U.S. Stocks Climb After Promising Vaccine Study [WSJ]
Signs of progress toward a coronavirus vaccine by Moderna propelled all corners of the stock market higher. Goldman Sachs Group added to the advance after reporting one of its best quarters by revenue ever…. That all pushed the blue-chip index up 218 points, or 0.8%, to 26858 in recent trading, putting the Dow on course for its best week in more than a month. The S&P 500 rose 0.8%, nearly bringing the broad index out of the red for the year, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.3%.
Apple Wins Fight Over $14.9 Billion Tax Bill in Blow to EU [Bloomberg]
The judgment by the EU’s lower court on Wednesday vindicates Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook’s challenge against a decision he labeled as “political crap….”
“The commission’s intent seemed to be a political one: to punish Apple for its overall tax planning, rather than to reach a result that accorded with the legal or economic position,” Dan Neidle, a tax lawyer with Clifford Chance said in a statement. “The court has, quite rightly, followed the law and not any wider political objectives.”
German Court Says Tesla Self-Driving Claims Are Misleading [NYT]
Tesla’s use of the brand name Autopilot for its software, as well as claims the company made on its German website about the software’s function, create the false impression that the car can drive itself, a Bavarian state court ruled…. In any event, the court said in response to a suit by a German business group, the country’s laws do not allow vehicles to operate autonomously on the highway….
Tesla also claimed that “your parked car will find you in the parking lot and come to you. Unbelievable but true!” The website said that future upgrades would allow Tesla cars to drive themselves in urban areas….
“Tesla Autopilot was literally named after the term used in aviation. Also, what about Autobahn!?” Mr. Musk wrote.
Peter Thiel-Backed Crypto Lender BlockFi Hires General Counsel [Bloomberg Law]
Jonathan Mayers, who spent the past decade as an in-house lawyer at hedge fund Renaissance Technologies LLC, joined BlockFi earlier this month as its first-ever general counsel. Mayers is the latest in a string of lawyers hired in the cryptocurrency and digital asset management sector, which is ramping up its legal and compliance capabilities in an effort to legitimize itself among regulators and traditional financial services institutions….
Mayers said in an interview that he couldn’t pass up the “tantalizing opportunity” to get involved “almost at the ground level” in a company operating in the cryptocurrency arena…. Mayers left Renaissance in 2017 and co-founded Cape Springs Capital Partners LLC, a private equity firm that he said has switched from pursuing controlling stakes in small and mid-sized businesses to more passive investments.
Robinhood Has Lured Young Traders, Sometimes With Devastating Results [NYT]
As he repeatedly lost money, [U.S. Navy medic Richard] Dobatse took out two $30,000 home equity loans so he could buy and sell more speculative stocks and options, hoping to pay off his debts. His account value shot above $1 million this year — but almost all of that recently disappeared. This week, his balance was $6,956…. Robinhood’s average customer is young and lacks investing know-how. The average age is 31, the company said, and half of its customers had never invested before.
Some have visited Robinhood’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., in recent years to confront the staff about their losses, said four employees who witnessed the incidents. This year, they said, the start-up installed bulletproof glass at the front entrance.
At Evercore, a Dean of Wall Street and Washington Elevates New Leaders [WSJ]
Evercore will elevate a pair of executives, Ralph Schlosstein and John S. Weinberg, to be co-chief executive officers and co-chairmen of the board, allowing the 74-year-old Mr. Altman, Evercore’s senior chairman, to take another step back from the firm he built into a small but notable player on Wall Street….
Mr. Schlosstein joined Evercore as CEO in 2009, when Mr. Altman took his first steps back. A co-founder of BlackRock Inc., he was seen as strongest in asset management, where Evercore maintains a small business but has scaled back broader ambitions.
Mr. Weinberg, 63, belongs to one of the last Wall Street dynasties. His grandfather, Sidney Weinberg, and later his father, John L. Weinberg, ran Goldman for much of the 20th century.
Mets sale development: Mystery bidder, Steve Cohen buzz [Thornton/N.Y. Post]
What is also clear is that hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen remains the leading contender in the process due to his deeper pockets and even deeper understanding of the franchise’s woeful financial picture, advantages that might weaken interest in a bidding war for the team…. Whispers of a fourth mystery buyer persist, but insiders tell The Post that the notion of a person or group with the ability to pony up $2 billion or more going unknown at this point seems farfetched.
“Maybe there is another mystery bidder,” one source involved in the process told The Post. “But it’s more likely that this is just an attempt to keep Steve Cohen on his toes.”