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Activist Investor ValueAct Takes Stake in The New York Times [NYT]
In a letter to its investors on Thursday, ValueAct said it had conducted research that showed many consumers were not aware that The Times sells a bundled subscription to its products, which include news, games, a cooking app and the sports publication The Athletic. ValueAct said that created a potential growth opportunity…. Unlike some other activist investors — like Carl Icahn, who made a name for himself with bruising courtroom battles — ValueAct has a track record of investing in companies over a long period and working with management behind the scenes.

It’s a Tom Jones rally but it may be overbought, say analysts [MarketWatch]
“Obviously, a bear market rally, and a sustainable recovery are similar at the start. We must see consolidation to call the end of the year-to-date bear market,” says Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank…. “What is most striking about the just-ended Nasdaq bear market is just how average it was. From peak to trough, the Nasdaq fell 33.7% over 209 calendar days from November 19th, 2021 to June 16th, 2022. The average bear market since 1970 has seen the index fall 35.5% over 201 calendar days,” Bespoke [Investment Group] adds.

Five Chinese state-owned companies to delist from NYSE amid U.S. tensions [Reuters]
The five, which in May were flagged by the U.S. securities regulator as failing to meet its auditing standards, will keep their listings in Hong Kong and mainland Chinese markets…. "We see this as a positive sign. This is consistent with our view China will decide what companies would be allowed to be US-listed and thus subject to SEC's audit investigations," Jefferies analysts wrote in a note.

The fate of Millennium's index-rebalance king Glen Scheinberg, and his profitable team, has the hedge-fund industry abuzz [BI]
The index-rebalancing act got messy in the last few months. The trade was walloped in the lead-up to the annual late-June reshuffling of the Russell indexes.
The fallout unleashed speculation around the fate of Scheinberg's team the biggest player in the strategy and industry participants suspected enormous losses, and rumors spread that Scheinberg might move on from Millennium.

BlackRock launches a private trust to give clients exposure to spot bitcoin [CNBC]
“Despite the steep downturn in the digital asset market, we are still seeing substantial interest from some institutional clients in how to efficiently and cost-effectively access these assets using our technology and product capabilities,” the company said in the post.

The Perfect Professional Headshot Is Worth $1,000, and Maybe Even a Job [WSJ]
“I’m not a photographer per se,” says Peter Hurley, who charges $1,500 for a headshot session and $300 for each image his clients keep. “I consider myself a facial conveyance strategist….” An applicant’s odds of receiving an offer can be diminished by a headshot that doesn’t match the picture in the boss’s mind.

Multi-millionaire ex-Tory backer switches allegiance to Labour with £12,500 donation for Keir Starmer after voicing fury at Boris Johnson over Partygate [Daily Mail]
Records show hedge fund boss John Armitage gave Sir Keir Starmer £12,500 last month to help fund his office.
Mr Armitage, who founded Egerton Capital, ended his association with the Conservatives in 2020 and has since made several cash pots to their rivals…. Mr Armitage has previously criticised Boris Johnson's conduct while in No10. Last month he told the BBC: 'In the Westminster bubble most MPs and most commentators don't really realise what deep s*** the Conservatives are in.

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