Warren Buffett gets permission to buy up to half of Occidental Petroleum, boosting the shares [CNBC]
Berkshire currently owns 188.5 million shares of Occidental, equal to a 20.2% position…. Berkshire also owns $10 billion of Occidental preferred stock, and has warrants to buy another 83.9 million common shares for $5 billion, or $59.62 each….
“[Buffett] will likely continue to buy as much as he can get below $70 or $75. If you own 30% or 40% and would like to buy it out at $95 or $100, you saved a lot of money,” said Cole Smead, president of Smead Capital Management and a Berkshire shareholder. “This stock trades like a casino. The market is giving him all the stock he wants.”
Hedge funds are sitting on a record level of bearish bets on the stock market [CNBC]
Net short positions against the S&P 500 futures by hedge funds have reached a record $107 billion this week…. “As powerful as the market rally has been, it is being viewed with substantial skepticism,” said Mark Hackett, Nationwide’s chief of investment research.
Bed Bath & Beyond’s Sudden Stock Plunge Narrows Options for Cash Infusion [WSJ]
The falling share price has made it less likely that the retailer can fix its financial problems by issuing stock, as other struggling companies have done when they suddenly sparked the interest of bullish individual investors…. Recently, it has been hunting for $375 million in debt to pad its cash levels and help pay down existing debt, people familiar with the matter have said. A loan deal would help reassure suppliers and provide liquidity to fund inventory for the crucial holiday shopping season.
Once offering the worst return on Wall Street, cash is now looking like the best asset to own, says Morgan Stanley [MarketWatch]
[Strategist Andrew] Streets said that on a cross-asset basis, U.S. dollar cash offers a high current yield, liquidity, and a better 12-month total return than Morgan Stanley’s own implied forecasts for U.S. equity, U.S. Treasurys, investment grade and high yield credit — “with considerably less volatility.”
Twitter Tells Employees They Might Get Only Half Their Annual Bonus [NYT]
Advertisers, who generate most of Twitter’s revenue, have been skittish as economic fears over the war in Ukraine tamp down spending and Mr. Musk’s acquisition bid generates uncertainty about the company’s future…. In the email to employees on Friday, Ned Segal, Twitter’s chief financial officer, said these challenges would probably affect the annual bonuses that they receive, with the bonus pool currently at 50 percent of what it could be if the company met its financial targets, according to two employees who received the message. The figure could fluctuate throughout the year, based on Twitter’s earnings.
Dan Price resigns as CEO of payments firm after misconduct allegations [Guardian]
Dan Price, the chief executive of a Seattle-based credit card processing company who made headlines when he implemented a $70,000 minimum wage, has abruptly resigned after accusations of misconduct and misdemeanor criminal charges that he assaulted a woman after a dinner meeting…. Bloomberg reported on a 2015 Tedx Talk given by Price’s wife, Kristie Colon, in which she described being waterboarded and beaten by her ex. Colon did not name Price, who told the outlet that the events “never happened”….
Then, in February this year, Price was charged with misdemeanor assault and reckless driving…. In his Tesla sedan after the dinner, prosecutors said, Price had attempted to kiss the woman, grabbed her throat when she refused, and then performed “doughnuts” with the car in a parking lot.