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HomeAll NewsMost read newsBusiness Leaders Biography
Birthday : 06/28/1971
Place of birth : Pretoria - South Africa
Biography : Elon Reeve Musk is an entrepreneur and businessperson who founded 7 companies, including: Tesla, Inc

North American Morning Briefing: Tech Gains -2-

08/24/2021 | 05:57am EST

Scott Ruesterholz, portfolio manager at Insight Investment, said speculation about tapering "may cause intermittent spikes in bond yields." However, the asset manager remains opportunistic because the era of low yields is likely to persist and any meaningful upward move in bond yields could be seen as a buying opportunity.

Central banks might talk about tapering and raising interest rates but there is unlikely to be a dramatic reversion to a historic norm, said Ruesterholz. "The level of debt in most economies will make it hard for central banks to meaningfully tighten [by raising interest rates]," he said. Any reversal of QE will need to be gradual to avoid a repeat of the 2013 taper tantrum.

Commodities:

Oil futures extended gains in European trade, despite a slightly firmer dollar, as reports of zero new Covid-19 cases in China for the first time since July continued to support sentiment, said ING.

Metals were steady as investors looked ahead to the Jackson Hole Symposium to see if recent economic weakness and fears about the Delta variant have changed the Fed's views on the tapering timeline.

Meanwhile, some market participants stressed caution over the Covid situaion in China. "It should be remembered that one new case [in China] can shut down an entire port so caution should be exercised," said Malcolm Freeman, CEO of brokerage Kingdom Futures.

TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES

FAA to Review Boeing Employee Reports of Pressure Over Safety Issues

The Federal Aviation Administration is launching a broad review of how Boeing Co. employees handle safety matters on the agency's behalf after some company engineers said they face undue pressure, according to an agency letter and people familiar with the matter.

An FAA survey conducted this year found 35% of a small sample of certain Boeing employees reported problems including pressure and hurdles to transparency, according to an Aug. 19 agency letter to Boeing. Some surveyed employees, who are part of a group empowered by the agency to assist its work, said they encountered difficulties in being transparent with regulators, according to the letter, which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

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Samsung to Invest $205 Billion in Chip, Biotech Expansion

Samsung plans to increase investments by one third to more than $205 billion over the next three years, as the South Korean conglomerate pursues leadership in chip manufacturing and a bigger role in Covid-19 vaccine production.

The company said Tuesday it would invest 240 trillion won in capital expenditure and research and development over the three years, up from 180 trillion won in the previous three.

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Elon Musk Pans Pilot Version of Tesla's Driver-Assistance Feature

Elon Musk on Monday panned a pilot version of an advanced driver-assistance feature Tesla Inc. is developing, a week after U.S. car-safety regulators opened a probe into a more basic iteration of the company's driving aide.

The statement amounts to a public concession by the Tesla CEO of a shortcoming in a driver-assistance feature designed to help vehicles steer through urban areas. The feature, available on a relatively small number of vehicles as part of a pilot program, is part of what Tesla calls Full Self-Driving, or FSD, technology.

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Walmart Opens Local Delivery Service to Other Retailers

Walmart Inc. drivers will soon be making deliveries for other merchants.

The big-box retailer is opening up its in-house delivery platform, Spark Driver, to other businesses so that the independent contractors who are out delivering Walmart groceries and other merchandise can make additional deliveries along the way.

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FDA Gives Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine Full Approval

The U.S. gave full approval for use of the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE Monday, a move quickly followed by announcements from the Pentagon, the New York City school district and others that they would begin requiring vaccinations.

The Food and Drug Administration's approval was seen by public health officials as a key step to convince hesitant individuals to get the shot and to encourage employers to mandate it.

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Purdue Pharma Defends Sackler Deal as Avoiding Costly Litigation

Purdue Pharma LP on Monday defended a $4.5 billion settlement with the drugmaker's Sackler family owners, saying the proposed deal averts a long, costly legal fight to access family wealth housed overseas and in hard-to-reach trusts.

Marshall Huebner, a lawyer representing Purdue, said during closing arguments of a trial scrutinizing the settlement that the company believes it has strong legal claims against the Sacklers, including clawing back transfers made to the family before Purdue's 2019 bankruptcy filing.

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Santander Holdings USA to Buy Remaining Stake in Subsidiary for $2.5 Bln

Banco Santander SA said Tuesday that its U.S. subsidiary Santander Holdings USA, Inc. will acquire the remaining shares it doesn't already own in Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. for roughly $2.5 billion.

According to the agreement between the two subsidiaries of the Spanish bank, Santander Holdings USA will buy the outstanding shares in Santander Consumer USA Holdings for $41.50 apiece via an all-cash tender offer, which represents a total equity value of $12.7 billion, the company said.

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International Flavors & Fragrances to Sell Microbial Control Unit to Lanxess

International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. agreed to sell its Microbial Control business unit to chemical company Lanxess AG for an enterprise value of about $1.3 billion.

IFF said the sale, part of a strategic portfolio review, will enhance its financial profile and allow it to focus on core businesses.

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Kamala Harris Stresses Cooperation on Supply Chains in Singapore Visit

SINGAPORE-Vice President Kamala Harris made the case for the U.S. to strengthen its economic ties with Southeast Asia during a two-day trip to Singapore, where she stressed the need to work with countries to ease supply-chain constraints as a surge of Covid-19 cases has hit factories in the region.

Ms. Harris said Tuesday she discussed the supply-chain problems extensively with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during their bilateral meetings. She also held a roundtable with business leaders in the country, which included representatives from chip maker GlobalFoundries Singapore Pte. Ltd., 3M Southeast Asia Pte. Ltd. and Procter & Gamble Co., to discuss ways to use the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity to bolster supply-chain resiliency between the U.S. and the region.

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Democrats Hit Impasse on Infrastructure Bill, Broader Spending Package

WASHINGTON-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and a group of centrist House Democrats worked to break a deadlock Monday night over the party's legislative strategy, as leaders tried to unify the party's rival wings.

The fight centers on Democratic leaders' plans to yoke together two pieces of legislation: a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill that the Senate passed earlier this month with bipartisan support and a $3.5 trillion package of healthcare, education and climate policies that lacks GOP backing and could take months to complete.

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U.S. Crops Wither Under Scorching Heat

Drought is blistering key U.S. cash crops, further elevating prices for staples including corn and wheat.

The punishing dynamics of a torrid summer were evident this month on the Pro Farmer Crop Tour, an annual event in which farmers visit key growing areas across the grain belt to gather data on the coming harvest. Driving along state Route 14 outside of Verdigre, Neb., Randy Wiese turned to see a farmer harvesting hay. The piles were small.

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The Digital Payment Giant That Adds Up

This column is part of the Heard on the Street Stock Picking Contest. You're invited to play along with us here.

Digital payment providers have been among the pandemic's biggest winners. For Adyen, an Amsterdam-listed company that supplies white-labeled services to the likes of Uber, eBay and Spotify, prospects look undiminished even as the world reopens.

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German Economy Grew Slightly More Than Initially Estimated in 2Q

Germany's economy grew more in the second quarter than reported in the first release, German statistics office Destatis said Tuesday.

Gross domestic product rose by an adjusted 1.6% from the previous quarter, according to Destatis in its second estimate for the quarter. This expansion was larger than economists' expectations of 1.5% growth in The Wall Street Journal's survey.

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Afghans Fleeing Taliban Grow More Desperate as Clock Ticks on U.S. Evacuation

The family of Naqibullah Laghmanai, a former interpreter for the U.S. military, spent days waiting outside Kabul's airport, hoping to catch a flight out of the country before the Biden administration ends its evacuation operation.

People were beaten. The family's youngest member, a 5-year-old, fell ill in the heat and chaos. The family finally gave up and returned home, says Mr. Laghmanai, a U.S. citizen now living in Houston.

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Kathy Hochul Becomes Governor of New York, First Woman to Lead the State

ALBANY, N.Y.-Kathy Hochul became the 57th governor of New York early Tuesday, making history as the first woman to serve as the state's chief executive.

Ms. Hochul, a Democrat who has served as lieutenant governor since 2015, was sworn in just after midnight by New York State Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore during a ceremony at the State Capitol.

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Write to paul.larkins@wsj.com

TODAY IN CANADA

Earnings:

Bank of Montreal 3Q

Bank of Nova Scotia 3Q

Economic Indicators (ET):

0830 2Q Quarterly financial statistics for enterprises

Stocks to Watch:

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

08-24-21 0556ET