Stocks were mixed at the open on Monday with the Dow dropping 33 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 traded just above the flatline, while the Nasdaq gained nearly 0.3%.
Virgin Galactic shares are down nearly 11% this morning after the company filed to sell up to $500 million in common stock following its successful spaceflight over the weekend with founder Sir Richard Branson aboard. The Sunday spaceflight market a major milestone in the commercial space race and step towards Virgin Galactic’s goal for commercial service in early 2022. “We view Branson’s achievement as a massive marketing coup for Virgin Galactic that will be impossible for the public to ignore,” said Canaccord Genuity equity analyst Ken Herbert. “The challenge now will be for the company to maintain the momentum and establish a flight plan in 2022 that can demonstrate a repeatable and increasing commercial launch cadence.”
DiDi shares are down 5% after the company warned of negative impact after complying with a Chinese order to remove 25 more apps from mobile stores for violations of data security laws. China’s cyberspace regulator banned downloads of the services on Friday for “serious illegal collection and use of personal information,” including the enterprise version of its core service, and apps covering finance and delivery. As things continue to look progressively worse for DiDi’s outlook, ByteDance—the Beijing-based owner of TikTok—has reportedly shelved its plans for a U.S. listing after Chinese officials asked the company to focus on data security risks.
Pfizer said it plans to meet with top U.S. health officials today to discuss its request for authorization of a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine after President Biden’s chief medical adviser acknowledged that “it is entirely conceivable, maybe likely” that a booster shot may soon be needed. “Right now, given the data and the information we have, we do not need to give people a third shot,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview this weekend. “That doesn’t mean we stop there. … There are studies being done now ongoing as we speak about looking at the feasibility about if and when we should be boosting people. Certainly it is entirely conceivable, maybe likely at some time, we will need a boost.”
Walmart’s Flipkart said today that it raised $3.6 billion in fresh funds from global investors, including sovereign funds, private equity, and from its parent company. The new funding round was led by Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and Walmart, and included investments from Qatar Investment Authority, Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Berhad, and DisruptAD, the venture arm of the Abu Dhabi sovereign fund, ADQ. “This investment by leading global investors reflects the promise of digital commerce in India and their believe in Flipkart’s capabilities to maximize this potential for all stakeholders,” Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said in a statement. “As we serve our consumers, we will focus on accelerating growth for millions of small and medium Indian businesses.” The funding round is a boon for Flipkart and Walmart, which bought a majority stake in the company three years ago for $16 billion.
Break out the BBQ… Weber Inc has filed to go public. The grill and barbecue tools maker is expected to seek a valuation of between $4 billion and $6 billion in an IPO, and put down a placeholder listing size of $100 million – a figure that is expected to change. Weber reported $963 million in sales in the first six months through March, a gain of more than 60% from the same period last year, while its net income rose to $73.8 million from $23.6 million over the same period. The grill company is majority owned by BDT Capital Partners, an investment firm and merchant bank founded and led by Byron Trott. Weber said it plans to use the IPO proceeds to buy back shares from its holding company and from some existing shareholders.
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Check Point Software (NASDAQ: CHKP): Check Point Software announced today that the Greek Ministry of Education has selected its Antivirus solution, ZoneAlarm, to 65,000 tablets that the Ministry has provided to teachers and students. “In the corona digital age one of the most ever-present concerns is internet safety, especially the one of kids in all education levels. This means keeping them safe from hackers and helping them avoid mistakes that will follow them into the future”, Yannis Gikas, Country Manager, Greece, Cyprus, Romania & Bulgaria at Check Point Software Technologies, said in a press release. “ZoneAlarm by Check Point Software is a complete and reliable security solution that is trusted by millions of users worldwide. It was our pleasure and honor that the Ministry of Education trusted us, so that we would be the ones to implement this demanding and essential project. Our goals were to meet the Ministry’s needs, protect students and teachers from attacks, and ensure the smooth operation of the educational process.”