adds to other evidence that employers are continuing to increase pay as they try to find and keep workers in a tight job market.
WHAT TO WATCH
GE stock is a buy as breakup looms. Once it splits into three companies, it has the potential to compete more fiercely than the old behemoth could. What’s more, they should earn higher stock market valuations separately. For investors, once they exchange their GE shares for shares of the three separate companies, investors could start seeing some nice gains. Read more here.
AppLovin proposes a $17.5 billion deal to buy Unity Software. AppLovin said the deal gives Unity an enterprise value of $20 billion. Under AppLovin’s proposal, Unity shareholders would control 55% of the combined company and appoint a majority of the board but have only 49% of voting rights. The proposed merger calls for Unity to terminate its planned acquisition of AppLovin competitor ironSource Ltd.
Ark’s Cathie Wood scoops up more than $60 million of Nvidia following the chipmaker’s revenue warning. The innovation-focused investor added 289,229 shares of Nvidia for her flagship ARKK fund, roughly 47,000 shares in ARKW, and more than 30,000 shares in ARKF, according to Ark’s daily trading data. Wood has been adding to her conviction bets as of late, including Shopify and Teladoc, following their weak quarterly reports. Read more here.
Micron to invest $40 billion in U.S. chip manufacturing. The company will invest in memory chip manufacturing with the help of the CHIPS and Science Act. The investment will create up to 40,000 jobs in the U.S., including 5,000 highly paid roles at Micron, the company said. The specific plans for the investment will come in weeks, Micron added.