From the Nobel Prize for quantum physics to more (or maybe less) Musk shenanigans – Here’s your October 5 news briefing

From the Nobel Prize for quantum physics to more (or maybe less) Musk shenanigans – Here’s your October 5 news briefing
Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Hans Ellegren, Eva Olsson and Thors Hans Hansson, members of the Nobel Committee for Physics announce the winners of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger, during a news conference at The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden, October 4, 2022. TT News Agency/ Jonas Ekstromervia REUTERS

To start off, we’re looking into:

The Nobel Prize has been awarded for quantum physics

In science, quantum mechanics is a field that deals with the behavior of atoms and subatomic particles. Right now, quantum physicists are really interested in the theory of quantum entanglement, which explores how particles that have traveled far apart can still communicate and act in coordination with one another. These particles can be super far apart, even on opposite sides of a solar system.

Yesterday, the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger for their experiments on quantum entanglement. The three were able to show that quantum entanglement is real and not just a theory, and they tested its limits. With their work, we can now find real-world applications for quantum tech and cryptography. This kind of thing is important because it can help us progress in areas like vaccines and weather prediction.

Elizabeth Holmes’ sentencing date is delayed

Elizabeth Holmes
Elizabeth Holmes arrives for motion hearing at the U.S. District Court House in San Jose, Calif., on Nov. 4, 2019. (Photo by /NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the health technology company Theranos, continues to make headlines as she takes on fraud charges against her. This past January, she was found guilty of defrauding investors. Facing 20 years in prison, Holmes was convicted on four out of 11 counts of fraud. In a nutshell, Holmes claimed that Theranos’ technology could diagnose major diseases (like cancer and diabetes) with just a little bit of blood. But, the tech totally didn’t work.

On Monday, a judge ordered a hearing to see if prosecutors engaged in misconduct with a major witness who has shown regret over his testimony.

Now, Holmes’s sentencing date has been moved as the judge decides whether or not to grant her a new trial. A new hearing on the issue will happen on the original date that Holmes was supposed to be sentenced, October 17.

Credit Suisse has a second bad day

Credit Suisse
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at an office building in Zurich, Switzerland September 2, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

We talked a bit yesterday about how Credit Suisse, a Swiss investment bank, has been going through the wringer recently. It’s dealt with high-profile scandals, a very non-favorable market for its target audience, and most recently, its stock prices jerking around because investors are skeptical about its ability to hang in there.

Well, it turns out that investors aren’t the only skeptical ones. The company’s Hong Kong branch had three private bankers resign in the past couple of weeks, and two others left only a month ago. Some of them are going to other banks, though it isn’t clear what the deal is for everyone.

What is clear, though, is that the company is in some trouble. It’s planning on unveiling some emergency restructuring plans later this month and will potentially be cutting thousands of roles to save money. It says it’s hoping to still focus on the China, Hong Kong and Singapore markets, but with talent leaving and clients being poached, it isn’t clear how tight of a hold it has.

To end, we’ll look into:

Is the Elon-Twitter saga over?

It looks like the feud between Elon Musk and Twitter is finally coming to an end (maybe). If you haven’t been following along for one of the weirdest company acquisitions of the year, then let’s rehash.

Toward the beginning of the year, Musk became interested in Twitter. Privately, he was buying stock (though no one knew about that for a little while), and, publicly, he was questioning whether or not it was doing things right as far as censorship or free speech. Eventually, it came out that he’d bought more than 9% of the company in stocks, and he was invited to join the board, which he eventually said no to because of some fights with Twitter’s CEO, Parag Agrawal.

Then, on April 14, Musk offered to buy out all of Twitter’s stock for US$54.20 per share. Twitter said yes only a few days later, which got stockholders all excited. Except over the next few months, Musk said that Twitter had been dishonest about how many spam bot accounts it hosted, and things started turning sour.

In July, Musk officially tried to pull out of the agreement to buy Twitter, but Twitter said this was a breach of contract and filed a lawsuit to force him to go through with the deal. Musk filed a countersuit against Twitter for allegedly lying about bot accounts. The court date was set for October 17.

Now, Musk has changed his mind – again – and says he’s willing to go through with the original deal, buying out all the shares for the same price. This seems to be a subtle admission that maybe Twitter didn’t lie as much as Musk claimed, or perhaps Musk is just trying to avoid going back to court. So now it’s up to Twitter to re-accept the deal, and Musk will walk away with the social media platform.

Oh, and in case there’s any question, investors in Twitter are loving that he’s coming back because as long as they bought stock under that price, it’s a surefire return on investment.

In other news …

📈Stocks: MSCI’s global gauge of stocks jumped up 3.37% to 2,511.72.

📰Some specifics:

  • S&P 500 rose 3.06% to 3,790.93.
  • Nasdaq Composite is up 3.34% to 11,176.41.
  • Dow Jones is up 2.80% to 30,316.32.
  • Hang Seng Index was closed for a public holiday.

🧠Some quick factors to bear in mind:

  • As US Treasury yields start to settle down, we’re starting to see the US market rally again from September lows.
  • Yesterday’s data showed job openings in the US dropped to 10.1 million in August, the lowest since June 2021, pointing to a cooling labor market and possible ease on Fed interest hikes. But investors are awaiting Friday’s monthly jobs report to see how rate hikes are affecting the economy.
  • Some notable stock moves included Credit Suisse jumping 12% on Tuesday after some intense speculation that the bank was in trouble. Twitter’s stock also jumped 22% after news about Elon’s purchase possibly going ahead.
  • Asia is a different story, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng at its lowest point in 11 years.
  • Still, China could see a turnaround with the approaching Communist Party Congress this month. According to a strategist from Daiwa Capital Markets, investors and traders could be in for a pleasant surprise in the form of changes to the zero COVID policy.
  • And, regulators have told some state-owned banks to finance at least US$85 billion to the struggling property sector.

👄Some comments and chatter:

  • “After falling more than 9% in September and extending its year-to-date decline to nearly 25% as of Friday’s close, we think the S&P 500 was looking oversold. In addition, some of last week’s selling pressure may have been driven by quarter-end rebalancing, which has now ended,” said Mark Haefele, the chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management.
  • “We believe this [financing campaign] adds weight to the long list of ongoing easing measures for the property sector, and suggests the worst time of property tightening is likely behind us,” Citigroup analysts, including Judy Zhang, wrote in a note.

🛢Oil: Oil prices continue to rise with the possibility of output cuts by OPEC+. Brent crude was up 3.11% to US$91.62 a barrel, while US crude was up 3.16% at US$86.27 per barrel.

👛Bitcoin: At the time of writing, Bitcoin was up 3.34%, settling at US$20,290.00.

💥North Korea fires missile over Japan: For the first time in five years, North Korea has fired a ballistic missile over Japan without warning. This move shows how the country’s weapons testing program is escalating and is seen as reckless and provocative. After the launch, Japanese and US military planes carried out a joint drill on Tuesday in response.

💪Biden speaks on Iran: In a statement made by US President Biden, he expressed concern over growing violence in Iran from protests following the death of Mahsa Amini while in police custody. Biden said the US would continue holding Iranian officials accountable and help make it easier for Iranians to access the internet through outside platforms.

Nord Stream gas leak damage: Although the mysterious gas leaks of the Nord Stream pipelines have stopped, those leaks have broken records in terms of how much methane was released. With at least three separate leaks, initial estimates say as much as half a million metric tons of methane was released.

🏬Deliveroo’s physical mark: Deliveroo has its first physical location in New Oxford Street in central London. Now, people can buy things ahead of time on the app or on kiosks in the actual shop.

🤑Poshmark is being bought: South Korean tech conglomerate Naver is buying secondhand fashion marketplace Poshmark in a deal valued around US$1.2 billion, which would be at a 15% premium to Monday’s closing stock price. With the market surprised by how large the deal was, Naver’s stocks fell nearly 9%.

📝Trump sues CNN: Former US President Donald Trump is suing CNN for US$475 million for defamation. He’s accusing the news organization of trying to smear his image “with a series of ever-more scandalous, false, and defamatory labels.”

💣Nukes en route to Ukraine?: In a viral video shared on Twitter, a Russian military train appears to be carrying nuclear weapons toward the frontlines in Ukraine. Putin has already denied that this is the case.

💸Bridgewater Associates’ new chapter: Ray Dalio built Bridgewater Associates into the largest hedge fund on the planet. He’s been trying to find successors for over a decade now to pass the baton (and around US$150 billion in assets) to. Now, it’s happening.

🌎China’s climate push: In 2020, Chinese President Xi announced that China planned for peak carbon emissions in 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. With China’s recent energy crisis, it’s been an uphill battle to escape coal and oil dependency. But, analysts are saying that China’s emphasis on climate has sparked a push to support businesses striving for renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions.

🧅The Onion heads to the Supreme Court: In defense of parody, satire news giant The Onion has filed a US Supreme Court brief. It’s doing so on behalf of a man who was arrested and prosecuted for mocking cops on social media. In the filing, the petitioners refer to the Supreme Court as “total Latin dorks.”