Financial Daily Dose 3.12.2021 | Top Story: Jobless Claims Dip But Still Bolster Case for Newly Signed Covid Relief Package

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Thursday’s weekly unemployment report managed to pull double duty—marking another decrease in the still-high figures (roughly 709k new jobless claims last week, about 47k fewer than the week before) that suggests some cause for optimism while giving the President plenty of fuel to justify the massive Covid relief bill he signed into law yesterday afternoon, a day ahead of schedule - NYTimes and WSJ and Marketplace

Solid debut for South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang, which saw shares rise 41% from their opening price, netting the company $4.6 billion and a valuation of $85 billion - NYTimes and WSJ and TechCrunch

Go ahead and add “Chinese tech folk hero” to the long list of Elon Musk’s descriptors. The Times reports that amidst the techlash that’s sweeping China at the moment (in which its internet giants “are now scorned for exploiting user data, abusing workers and squelching innovation), Musk has emerged as the man of the hour thanks to his “mix of impish bomb-throwing and captain-of-industry bravado” - NYTimes

As for those Chinese tech giants? Well, Jack Ma’s internet empire presents a cautionary tale. Though as the Journal tells it, Beijing’s plans for Alibaba appear to be “softer” than those for its cousin Ant Group, so long as Alibaba “disassociates itself from its flashy and outspoken founder and aligns itself more closely with the Communist Party” - WSJ

And Musk? Well, there’s growing competition on the horizon for his Tesla operations, now that “established auto makers push rival models in their race” to catch up to Musk’s “vision for an electric-car future” - WSJ

More Brexit fun after all these years for Britain, which on Thursday made the “embarrassing admission” that “it lacks the capacity to perform the border checks required by Brexit” and will “wave through some goods arriving at British ports from the continent until January 2022” - NYTimes and Bloomberg

The ECB announced Thursday that it will accelerate bond purchases in an effort to “contain borrowing costs that have surged amid brighter prospects for the U.S. economy.” The move puts the European central bank on a different path than the Fed, “which signaled recently that it wouldn’t seek to stem a rise in Treasury yields” - WSJ and NYTimes

Verizon has kicked off a $25 billion bond sale in an effort to help pay for 5G spectrum rights, a $45 billion venture for the wireless carrier. Early demand was strong for its offering - WSJ and MarketWatch

Because some Swiss Banks gotta Swiss Bank, Zurich’s oldest private bank—Rahn & Bodmer—has agreed to pay $22 million to resolve claims that it conspired to help “U.S. account holders file false federal tax returns and defraud the IRS by hiding hundreds of millions of dollars offshore” – Law360

That incredible bowling alley drone video that’s been dominating your social media feeds? Yeah, that’s in our backyard. Drink it in [and bonus points for a little Lebowski nod halfway through] - NYTimes

Stay safe, and have a great weekend.

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