Stock Market News and Ratings Roundup for December 18th

Top Stock News

  1. European Company News:
    • National Grid (Britain): Started removing components supplied by a unit of China-backed Nari Technology from the electricity transmission network over cyber security fears.
    • Iliad (France): Aims to finalize a proposal to Vodafone Italy to combine their Italian operations in a joint venture by the end of January.
    • Telecom Italia: Faces a complaint from top investor Vivendi challenging the 19-billion-euro sale of its domestic fixed-line network to KKR.
    • Nippon Steel (Japan): Announced the acquisition of U.S. Steel in a $14.9 billion deal, months after the latter put itself up for sale.
    • Southwest Airlines: Agreed to a $140 million civil penalty over the December 2022 holiday meltdown that led to 16,900 flight cancellations and stranded 2 million passengers.
    • Defense Industry: The profit outlook for the US defense industry in 2024 has risen due to increased demand amid geopolitical conflicts.
    • EU Investigation: The European Union opens proceedings against social media company X (formerly Twitter) over a suspected breach of obligations under the Digital Services Act (DSA).
  2. Corporate Acquisitions:
    • IBM: Plans to acquire Software AG’s enterprise integration platforms for $2.33 billion to strengthen its artificial intelligence and hybrid cloud offerings.
    • Viatris Inc: Appointed Theodora Mistras as its CFO and Philippe Martin as Chief Research and Development Officer.
  3. Steel Industry:
    • U.S. Steel Corp: Nippon Steel to buy the company in a $14.9 billion deal to offset declining demand in Japan and expand in the U.S.
  4. Labor Strikes:
    • Amazon.com Inc: Spanish workers at an Amazon logistics center plan a three-day strike ahead of the Epiphany feast day, demanding higher wages.
  5. China’s Tech Usage:
    • Apple Inc: Chinese agencies and state-backed companies are instructing employees to avoid foreign devices, including iPhones, at work.
  6. FDA Approval:
    • Arcutis Biotherapeutics Inc: FDA approved the company’s drug for treating seborrheic dermatitis in individuals nine years of age and older.
  7. Energy Investment:
    • BlackRock Inc: Exits talks to acquire Exxon Mobil’s majority stake in Italy’s main liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal. Also, invests up to $400 million in Dubai-based decarbonization company Positive Zero.
  8. Clinical Trial Discontinuation:
    • Bristol Myers Squibb Co: Discontinues late-stage trial testing a treatment for a type of colon cancer.
  9. Business Expansion in China:
    • Citigroup Inc: Faces delays in setting up a wholly-owned securities business in China due to compliance with data laws.
  10. Clean Hydrogen Projects:
    • CNX Resources Corp: Pulls out of the Adams Fork ammonia project, evaluating alternative sites for clean hydrogen projects.
  11. Antitrust Battle:
    • Illumina Inc & Grail Inc: Illumina to divest Grail after facing antitrust challenges from both U.S. and European regulators.
  12. Cancer Treatment:
    • GSK PLC: Combination of cancer drugs Zejula and Jemperli shows a statistically significant benefit in treating a certain type of endometrial cancer.
  13. Electric Vehicle Industry:
    • Nio Inc: Secures a $2.2 billion investment from CYVN Holdings in an effort to boost efficiency amid a price war in the EV industry.
  14. Counterfeit Drug Listings:
    • Novo Nordisk A/S: IndiaMART removes unauthorized listings of Wegovy, the company’s blockbuster weight-loss drug, after discussions with Novo Nordisk.
  15. Customer Attraction:
    • Robinhood Markets Inc: Attracts customers from other brokerages, seeking to expand beyond its base of young, first-time investors.
  16. Airline Penalty Settlement:
    • Southwest Airlines Co: Agrees to a record-setting $140 million civil penalty over the December 2022 holiday meltdown.
  17. Business Divestiture:
    • Unilever PLC: Sells Elida Beauty, its non-core beauty and personal care division, to U.S. private equity firm Yellow Wood Partners.
  18. Battery Recycling Agreement:
    • VinFast Auto Ltd: Signs an agreement with Japan’s Marubeni to recycle used EV batteries, aiming to establish a circular economic model.
  19. Telecom Merger Proposal:
    • Vodafone Group PLC: Iliad submits a proposal to merge their Italian units, exploring consolidation options in the Italian telecom market.
  20. Canadian Zero Emission Regulation:
    • Canada: Expected to announce that all new cars must be zero emissions by 2035, in line with global efforts towards electrification.

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