In today’s top stories, the ARK Innovation ETF’s rebound rally signals a turnaround in the tech sector. The news comes ahead of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference and Ant Group’s digital bank launch of ANEXT. Chinese electric vehicle stocks are also recovering from a strengthening outlook, while hedge funds cause a stir.
Optimism for ARK Innovation
After a bleak period, things could be on the up for Cathie Wood’s (pictured) ARK Innovation Fund [ARKK]. Shares of the ETF have gained 17% since they bottomed in early May, as per a Wall Street Journal report, far outpacing the 4.4% the S&P 500 has gained in the same period. Last week, Wood added more than 230,000 shares of Twist Bioscience [TWST] to ARKK.
Hedge fund battles
Elliott Management has locked horns with the London Metal Exchange. It’s suing for $456m for the suspension of nickel trading on 8 March following a surge in the commodity’s price caused by a short squeeze that led to the cancellation of contract trades. Meanwhile, Carl Icahn has ended his proxy fight with grocery chain Kroger [KR] over pig welfare. He lost a similar battle with McDonald’s [MCD] in May.
Apple conference kicks off
The week-long Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off yesterday, where Apple [AAPL] is expected to unveil major changes to iOS for iPhones, iPads and Apple watches. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives believes investors should be paying close attention to any hardware announcements, especially the next MacBook Air. “The biggest surprises and focus of the Street will be on non-software related announcements,” wrote Ives in a research note.
Chinese EVs drive recovery
With Shanghai coming out of lockdown, the Chinese economy is on the road to recovery. Asian electric vehicle stocks were on the rise yesterday morning following strong sales numbers. BYD [1211.HK] closed nearly 6% higher after sales more than tripled from 32,800 in May 2021 to 114,943. Sales were up 8% from April. BOCOM International analysts said in a research note that there should be “sequential recovery ahead”.
Ant Group’s bank launch
Alibaba [BABA] founder Jack Ma’s financial technology conglomerate Ant Group is to launch a digital wholesale bank, ANEXT, for small and medium-sized businesses, with a particular focus on those with cross-border operations. Ant Group, whose $35bn IPO was halted in December 2020, continues to come under regulatory pressure from the Chinese government.
Nelson Peltz has joined the board of Unilever [ULVR.L]. Investors will be hoping the activist investor leans on the playbook he used during his time as a director at fellow consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble [PG]. Analysts believe the move will be good news for corporate culture and structure at Unilever, which saw a £50bn bid for GSK’s [GSK.L] consumer arm collapse in January.
More passengers have been taking to the skies with Ryanair [0RYA.L], according to the latest data. It carried 15.4m people in May, up 756% year-over-year. Despite this, there are likely to be near-term headwinds that keep investor optimism grounded. These include staff shortages at airports and rising ticket prices as demand increases over the summer holidays. Still, the carrier hopes to return to a reasonable level of profitability in 2023.