In today’s top stories, Berkshire Hathaway was on a buying spree in Q2, while Elliott Management sold the majority of its stake in SoftBank. Meanwhile, Walmart hopes to rival Disney and Netflix with a streaming service, GSK completes its deal to buy Affinivax and BofA forecasts a potential drop in the S&P 500.
Buffett triples its stake in Ally Financial
Despite market turmoil, Warren Buffett kept spending in Q2. Berkshire Hathaway’s latest 13F filing revealed that its stake in Ally Financial [ALLY] tripled to 30 million, while its Activision [ATVI] position rose to 68.4 million. While Apple [AAPL] remains its biggest holding, it exited Verizon [VZ]. Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates also took on new stakes in the last quarter, including 459,200 shares in Sea [SE] and 575,700 shares in Meta Platforms [META].
Elliott Management sells SoftBank
In another blow of confidence to SoftBank [9984.T] and its CEO Masayoshi Son, Elliott Management has sold most of its stake in the Japanese conglomerate. The hedge fund has, however, revealed a large position in Cardinal Health [CAH] and nominated directors for five positions on the medical products distributor’s board. Dan Loeb’s Third Point is also turning to consumer healthcare, adding a $159m stake in Colgate-Palmolive [CL] in the last quarter.
Walmart enters the streaming wars
Days after Disney [DIS] dethroned Netflix [NFLX] in the subscriber count, Walmart [WMT] has entered the streaming wars, reaching a deal with Paramount [PARA] to bundle Paramount+ into Walmart+ subscriptions. “[Walmart needs to think] about being a channel for other content providers,” Maribel Lopez, an analyst at Lopez Research, told Yahoo Finance. Paramount aims to reach 100 million subscribers by 2024.
GSK completes Affinivax deal
Pharmaceutical giant GSK [GSK.L] has completed the acquisition of US clinical-stage vaccine developer Affinivax. According to Seeking Alpha, the UK pharma giant paid $2.1bn upfront and will pay two sums of $600m once certain clinical development milestones have been reached. GSK’s chief scientific officer, Tony Wood, said that Affinivax’s pneumococcal vaccine candidates, its technology and talent will help to strengthen GSK’s pipeline and its presence in Boston, Massachusetts.
BofA says S&P 500 could fall 7%
Equities have been pummelled in recent weeks and BofA has warned that the S&P 500 could retrace 7% from its current level assuming the Fed continues with its quantitative tightening. But Jane Edmondson, founder of EQM Capital, believes the Fed’s plans have already been priced in. “The market has been celebrating the fact that the next rate increase is likely going to be 50 basis points and not 75,” Edmonson told Bloomberg.
Shortages shake Persimmon’s foundations
House builders are on shaky ground. The Persimmon [PSN.L] share price is up roughly 5% in the past month but is down 35% year-to-date. A combination of material and labour shortages led to legal completions coming in lower than expected for the first six months of the year: 6,652 versus 7,406. Falling house prices in the months ahead could also put pressure on its profit margin.
Atlantic Lithium reports positive findings
West Africa explorer Atlantic Lithium [ALL.L] has announced positive findings following drilling at its flagship Ewoyaa project in Ghana. It will apply for a mining licence once its feasibility study has been published. The stock is up 25% in the past month to 15 August and 37.6% year-to-date, thanks in part to a soaring lithium spot pierce. The Australian company is planning to debut on the ASX on 23 August.
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