esla shares will be in focus later today after Elon Musk’s Twitter followers urged him to sell 10% of his stake in the electric car company.
Musk put the potential sale to a vote on the social media platform over the weekend after highlighting the huge tax bill he will face from exercising stock options due in the next year. The result of the poll, which Musk had previously said he would abide by, came out 58% in favour of selling stock.
Ahead of Wall Street’s opening, investors in London were focused on the latest from JD Sports Fashion relating to Footasylum and a trading update from BAE Systems.
Flat day for the FTSE
The FTSE 100 has ended the day more or less where it started. The bluechip index has closed up a measly 1.4 points at 7305.
Top of the index is beleaguered Darktrace, which enjoyed a bounce back of 12.5% helped by chairman Gordon Hurst spending £150,000 on shares.
Abrdn also enjoyed strong gains, rising 3.6% after confirming weekend reports it was looking at a bid for Interactive Investor.
ITV was at the other end of the index, down 2.8%.
Danni Hewson at AJ Bell says: “In London it’s been a rather muted start to the week despite a rebound from cyber security darling Darktrace. The FTSE 250 has struggled to find any cheer and it’s telling that many consumer facing businesses are among the day’s fallers following some rather down beat consumer confidence data. Households are wary, people are worried about how their finances are going to stack up as prices rise further, finances that already beginning to feel the squeeze.”
Google’s Alphabet reaches $2 trillion mark
Google’s parent company Alphabet has reached a major milestone: a $2 trillion market cap.
Alphabet briefly crossed the threshold today as shares rose at the open. The stock reached $3015 earlier in the session, putting its market value above $2 trillion, but has fallen back to $2989 as I type.
Shares have rallied 70% this year, fuelled by a rebound in digital advertising as the world has reopened and continued demand for Google’s cloud services.
Tesla crashes on Elon Musk’s $21bn sell-off poll
Shares in Tesla fell to their lowest level in eight months after a majority of 3.5million Twitter users backed founder Elon Musk’s proposal to sell a 10% stake.
The stake would be valued at about $21 billion at current prices, based on Musk’s holding of 170 million shares.
“I was prepared to accept either outcome,” Musk said in a tweet after the poll closed.
Tesla shares dropped 4.7% to $57.55 shortly after trading opened in New York.
The stock has climbed 73% this year, giving the EV maker a valuation of $1.2 trillion and making Musk the world’s richest person with a paper fortune of $330 billion.
Should Elon Musk sell Tesla shares for world hunger?
Last week, Elon Musk pledged to sell $6 billion of Tesla stock and donate the proceeds to the United Nations’ food agency if it could demonstrate how the money would solve world hunger.
Here, Ryan McNelley, managing director in Kroll’s Portfolio Valuation service line explores what would actually go into quantifying this value.
Bitcoin nears record high on inflation fears
Bitcoin neared a record high and ethereum reached a fresh all-time peak on Monday amid continued fears about inflation.
Ethereum, the world’s second biggest crypto token, was up 2.8% to $4,739 by 12.50pm in London. It had been as high as $4,761 earlier in the day.
Bitcoin was 6.3% higher at $65,949. The all-time high for the cryptocurrency is $66,930.
The US giant will inject $150 million into Autolus immediately, followed by milestone payments totalling $100 million to accelerate development of its next-generation leukaemia treatments.
It is the largest ever private financing of a UK biotech from a single source and saw the firm’s US-listed shares gain 35% to $7.51 in premarket trading.
Circulor: The London startup fighting ‘greenwashing’ as the ‘sustainability tech arms race’ gets underway
Hearing big #COP26 promises from everyone from governments to banks and car manufacturers on reaching net zero, and wondering how organisations will prove they have actually cut emissions?
Enter Circulor, the London-based start-up using blockchain tech to help track emissions all the way through complex supply chains…
Circulor’s software lets clients do things like track CO2 emissions through manufacturing and shipping, monitor if recycling is being carried out responsibly, or make sure the cobalt inside a battery is not the product of child labour. Circulor already does the latter for the batteries in Volvo’s electric vehicles.
Read the full story and meet the founders here
Playtech confirms Gopher exploring counterbid to Aristocrat takeover
London-listed gambling software group Playtech has confirmed Gopher Investments is exploring a bid for the company to rival a £2.7 billion takeover offer from Australian firm Aristocrat Leisure.
Last month Playtech agreed to a takeover by the slot machine developer which valued the FTSE 250 firm at 680p a share.
Sky New reported yesterday that Gopher is being advised by Rothschild in relation to a potential £3 billion offer for Playtech, which has a market cap of around £2.2 billion.
Today Playtech confirmed Gopher had requested and been provided access to due diligence information in order to “explore terms on which a possible offer … might be made”.
Bus slowdown hits Go-Ahead amid Government talks
Rail operator Go-Ahead saw shares suffer this morning after warning investors its bus division has seen its post-lockdown recovery falter.
The FTSE 250 firm warned it has seen a “slight slowing” in recovery in recent weeks, and uncertainty remains over its extent this year. Go-Ahead said “could impact” the division’s full-year results.
Shares fell as much as 3.6%, or 29.8p, to 786p, on the update in early trading.
Leisure stocks fall, Bitcoin rallies
A repeat dose of stock market confidence from Pfizer’s anti-viral Covid pill failed to materialise today as London’s leisure and consumer-focused stocks all fell sharply.
Markets worldwide were cheered on Friday by the drug giant’s ground-breaking disclosure, leading to big gains in New York for the likes of Airbnb, Boeing and Expedia.
But the momentum proved to be short-lived as shares in London-listed caterer Compass, exhibitions firm Informa and Premier Inn owner Whitbread fell by more than 2%.
British Airways owner IAG and Rolls-Royce also declined by 1% on the day US borders finally re-opened to fully-vaccinated travellers from Europe.
Mixed trade data from China and the prospect of US inflation figures later in the week were blamed for the investor caution, with the FTSE 100 down 4.42 points at 7300.
Oil giants ensured the top flight at least stayed near to breakeven, with the price of Brent crude back above $83.50 a barrel after OPEC+ last week resisted calls to go beyond its 400,000 barrels a day increase planned for next month.
BP shares were 3.9p higher at 349.3p and Royal Dutch Shell improved 30.4p to 1713.4p.
The biggest rise in the top flight came from cyber security firm Darktrace, with shares rebounding by 8% after finishing last week at their lowest level since August.
Sentiment has been shaken by negative broker comment and a large sale of stock but investors saw some value to send the FTSE 100 newcomer 47.5p higher to 625p.
The FTSE 250 index fell 33.92 points to 23,563.10, with easyJet and Upper Crust owner SSP among those 2% lower.
Bitcoin, meanwhile, was trading near to a record high after jumping $4,970 to $65,955 as continued ultra-low interest rates encourage investors to use the cryptocurrency as a hedge against inflationary pressures.
Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter said: “It’s a highly risky strategy given just how volatile the cryptocurrency is, amid other pressures on its valuation like clampdowns by authorities and even comments on social media.”