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Apple is Fighting Back Against Watch Ban

Apple is fighting the Apple Watch ban in court, big oil enters 2024 with a strong outlook thanks to industry consolidation, Barry Silbert stepped down as chairman of Grayscale, Milei lifted import controls in a free trade push, EV prices are expected to drop in 2024, and the Kock family is backing Nikki Haley.

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Good Morning,

Apple is fighting the Apple Watch ban in court, big oil enters 2024 with a strong outlook thanks to industry consolidation, Barry Silbert stepped down as chairman of Grayscale, Milei lifted import controls in a free trade push, EV prices are expected to drop in 2024, and the Kock family is backing Nikki Haley.

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Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 12/26/2023 market close.

Markets

  • US stocks rose, kicking off their final week of 2023 with expectations of rate cuts as soon as March 

    • The Nasdaq led indices with a 0.54% gain

  • Oil prices climbed over 2% to their highest level this month due to further attacks on ships in the Red Sea prompting fear of shipping disruptions

Earnings

Headline Roundup

  • Apple to fight watch ban in court after White House declines to act (BBG)

  • Big oil enters 2024 strengthened by US industry consolidation (RT)

  • US holiday retail sales grow 3.1%, down from prior year, Mastercard says (RT)

  • Home prices continued climb in October, surveys show (RT)

  • Argentina’s Milei lifts imports controls in free trade push (BBG)

  • Treasury auctions lure buyers as Fed rate cut wagers build (BBG)

  • Florida developers head west with $1B ski-town project (WSJ)

  • Houthi rebels attack container ship in Red Sea conflict (BBG)

  • Haley endorsement marks presidential return of Koch Donor network (WSJ)

  • Expect EVs to get cheaper in 2024 (CNBC)

  • Biden’s strict hydrogen tax rules to ‘loosen,’ Plug Power CEO expects (BBG)

  • Intel to invest $25B in Israel after winning incentives (BBG)

  • Trump is primed for a trade war in a second term, calling for ‘eye-for-eye’ tariffs (WSJ)

  • Australian insurance stocks in focus after storms hit east coast (BBG)

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Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Bristol Myers Squibb will acquire radiological drug developer RayzeBio for ~$4.1B to bolster its pipeline (BBG

  • AstraZeneca agreed to acquire Chinese cell therapy developer Gracell Biotechnologies for as much as $1.2B (BBG

  • Adani Green Energy’s founders will invest as much as $1.1B into the renewable energy unit through share warrants (BBG

  • Affiliates of Blackstone are seeking to exit India’s Embassy Office Parks REIT through an $833M block deal (BBG

  • Alternative investment firm Stonepeak Partners will invest an estimated $497M into breakdown coverage firm AA and become a minority shareholder (BBG

  • Brazilian oil junior Enauta Participacoes acquired a 23% stake in the oil fields that comprise the Parque das Conchas, which is operated by Shell, from QatarEnergy Brasil for $150M (BBG

  • Disney and Reliance Industries, India’s most valuable company, signed a non-binding agreement to merge their Indian media operations; Disney will own 49% of the combined company, while Reliance will own 51% (RT)

VC

  • Web3 growth marketing company Addressable raised $13.5M in funding led by BITKRAFT Ventures (FN)

  • Subtl Beauty, an NYC-based company that specializes in compact and convenient makeup, raised a $5M Series A from Cult Capital (FN)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

SPAC

  • Blaize, a provider of full-stack AI solutions for computing, will merge with BurTech Acquisition Corp. in an $894M deal (BW

Debt

  • Canada will back $1.5B in new commercial loans for Trans Mountain Corp, which is building an over-budget and long-delayed oil pipeline expansion (RT

Bankruptcy / Restructuring

  • Online retailer Zulily, which was once valued at ~$9B, will shut down due to a challenging business environment; the company began a form of state court-supervised bankruptcy (WSJ

  • Ex-SPAC Parts ID, a publicly traded operator of e-commerce websites focused on auto parts, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (BBG)

Crypto Corner

  • Binance founder and former CEO Changpeng Zhao’s fortune rose by ~$25B this year thanks to Bitcoin’s rebound (BBG

  • Barry Silbert resigned from his position as chairman of Grayscale Investments, the crypto-trust vying for US approval to convert the world’s largest Bitcoin trust into an ETF (BBG

  • Spot bitcoin ETF approval may be coming in January, experts say (CNBC)

  • MicroStrategy bitcoin bet produces over 300% gain for investors in 2023 (CNBC)

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