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“Millions of Twitter shares trade daily under a cloud of Musk-created doubt. No public company of this size and scale has ever had to bear these uncertainties.”

So, Twitter responds to Musk’s demands that the case brought by the company against the Tesla owner be delayed. The parties will appear by Zoom today to decide whether Musk gets his way in ‘slow-walking’ the trial or Twitter gets its expedited process…I don’t fancy Musk’s chances: the judge hearing the case has Covid, but instead of delaying the hearing ordered it be held online. And Twitter’s case looks ironclad: “This very public dispute harms Twitter with each passing day Musk is in breach.  Musk amplifies this harm by using the Company’s own platform as a megaphone to disparage it.” Hard to argue. It’s not about the bots anymore. Meanwhile Musk, as you would expect (this is America), is said to be preparing a countersuit. 

So where does this lead? If the court finds in Twitter’s favour and the company gets ‘specific performance’ then it’s up to Musk. He could refuse to sign the paperwork. According to finance law professor Robert Miller, in a Wells Fargo note, says the court could then appoint an official called a “special master” (not a Master of Coin!)) to act on his behalf, sys the NY Post….all of which could end Musk in jail, as CNBC’s David Faber noted, too. 

A rally for the US market ran out of steam and Wall Street closed in the red. The Dow Jones lost over 200 points, or 0.7%, to close just clear of 31,00, erasing a 356pt jump earlier in the day. The S&P 500 both ended the day down more than 0.8%. It was a more solid session in Europe on Monday as the main bourses rose around 1% for the day, but a tepid start to the day on Tuesday sees the major indices largely in the red. US 10yr yields hover a little under 1.97%, oil is firmer with Brent futures above $106 and gold continues to face pressure at $1,700. Bitcoin trades a little lower this morning after yesterday’s jump to $22,800.

Energy companies rode a rally in oil prices amid concerns over gas supply from Russia. Yesterday it was reported that Russia’s Gazprom had retroactively declared force majeure on gas supplies from 14th June. This implies it has no control over supplies and provides Moscow with the pretext to cut off Europe. 

US market sentiment clearly hit by Apple, which said it is to slow hiring…comes after Facebook…signs of material slowdown. Apple shares declined 2%…market still hooked on the Cupertino firm. Goldman Sachs earnings beat, shares rallied.  

Netflix later this evening…not sure the company can deliver quite the devastating blow it did last time around, but investors are again braced for subscriber losses. The company projected a loss of 2 million subscribers for the period as it works on password sharing and a new ad-based service. $15.49 monthly sub in the US is quite high and as we have been noting for several years, the competition is only getting more intense. Disney has mustered 140mn subs in just three years, against Netflix’s 222mn. With consumers reining in spending, it’s the kind of service that can be cut first. Earnings and revenues are always somewhat tricky to pin down due to the nature of investment in content, so the main focus will be subscriber numbers. 

The US dollar continues to roll over, delivering some welcome relief for major peers. GBPUSD rose above 1.20 yesterday before paring gains to sit around 1.1970 this morning. ECB chiefs will be relieved to see EURUSD north of 1.150 this morning of their crucial meeting on Thursday. 

Finally, UK private sector pay jumped 7.2%….signs of a wage price spiral much? With public sector pay just +1.5% this only adds impetus to the strikers this summer. And real wages keep falling – something many miss: you can have a wage price spiral without it ever catching up with inflation…that’s why it’s a spiral and why it is so hard to get back in the lamp once it’s been rubbed.

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