Opening Bell: 8.15.18

Elon getting help; Oracle loves Apple; Trump trade war working, kinda; hippo-spanking; and more!
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Elon Musk Tweets Another Surprise, Saying Goldman and Silver Lake Are Tesla Advisers [WSJ]
On Tuesday, Mr. Musk and Goldman executives were still haggling about the terms of any engagement, according to people familiar with the matter. Silver Lake, meanwhile, is helping Mr. Musk explore the process of going private and considering a potential investment if a transaction proceeds, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday. Silver Lake isn’t being paid for financial advice, this person said. The firm doesn’t typically advise companies except as part of its investment-evaluation process.

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‘Fintechs’ Sound Cautious Note on Offer of U.S. Bank Charter [Reuters]
No companies have formally applied for a charter yet…. Many fintech companies expect the charter to become embroiled in a legal battle between the federal government and states…. LendingClub CEO Scott Sanborn told Reuters in an interview the company was “really pleased” by the OCC announcement but that it needed to consider all the implications.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reloads on Apple, Goldman Sachs and airlines [CNBC]
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway increased its stake in Apple by 5 percent, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday that discloses positions through the end of the second quarter.
Berkshire also upped its holdings of Goldman Sachs by 21 percent, Delta by 18.8 percent and Southwest by 18.7 percent, the filing said, and it added another 6.7 percent to its Teva stake, which it had doubled in the first quarter of this year.

Investors Flock to U.S. as Washington Stirs Markets Abroad [WSJ]
U.S. foreign policy has driven sharp swings in European and Asian markets this summer, drawing investors into the safety of the U.S…. U.S. stocks have beaten foreign stocks in part as investors seek a more stable market during the rocky period, analysts say. Strong U.S. economic and earnings growth has helped. While the S&P 500 has risen 4.5% this quarter and is trading within roughly 1% of its all time high, the MSCI AC World ex-USA Index has fallen 1.3% this quarter and is down nearly 7% for the year so far.

Sears CEO Bids $470 Million for Kenmore, Home-Improvement Unit [Bloomberg]
Lampert, the chief executive officer of Sears as well as its largest shareholder, is proposing to use his hedge fund ESL Investments Inc. to buy the store’s Kenmore and Sears Home Improvement businesses at a valuation of around $470 million, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday.
“We are prepared to move as quickly as possible to complete these transactions, which is in the best interest of all parties involved,” ESL said in a emailed statement to Bloomberg News.

Police probe video of man spanking zoo hippo [UPI]
The video, which went viral on social media, shows a man climbing over a barricade to reach the hippo enclosure and slapping an animal named Rosie on the butt.
The hippo does not show much reaction to the slap, which is followed by the man quickly fleeing.

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