Vladimir Putin bans digital payments in Russia. It will still be possible to sell, buy, exchange, and pledge these assets but it bans the use of digital securities and utility tokens as a means of payment for goods, services, and products in Russia. This is in contrast to the view of the Bank of Russia, which has pushed for the crypto activity to be banned. Read more here.
Twitter board urges shareholders to approve the sale to Elon Musk in a revised proxy filing. In an SEC filing on Friday, Twitter told investors that approving the company’s sale to Elon Musk is the only remaining step in satisfying the merger agreement. Twitter reminded investors that the purchase price of $54.20 marked a 38% premium to where the stock was trading prior to Musk disclosing his initial stake.
Wells Fargo's profit fell 48%. Wells Fargo earned 74 cents on $17 billion in revenue. In the year-ago quarter, Wells Fargo reported a profit of $1.38 a share on $20.3 billion in revenue. Profit in the latest second quarter totaled $3.1 billion, marking a 48% drop from the year-ago quarter. Wells Fargo’s drop in second-quarter revenue was due in part to a slow down in mortgage banking and the divestitures from 2021. Read more here.
Virgin Galactic strikes deals to expand its fleet. The company agreed to open a factory in Arizona where staff would assemble spaceships. Last week, it said it hired a subsidiary of Boeing Co. to manufacture two additional planes the company would use for future missions. The planned Arizona factory is expected to be fully operational toward the end of next year and offer the ability to produce up to six spaceships a year.
Citigroup shows upside in deposit downdraft. The bank reported strong revenue growth of 11% from a year earlier, partly on the strength of the best quarter in a decade for its corporate and institutional treasury and trade solutions, or TTS, business. TTS revenue was up by a third from a year ago. Even though corporate cash sometimes flees the fastest in response to higher rates, average deposits in TTS were steady from the first quarter.
Crypto platform Celsius owes customers $4.7B. The company owes $4.7 billion to its customers (and has $5.5 billion in total liabilities), but its current assets are only worth $4.3 billion—down from $25 billion in October. Most of those assets are tied up in bitcoin-mining rigs and other crypto projects; Celsius said it has just $167 million of cash on hand. Read more here.
Oil prices are being dampened by the recessionary outlook. If we look at market fundamentals alone without any macro variables as it is, oil prices should at $100 - $110. But because of recession fears and because of the fact that Russian oil is still in the market and OPEC beginning more production despite the loss of Kazakh oil and Libyan oil, it is very clear that recession fears played a big role in lowering the prices of the way they did. Source(10:40)
WHAT TO WATCH
Amazon hits pause on office construction as workers go hybrid. The company is pausing construction on six new office buildings in Nashville, Tenn., and Bellevue, Wash., as it redesigns workspaces for hybrid work. The tech company said Friday that it was delaying the build-out of its traditional working floors and aiming for more social layouts.
Merck's deal for Seagen is unlikely to be finalized ahead of earnings later this month. The change is due partly to a need to wait for data expected soon from a study evaluating one of Seagen’s treatments, according to the people with knowledge of a factor.. There is also a desire to possibly see the outcome of a royalties-payments case Seagen is pursuing that is also expected soon. Read more here.
Disney is raising prices on its ESPN streaming service. The price increases, which go into effect Aug. 23, amount to 43%, rising to $9.99 a month from $6.99 currently, and $99.99 a year from $69.99. The entertainment company said subscribers will be notified next week. The Burbank, Calif.-based company said the change in price reflects the increased scale and value of ESPN+ as it adds more content to the platform amid competition from new entrants.