Financial Daily Dose 10.27.2020 | Top Story: US Markets Tank Over Booming Virus and Unlikely Stimulus

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A mix of surging Covid cases, the renewed restrictions and shutdowns they’ve prompted, and the unlikelihood of more virus stimulus any time soon sent stocks sharply down to start the week, with the S&P 500 charting its biggest “one-day drop in more than a month” – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

We got some numerical meat on the Ant Group IPO bones on Monday, with Jack Ma & crew revealing that they’re looking to raise some $34 billion through the offering, a figure that would value Ma’s mobile payment and consumer finance platform at around $310 billion—a “market value comparable to that of JPMorgan Chase and more than that of many other global banks” – NYTimes and WSJ and Law360 and Bloomberg

Here’s your Ant Group primer, in case you need a quick refresher – NYTimes

Insurance behemoth AIG has indicated its intent to spin off its life-insurance business into a separate company, “leaving it to focus on property-casualty insurance, a separation it will make under the direction of a new chief executive.”  The company announced that current CEO Brian Duperreault will hand over the reins to current company president Peter Zaffino on March 1 – WSJ and Bloomberg

Advanced Micro Devices will pay $36 billion in stock to acquire Xilinx, the “biggest maker of a class of [computer] chips that can be reconfigured for a variety of special tasks after they leave the factory.” AMD “plans to use the acquisition to broaden its business into chips for markets like 5G wireless communications and automotive electronics” – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Charting a notably different pandemic course than nearly all other retailers, discount fashion chain Ross revealed that “it opened 39 new stores across 17 states in October,” as part of its overall plan to open an additional 66 new stores in 2020. The openings show the relative strength of “bargain retailers” during these Covid times – NYTimes

Wells Fargo, looking to lean out as it continues its ongoing rebuilding efforts following a series of scandals, is “exploring a sale of its corporate-trust unit that could fetch more than $1 billion and is considering whether to find a buyer for its student-loan portfolio,” too – Bloomberg

Former Goldman Sachs VP and Associate GC Marla Crawford has sued Goldman’s general counsel and head of litigation over claims that “she was forced out after she spoke up about the sexual harassment of another female lawyer in the group” – Bloomberg

Facebook’s getting in on the cloud gaming scene, adding “Netflix-like streaming of games to its Facebook Gaming platform at no cost to players, a move expanding its content library to include more-complex and multiplayer titles.” The company’s “free-to-play model” is in marked contrast to the subscription cloud-gaming services from rivals Google and Microsoft – WSJ

A new Barclays survey suggest that, despite concerns of pandemic-caused delays, the “transition of dollar markets away from the beleaguered Libor benchmark” is “on track” to occur by end the of 2021 as scheduled – Bloomberg

Truly fascinating look from the Times at the intersection of sport and global realpolitik in the case of Arsenal star midfielder Mesut Ozil, whose criticism of Beijing’s treatment of the Muslim minority Uighur group in the region of Xinjiang has led to the effective “erasure” of this Premier League superstar during his prime – NYTimes

Stay safe.

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