In today’s top stories, Elon Musk’s wealth has increased while he has been giving evidence in the lawsuit filed by Tesla investors. Chinese consumers are sitting on an accumulated $2.6trn in savings, but may be unlikely to dip into them, despite Covid restrictions easing. The US Department of Justice is to file a lawsuit against Alphabet over search practices, while Microsoft has confirmed its partnership with ChatGPT-owner OpenAI. Lastly, Elliott Management’s latest move has been to take a stake in Dai Nippon Printing.
Musk’s wealth is on the up
Elon Musk’s wealth has risen $10.6bn while he has been taking the stand in the trial over his 2018 “funding secured” tweet about taking Tesla [TSLA] private. The billionaire’s net worth plummeted by $182bn between November 2021 and the start of 2023, setting a Guinness World Record. The Tesla share price is up 16.7% in the year so far, and this has helped the billionaire recover some of his fortune. Tesla reports earnings today.
China’s record $2.6trn in savings
Chinese consumers are sitting on $2.6trn worth of savings that they built up while locked down. With zero-Covid restrictions now lifted, there are hopes that the country’s reopening could fuel a cash splash on discretionary goods, electronics and luxury items. However, with Covid cases on the rise again, consumers may remain cautious. “There’s still lingering uncertainty on the economic outlook, and people have a strong desire to save,” Luo Zhiheng, chief economist at Yuekai Securities, told the Financial Times.
Alphabet faces lawsuit over digital ad practices
There’s been talk of breaking up big tech’s digital ad dominance for the past couple of years. Now Bloomberg has reported that the US Department of Justice will file a lawsuit against Alphabet [GOOGL] over its search practices before the end of this week. Google’s revenue accounted for 28.6% of total US digital ad revenue in 2021, Statista data shows, and it will take in the highest share of expected $626.9bn global digital ad revenue in 2023, according to research by EMarketer.
Microsoft announces ChatGPT partnership
Microsoft [MSFT] has officially announced its partnership with ChatGPT-owner OpenAI. The deal – reported to be in the region of $10bn – will deploy OpenAI’s language models across the tech giant’s suite of products. “ChatGPT is the golden jewel for Redmond and so far [Satya] Nadella [and] Microsoft [are] winning this AI race by a country mile”, beating Amazon [AMZN], Alphabet and Apple [AAPL], tweeted Wedbush analyst Dan Ives on Monday.
Elliott Management has another target
A day after news broke that Elliott Management had built up a multibillion-dollar stake in Salesforce [CRM], the activist fund is now reported to have taken a position in Dai Nippon Printing [7912.T]. According to the Financial Times, the stake is just below 5% and worth around $300m as of Tuesday, making Elliott the company’s third-largest outside shareholder. There’s no indication as to the firm’s motive for investing.
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