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Walmart shares upbeat on metaverse venture with Roblox

In today’s top stories, Walmart enters the metaverse, Netflix opens a gaming studio despite less than 1% of subscribers wanting to play games and the Satori Fund forecasts a 25% fall in the S&P 500. Meanwhile, SinoSynergy files for an IPO in Hong Kong and Goldman Sachs says to avoid FTSE 100 retailers and domestic banks.

Walmart ventures into the metaverse

Walmart [WMT] has teamed up with Roblox [RBLX] to offer its customers an opportunity to sample products, including toys, in the metaverse. The retail giant has quietly been preparing to venture into the metaverse since filing patents at the end of last year. Chief market officer William White told Bloomberg that the move will boost brand equity and “be a great opportunity for us to build relevance [and] build cultural conversation”.

Hydrogen fuel enterprise targets IPO

Rumours have it that Chinese hydrogen fuel company SinoSynergy is considering going public in 2023. According to Bloomberg, the manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cells could file a preliminary prospectus for a Hong Kong listing within a month or two. Last week, SinoSynergy unveiled the first hydrogen fuel cell coach for the European electrical vehicle (EV) market at the IAA Transportation conference in Hannover.

Netflix looks to boost gaming division

As Netflix [NFLX] struggles to keep hold of subscribers with its streaming content, the company is turning focus towards its gaming division. The streaming platform has reportedly opened a game development studio in Finland following the $72m purchase of Helsinki-based Next Games earlier this year. CNBC reported in August, however, that less than 1% of subscribers are opting to peruse its current catalogue of 20-plus mobile games.

Short-focused fund outperforms S&P 500

Dan Niles’ Satori Fund has outperformed the S&P 500 by focusing on short positions. Speaking to CNBC’s Street Signs Asia, Niles said he was shorting “big enterprise names” in tech and advertising stocks that are facing increased competition from the likes of Netflix [NFLX] and Disney [DIS], which “suck up ads” from ad agencies. According to Niles, the S&P 500 could fall 25% further this year, and those unable to short should hold cash.

Winners and losers of a weak pound

The UK market is in turmoil and there appears to be no let-up in sight. As sterling edges towards parity with the dollar, Morgan Stanley strategist Graham Secker believes the blue-chip companies in the FTSE 100 are the “ultimate” winners of weak FX, according to CNBC Pro. Goldman Sachs European strategist Sharon Bell likes “internationally exposed” companies within the index. As for losers, avoid retailers and domestic banks, Bell said.

Next expects interim results to deliver

The Next [NXT.L] share price has recovered well from the pandemic, but rising costs have effectively wiped out these gains. The stock is down 31% since the start of the year. Despite the pressure inflation is placing on consumer spending, expectations for the company remain high pending interim results due out this week. Investors will be paying close attention to any outlook given for the second half of the year.

Investors hope for a meme stock bounce

Bed Bath & Beyond [BBBY], Blackberry [BB] and Cineworld [CINE.L] have had a turbulent year so far and investors are hoping that earnings the companies will report this week could give their stock prices a boost. Blackberry is aiming for cybersecurity growth while Bed Bath & Beyond is pinning its hopes on a major turnaround plan. Cineworld’s deputy CEO expressed regret earlier this month that the company’s listing wasn’t a meme stock like its rival AMC [AMC].

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