5 Top Stories

Microsoft Trumps Apple; Hyundai Cash Bonus; Indian Software Booms

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.

Resurgent Microsoft Trumps Apple

Microsoft [MSFT] has overtaken Apple [AAPL] to become the world’s biggest company by market cap. The tech giant made major gains over the past year, driven by its focus on artificial intelligence (AI). Apple, by contrast, is grappling with a drop-off in demand for the iPhone, particularly in China. Bloomberg reported that Apple is this week offering discounts in China of up to RMB500 on its latest model.

Hyundai Cash Bonus to Offset IRA Tax Break

Korea’s Hyundai [HYMTF] is to give US buyers of its electric vehicles (EVs) cash bonuses of up to $7,500, in a bid to remain competitive in the face of tax credits associated with the Inflation Reduction Act, one of the aims of which is to boost domestic EV production. The offer will stand until 31 January and apply to the Ioniq 5, Ioniq 6 and Kona Electric models.

Indian Software Stocks’ Triumphant Start to 2024

Tata Consultancy Services [TCS:NS], Infosys [INFY], Wipro [WIT] and HCL Technologies [HCLTECH:NS], India’s four leading software firms, between them added some $22bn in market value in two trading sessions, driven by sales beats in the last quarter and growing demand for AI: “Almost every discussion with clients involves some element of generative AI,” Infosys CEO Salil Parekh said on an earnings call on Thursday.

China Chip Imports Hit Record Low

According to an investigation by Reuters, Chinese military bodies, state-run research institutes and universities have been able to buy small amounts of Nvidia [NVDA] semiconductors, despite the US export ban. Chip imports to China fell by 15.4% to $349.4bn last year, their steepest drop on record, suggesting that the export ban is having an effect, even if it can be circumvented.

Baidu Struggles to Limit Damage

A South China Morning Post report linking Baidu’s [BIDU] Ernie AI chatbot to military research has caused the firm’s share price to drop by 11.5%, more than it has done in over a year, amid fears of US sanctions. The report stated that a university affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army’s Strategic Support Force — which oversees cyberwarfare — had tested its AI system using Ernie. Baidu on Monday denied any connection.

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