Shares Slide as Virus Disrupts Journey and Commerce Between U.Okay and Europe: Dwell Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

Recognition…Steve Parsons / Press Association, via Associated Press

  • European stock markets and the British pound fell on Monday after some trade and travel ties between the UK and the rest of the continent were cut to contain a new, fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus

  • The slide was supposed to continue on Wall Street. Futures predicted the S&P 500 would fall 2 percent at the start of trading.

  • Over the weekend, nearby countries closed their borders to travelers from the UK – and in some cases to UK cargo. When London and the surrounding area were locked down after the Health Secretary told the government a new strain of the coronavirus was “out of control”.

  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 3.2 percent. The FTSE 250, which holds more domestic stocks in the UK than the FTSE 100 benchmark, was down 3.6 percent. The CAC in France fell 3.2 percent and the DAX in Germany was 3.5 percent weaker. Most stock indices in Asia also ended the day lower. The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 0.2 percent and the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong fell 0.7 percent.

  • The British pound fell against all other major currencies. Against the dollar, it was down 1.8 percent, the largest one-day decline in nine months. The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and France were among the countries that ban travelers from the UK. France has also stopped imports of freight from the UK, which will exacerbate border disruption and raise concerns about fresh food supplies.

  • The more contagious variant of the virus is expected to cause social restrictions in the UK to last longer, possibly many months, while the vaccine is rolled out. The analysts at the private bank Berenberg cut their forecast for the UK economy early next year, saying that it is expected to grow by only 3 percent in the first quarter after 5.5 percent.

  • At the same time, the risk increases that the UK will end its transition period with the European Union at the end of the year without a trade agreement. The two sides missed another Sunday appointment to reach an agreement, but talks will continue on Monday.

  • In the United States, Congress reached an agreement on a $ 900 billion stimulus package that is expected to include $ 600 stimulus payments to millions of Americans and an increase in unemployment benefits.

  • Energy prices fell. West Texas Intermediate futures were down 3.4 percent to $ 47.44 a barrel.

United States> United StatesDecember 20th 14-day change
New cases 179,801 + 10%
New deaths 1.422 + 19%
World> worldDecember 20th 14-day change
New cases 536.080 + 4%
New deaths 7.561 + 5%

Where there are cases per capita

Tesla stock has seen a huge surge this year, but the stock is volatile.Recognition…Aly Song / Reuters

On Monday, Tesla will be the largest company ever added to the S&P 500, and with a market cap of $ 650 billion, the sudden weight it will bring to market could have strange consequences, reports Matt Phillips.

Companies worth a fraction of Tesla would have been included in the index long ago, but the approach that made it such a valuable company has posed challenges. Despite all of its technological innovations, Elon Musk’s famous billionaire aura, and a risky and rewarding approach to business, Tesla has long been unable to meet the American company’s simplest requirements: making a profit. For inclusion criteria, the sum of the company’s fully audited earnings for the last four quarters must be positive. Tesla only hit that mark this year.

Chris Mack, equity portfolio manager at Harding Loevner Investment Advisor in Bridgewater, New Jersey, has good things to say about Tesla as an innovative company. However, he does not own the stakes in his funds that focus on buying large-cap tech companies that are proven to be profitable, making them suitable for long-term holdings.

However, many investors have no choice but to buy Tesla stock.

The S&P 500 is one of the most widely used barometers of the American stock market and serves as a benchmark against which investors measure investments valued at more than $ 11 trillion. Of that, more than $ 4.5 trillion is accounted for by index funds designed to reflect the stocks of the S&P.

These funds have been buying up shares in Tesla since mid-November in preparation for Tesla’s inclusion in the S&P 500, which has increased its shares by over 60 percent since the company’s announcement.

Dina Srinivasan's research on Google and Facebook is at the center of a wave of antitrust lawsuits against Big Tech.Recognition…Gabriela Hasbun for the New York Times

A former tech industry insider is now playing a key role in the wave of antitrust lawsuits against the giant tech companies.

Dina Srinivasan, who once worked as the digital advertising manager at WPP, the world’s largest advertising agency, quit her job three years ago after becoming disillusioned with the immense power of companies like Facebook and Google, reports Daisuke Wakabayashi in New York Times.

“It just felt like Facebook and Google were winning and everyone else was going to lose, and that’s how the cards were stacked,” Ms. Srinivasan said. “I don’t think that was generally understood.”

Instead, she took up the case against them and wrote academic papers with an inside perspective that reformulated antitrust thinking about companies. And their timing was perfect.

Federal regulators and attorneys general had expressed growing discomfort at the uncontrolled power of big tech. However, many struggled to bring a case because of the complexities of the companies and the markets in which they were competing. It was also difficult to argue that these companies are harming consumers because many of their products are free.

“Your work is only very clearly focused on the actual behavior of the platforms and their competitive importance,” wrote Marshall Steinbaum, assistant professor in the economics department of the University of Utah, on Twitter. “They’re helpful to enforcers and come from the perspective of someone who obviously knows the industry and the facts.”

In the past few months, growing concerns about the oversized influence of the most powerful companies in technology have sparked a cascade of antitrust lawsuits. Three cases were directed against Google and two against Facebook.

As the legal arguments take shape, there is evidence of Ms. Srinivasan’s fingerprints.

Cyberpunk 2077, a formidable RPG from CD Projekt Red, was released in December after nearly a decade of hype.  This is where the fans gather for the Tokyo Game Show in 2019.Recognition…Franck Robichon / EPA, via Shutterstock

Since the release of the highly anticipated video game Cyberpunk 2077 on December 10th, thousands of gamers have created viral videos with a variety of glitches and bugs – many hilarious – that affect the game and make it virtually unplayable for many users.

So many players asked for refunds from dealers last week that they overwhelmed Sony’s customer service reps and even temporarily shut down one of their corporate websites. In response, Sony and Microsoft said they would offer full refunds to anyone who bought Cyberpunk 2077 through their online stores. Sony even removed the title, Mike Isaac and Kellen Browning report in the New York Times.

Cyberpunk’s rollout is one of the most visible disasters in video game history – a high-profile flameout during the holiday shopping season by a studio widely considered the industry darling. It shows the pitfalls that game studios face in building so-called triple-A games, titles that are based on years of development, and hundreds of millions of dollars.

“There was so much there, but they just didn’t pay attention to the details,” said Billy Marte, a player who accepted the high expectations of cyberpunk developed by Polish studio CD Projekt Red. “It is obvious that this game was rushed.”

CD Projekt Red’s stock has fallen 41 percent since early December. In the studio there was fighting and pointing. In a controversial meeting with board members on Thursday, CD Projekt Red employees urged executives on the game’s unrealistic deadlines and false promises.

Insiders said they had seen the problems for months based on CD Projekt Red’s history of game development and the warning signs that Cyberpunk 2077 may not be living up to sky-high expectations.

  • The Federal Reserve said Friday that the largest banks in the financial system were well-equipped to withstand a major economic shock from the pandemic and that they could return more money to shareholders early next year as long as they can show they are profitable . In June, the Fed set temporary caps on what the largest banks in the country can pay to shareholders. Minutes after the regulator’s announcement on Friday, JPMorgan Chase announced it would buy back $ 30 billion of its shares in the first three months of 2021.

  • In a novel case, federal prosecutors on Friday indicted an executive at Zoom, the video conferencing company, accusing him of conspiracy to disrupt and censor video meetings in commemoration of the Tiananmen Square massacre. He is accused of working with others to log into video meetings under aliases with profile pictures relating to terrorism or child pornography. Afterward, Mr. Jin would report the sessions for violating the terms of service, prosecutors said.

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