5 Top Stories

Amazon vs Shein

Every day, we handpick the 5 Top Stories stock market investors need to know. In 5 minutes, you’ll learn the stocks, CEOs, and money managers moving markets.

Amazon vs Shein

The Financial Times reported that Amazon [AMZN] is moving to push back against upstart rivals Shein and PDD Holding’s [PDD] Temu. Indeed, the US giant is using their own weapons against them, by developing a new direct-from-China discount section. Meanwhile, driven by an AI-fuelled rally, the Amazon share price closed Wednesday at $193.61, pushing it past a $2trn valuation. Lastly, protestors calling for an end to a $1.2bn contract with the Israeli government interrupted an Amazon Web Services conference on Wednesday.

SoftBank Leads AI Investment Frenzy

SoftBank Group’s [9984:T] Vision Fund 2 will invest $10–20m in Perplexity AI, a US-based artificial intelligence (AI) start-up, part of a larger $250 million funding round. SoftBank has also launched a joint venture with Tempus AI [TEM] to use AI to analyse personal medical data. Elsewhere, Sequoia Capital is leading a $16m investment in French AI start-up Dust, while defence technology start-up Helsing is in talks to raise almost $500m from investors including Accel and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Micron Fails to Meet “Totally Unrealistic Expectations”

The share price of the largest US chip maker, Micron Technology [MU], fell as much as 8% in early trading Thursday after the company forecast Q4 sales of $7.4–7.8bn. Bloomberg reported the average analyst estimate was $7.58bn, but the figures still disappointed some investors who expected it to be carried further by AI demand. “The market is holding totally unrealistic expectations,” Andrew Jackson, Head of Japan Equity Strategy at Ortus Advisors in Singapore, told the news outlet.

Pharma Stock Dips 6% on FDA Decision

Earlier this month, GSK’s [GSK] blockbuster Arexvy vaccine was given US FDA approval for use on 50–59-year-olds. However, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now recommended restricting the use of vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus. Shares in the market-leading British pharma group [GSK:L] dropped more than 7% on the news in morning trading, reported the Financial Times.

People Don’t Go to McDonald’s for a Salad

According to Joe Erlinger, President of McDonald’s USA, “if people really want salads from McDonald’s, we will gladly relaunch salads. But what our experience has proven is that’s not what the consumer’s looking for.” Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s Global Food Forum in Chicago, Erlinger underlined that the McPlant burger, produced in partnership with Beyond Meat [BYND] and trialled in San Francisco and Dallas, “was not successful in either market”.

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