Twitter board adopts poison pill defense after Musk’s $43 billion bid to buy the company.Under the new structure, if any person or group acquires beneficial ownership of at least 15% of Twitter’s outstanding common stock without the board’s approval, other shareholders will be allowed to purchase additional shares at a discount. The plan is set to expire on April 14, 2023. Such a move will dilute the stake of the entity eying the takeover.
Mortgage rates soar to 5%. The highest level in over a decade. Mortgage rates now stand nearly 2 percentage points higher than they were during the popular spring home-buying season in 2021. While this may still turn out to be a blip, it is increasingly looking as if a combination of substantially higher mortgage rates and a steep run-up in house prices is having a cooling effect on demand. Read more here.
U.S. industrial output up sharply in March. The output of motor vehicles and parts surged 7.8% in March. Manufacturing has been a bright spot in the U.S. economy despite supply-chain woes. Economists are watching closely to see whether China’s COVID-related closures will worsen existing supply problems. The gain in mining in March suggests U.S. oil companies and shale producers are ramping up production given the high oil price.
Consumers may be stronger than investors expect, despite inflation. Spending is on an upswing. Retail sales rose 0.5%, slightly below the 0.6% expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The retail sales report does not include the surge of spending that is going on in travel and experiences, and that spending is on an upswing. Airline spending rose 44.8% year over year in March and lodging jumped 46.4%. Read more here.
U.S. firms flee Russia for Dubai. A boon for the Gulf nation as it seeks to cement its place as a global commercial hub. The companies include Wall Street banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., professional services firms McKinsey & Co. and Boston Consulting Group, as well as Alphabet Inc.’s Google, according to people familiar with the relocations. Read more here.
Rent jumps by nearly 20% in 2 years. Nationally, the monthly median rent hit $1,807 in March, costing tenants nearly 20% more than what they paid just two years ago They rose even higher in Florida at 57.2%, where several of the big cities saw astronomical increases. The state has welcomed many retirees, young professionals, and families. With a tight supply of housing and low vacancy, demand for housing pushed rents to new highs. Read more here.
Americans are still relocating at a record pace. A record 32.3% of Redfin.com users nationwide sought to move to a new metropolitan area as housing prices and mortgage rates continue to climb. Redfin’s latest data suggests a new wave of migration is cresting out of sheer necessity, as housing markets become increasingly expensive amid dramatic increases in home prices and mortgage rates.
Building materials rise, but lumber prices ease. Year over year, building material prices have increased 20.4%. The rising costs have prompted escalating new-home prices, which have increased 31% in three years. Meanwhile, lumber prices dropped more than 6% to $829 per 1,000 board feet this week, the lowest of the year. Higher mortgage rates and a slowdown in DIY home renovations are easing demand for lumber.
JP Morgan is attempting to take on the entire British banking establishment. Without opening a single branch in Europe, JP Morgan Chase has launched a UK consumer currents account. They are doing it under the Chase brand. The entire thing is app and card-based. They are doing 150 basis points in interest compared to Marcus at 0.7%. They're getting a surge in sign-ups. Source(57:20)
WHAT TO WATCH
Elon Musk teases a plan B to buy Twitter after a $43 billion bid. The billionaire acknowledged Thursday he is not sure he’ll actually be able to buy Twitter, hours after he made an offer to acquire the company. Asked by TED’s Chris Anderson if there was a “Plan B” if his current offer were rejected, Musk said, “there is.” Twitter confirmed it had received the bid but its board must still review the offer. Read more here.
Apple readies next-generation Macs with M2 Chips. Updated MacBook Pro and Air, Mac Pro, and mini models are coming. The company is testing at least nine new Macs with four different M2-based chips -- the successors to the current M1 line with third-party apps in its App Store. The move is a key step in the development process, suggesting that the new machines may be nearing release in the coming months.
The world's EV fleet will soon surpass 20 million. The world is about to pass another important milestone in electric vehicle adoption: 20 million plug-in vehicles on the road globally, come June, according to BNEF estimates. That’s remarkable growth from only 1 million EVs on roads in 2016. China and Europe are driving most of the adoption, with North America a distant third source of sales.
High-end furniture rentals may become the next big thing. It could be a $1 billion business. Jefferies argues that in the age of subscription services, this trend is about to move upmarket. Spending on furniture subscriptions on direct-to-consumer platforms will approach $1 billion in five years, up from some $150 million today. We are at the beginning of a revolution in how consumers furnish their residences. Source.
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