Futures tied to the S&P 500 are down 0.12% this morning, with the Dow Jones futures essentially flat at -0.08% and Nasdaq futures also skirting the line at -0.3%. This comes after a solid trading session on Monday which saw the S&P 500 climb 1.6% by the close. Investors are holding steady ahead of the first 2020 presidential debate between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden tonight.
Tesla is considering snapping up a stake in LG Energy Solution, soon to be spun off from LG Chem, to ensure a stable supply of batteries, reports The Korea Times. “Tesla is looking to acquire a stake in LG Energy Solution. Specifically, Tesla is said to be exploring taking up to a 10 percent stake in LG Energy Solution,” one bank sector source told the publisher. LG Chem values the unit at $11B, with the potential to climb to $25B in the next four years.
Meanwhile Walmart is in talks with India’s Tata group for a $20B- $25B stake in its upcoming retail app, according to a Mint report. The proposed ‘super app’, which is expected to be launched in December or January, aims to create a digital services behemoth offering a wide range of products- with an estimated $50B- $60B valuation.
“Walmart is keen to get a strong brand backing its e-commerce business, while Tata group wants a global name and an established player in the online space to boost sales of products currently sold through Tata group’s retail subsidiaries and online platforms to be able to compete against Reliance Industries’ Jio Platforms and Amazon,” a source told Mint.
And Walmart isn’t the only company trying to take on the beast that is Amazon- Target has announced the return of Target Deal Days on Oct. 13 and 14. “By kicking off our holiday deals earlier than ever, offering Black Friday pricing throughout the full month of November and extending our Price Match Guarantee, we’re letting guests know they don’t need to wait or face the crowds to get the best deals, all with no membership fees required” cheered the retailer.
Also on the deal front, Nokia has been selected by BT, the UK’s biggest mobile operator, as a supplier for 5G radio access network (RAN) equipment. This will see Nokia become BT’s largest infrastructure partner and supply equipment and services at BT radio sites across the UK.
What comes together can fall apart: the battle between Tiffany and LVMH over the disputed $16B takeover is heating up. Tiffany is now out with its response to LVMH’s just-filed counterclaims: “LVMH’s specious arguments are yet another blatant attempt to evade its contractual obligation to pay the agreed-upon price for Tiffany… Had LVMH actually believed the allegations made in its complaint, there would have been no need for LVMH to procure the letter from the French Foreign Minister as an excuse for its refusal to close.“
Meanwhile Aptorum Group is rocketing over 750% this morning, after announcing the launch of Aptorum Innovations – an infectious disease liquid biopsy diagnostics subsidiary and its new in-licensing arrangements with Singapore’s Agency Accelerate Technologies Pte Ltd.
On the other end of the spectrum shares of Ironwood Pharma are crashing over 20% after data from IW-3718-302, one of Ironwood’s two identical Phase III trials evaluating IW-3718 in refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), did not meet the pre-specified criteria. Based on these findings, Ironwood says it will now discontinue development of IW-3718.
Also in the red: Inovio Pharmaceuticals is down a further 5% in pre-market trading, after plunging 28% on Monday after the US FDA halted the start of the Phase 2/3 trials of its Covid-19 vaccine.
In further Covid-related updates, Abbott Labs is up 2.4% right now after President Trump announced plans to distribute 150 million of ABT’s rapid coronavirus tests bought by the federal government to states and other jurisdictions in the coming months.
Look out for: Micron is reporting its fiscal fourth-quarter results today after the market close. “We expect sales and non-GAAP EPS to be in-line with the company’s guidance of $6 (+10.3% q/q) and $1.05, respectively. We see the August quarter being driven by continued strength in data center (cloud and memory) from work-from-home related dynamics, new gaming consoles, and the start of a recovery in the smartphone market (5G) offset by weakness in enterprise” commented Rosenblatt Securities’ Hans Mosesmann ahead of the big reveal.