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5 Top Stories

Netflix Earnings; Advances in Chinese AI

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.

Speculation Mounts Ahead of Netflix Earnings

Analysts and investors are wondering whether Netflix [NFLX] might turn to fee increases. Unlike some rivals, Netflix has eschewed them this year, instead concentrating on reducing password-sharing — an estimated six million new subscribers signed up in the third quarter as a result. In another tailwind, the Financial Times reports that some competitors are once again licencing their older shows to the streaming giant. The company reports its quarterly earnings after markets close Wednesday.

Advances in Chinese AI

Alibaba [9988.HK] and Tencent [0700.HK] have jumped into a $300m early financing round for Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) start-up Baichuan. The round started back in April and has brought in the likes of smartphone maker Xiaomi [1810.HK]; Baichuan is already valued at more than $1bn, and employs more than 170 people. Elsewhere, Baidu [9888.HK] founder Robin Li announced on Tuesday that his company’s AI bot, Ernie 4.0, has caught up with Microsoft-backed [MSFT] OpenAI’s GPT-4.

Falling Chinese EV Sales Drive Down Lithium

Lithium prices are down 70% since the start of the year, the Financial Times reported, attributing this in large part to the drop-off in demand for electric vehicles (EVs) in China, where sales growth has slowed to 25% in 2023. The future is looking increasingly bleak for the less well-performing Chinese EV brands, according to Bloomberg, which cites two firms currently in serious financial difficulties, namely China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group [0708.HK] and WM Motor.

FDA Approves Keytruda Expansion

Merck’s [MRK] blockbuster drug Keytruda has been approved for expanded use by the US Food and Drug Administration. It can now be used in combination with chemotherapy to shrink the size of tumours in lung cancer patients before surgery. Keytruda has seen $12.1bn of sales in the last two quarters; it will lose certain patents in the US by the end of the decade.

Snap Stock Up on DAU Forecast

The Snap [SNAP] share price jumped by 11% on Monday, after a report released last Friday by The Verge said it likely had more than 475 million daily active users (DAUs) in 2024, exceeding financial analysis software company Visible Alpha’s expectation of 447 million. Meanwhile, Amazon’s [AMZN] Twitch, a social media platform aimed at streamers, is launching a stories function.

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