The US stock markets closed mixed on Wednesday as investors keenly followed the developments around vaccination efforts across the world and the impact this would have on the global economic recovery.
The Dow Jones closed 0.29% higher led by Verizon which was up 5.24%. The Nasdaq 100 lost 0.54% as the S&P 500 closed with 0.03% in the red.
Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway on Tuesday disclosed its investments in a regulatory filing, where it announced two new big investments: $8.6 billion worth of Verizon Communication shares and $4.1 billion in Chevron Corp.
Berkshire filings also show that the company no longer reports stakes in JPMorgan Chase & Co., PNC Bank and Pfizer pharma company.
Buffet’s company also trimmed its investments in Apple by 6% to 887 million shares, as well as in General Motors by 9% to 72.5 million shares.
Berkshire Hathaway also revealed the acquisition of a 33% stake in kidney dialysis services company DaVita. The stake is equivalent to 36,095,570 shares in DaVita.
Citibank loses bid to recover $500M wired by mistake
A US federal judge on Tuesday ruled against Citigroup’s efforts to recover over $500 Million mistakenly sent to a number of asset managers, allowing them to keep the erroneous payments.
In August 2020, Citi intended to send the funds interest payments of less than $8m on a loan made in 2016 to finance Revlon’s acquisition of rival Elizabeth Arden. Citigroup wired a total of $893 million to Revlon lenders, the entire principal and all outstanding interest.
According to media reports, Citi bank described this as an “operational error”. The bank quickly moved to retrieve the funds, but most of the funds refused to co-operate, leading to a legal battle over some $500m of the payments that were not returned. The bank has recovered the remaining $400m.
Baidu, Inc Earnings
Chinese multinational technology company Baidu, Inc. announced on Wednesday that its total revenues for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 rose by 5% to $4.6 billion.
It said that for full fiscal 2020, revenues were $16.4 billion and net income surged 992% year on year to $3.4 billion.
“Baidu ended 2020 on a solid note with our business benefiting from improving macroeconomic environment and the digitalization of industrial Internet. Our focus on innovation through technology is paying off with Baidu Core non-marketing revenue growing 52% year over year in the fourth quarter,” CEO Robin Li stated in a statement on its website.
Palantir Technologies posted its fourth-quarter earnings results on Tuesday with revenue jumping 40% to reach $322 million. Palantir’s full-year revenue soared a significantly 47% to $1.09 billion.
In its five-year outlook, Palantir said that it expects revenue of $4 billion or more in 2025, with revenue growth of 45% in the first quarter of 2021.
Ford to electrify all European models by 2026
Ford Motor Co. has announced plans to offer only electric vehicles by 2026 in Europe, and only EVs by 2030.
To accomplish this, the automaker is investing $1 billion to convert its manufacturing plant in Cologne, Germany to produce electric cars. The first new model is set to go into production in 2023, the company said.
“We successfully restructured Ford of Europe and returned to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2020. Now we are charging into an all-electric future in Europe with expressive new vehicles and a world-class connected customer experience,” President of Ford’s European division Stuart Rowley said.