Happy Friday! The world is probably celebrating this weekend by “retiring” - top business leaders are stepping down, so is the Internet Explorer. 😂
Morning Wrap your day:
- Was yesterday the world resignation day? From ByteDance, Apollo, JP Morgan to Morgan Stanley..
- Farewell to the Internet Explorer.
- Is the economy back to normal? US jobless claims + Eurozone inflation risk?
Wall Street rebounded led by tech shares after the job data (see story below). Gains in Apple Inc. and Tesla Inc. helped the Nasdaq 100 rally past its 50-day moving average.
- US called for a 15% global minimum corporate tax, less than the 21% - what Biden proposed as global income tax for US firms.
European stocks rebounded on upbeat earnings and chip M&A activity.
- Oslo-listed chipmaker Nordic Semiconductor jumped 9.8% after a report saying Franco-Italian rival STMicroelectronics offered to buy it...though Nordic Semiconductor said it had “no knowledge” of any takeover interest from the latter.
Asia: China stocks ended mixed, as gains in financial firms offset losses in resources companies after Chinese government vowed to stabilize commodities prices. Hong Kong stocks also retreated, dragged down by the resources sector.
Step Down Together
Source: Morning Wrap
Plenty of companies announced their leaders’ plan of stepping down on Thursday. Did they agree to do so on the same day? 🤔
Let’s start with the most shocking one - ByteDance
+ In case you are less familiar with the name ByteDance: it’s the owner of the valuable short video app TikTok.
Yesterday morning, ByteDance’s founder and CEO Yiming Zhang suddenly announced his plan of stepping down and handing over the chair to co-founder (and his university classmate) Rubo Liang. Zhang regards the role of CEO as a hurdle to his research & innovation interests.
- Following his step down at the end of 2021, Zhang will move to a “key strategy” role and stay away from day-to-day management.
This is truly surprising…but why? Zhang is only 38 years old while owning 20%+ of Bytedance. If he remains in office, Bytedance’s upcoming IPO will make him China’s wealthiest + one of the most impactful CEOs. 😲
- Yet some investors view this as a smart choice under the local antitrust environment… following the stepping down of many other tech founders (including Jack Ma).
👉 We seldom have chances to read others’ resignation letters. So why not grab the chance and read Zhang’s full resignation letter here?
Apollo: missing out on CEO?
Josh Harris, co-founder of the private equity giant Apollo, also announced to step down on the same day. He will officially leave the firm in 2022 after completing the Athene deal and transforming Apollo into a USD 30 bln PE giant.
- Investors suspect that it’s because he missed out Apollo’s CEO role months ago, so he just decided to leave the firm. 🧐
JP Morgan/Morgan Stanley: succession on the way 🏃
The CEO of both JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley will retire soon - Jamie Damon (CEO of JPM, aged 65) by this year and James Gorman (CEO of MS, aged 62) in 3 years. 👴🏻 So both banks elevated a batch of senior management and let them compete for the chief role.
Bye, Internet Explorer
Source: Quire, Morning Wrap
Microsoft finally decided to take its “most hated product” Internet Explorer down, after 26 years of services...and its “stopped-working” crashes. 🤦
Remember, it was once a monopoly
Back to 1995 - when Microsoft first released IE, it was a hit 🔥to the browser market. IE once took 95% of the global browser market share, followed by tons of bugs, outdated technology… before it was finally overtaken by Chrome and Firefox.
- Top 3 browsers as of today: Chrome (65%), Safari (10%) and Microsoft Edge (8%)... IE is nowhere.
Most of us don’t even want to recall our unpleasant experience of using IE - it’s loading forever. 🤷
+ What will happen next?
Starting from Jun. 15, 2022, Microsoft will cease supporting IE on all Windows 10. Instead, its new browser Edge will carry forward an “IE mode” to continue work with many other out-of-date corporate software.
Farewell to the IE-era 👋
How’s It Going?
Source: The Press-Enterprise
Inflation and employment have been the stars of the recent shows. ✨ US just released its latest jobless claims data - falling to a new pandemic low, as business restrictions were lifted and more people are vaccinated and returned to work.
Glad to hear that.👏Does that mean its economy is back to normal?
Not yet. Although the Initial claims decreased more than expected to 444,000 last week (estimates: 450,000), and some Republican states even plan to end the extra USD300 weekly jobless benefits early, the level of claims is still significantly higher than pre-pandemic level (at around 200k).
So, still a long way to go to reach a full recovery.
Then..is the news welcomed by investors?
Yes, tech stocks led a rebound in US equities after the data release. With inflation concerns mounting, this report shows that the recovery is right on the track, while we’re still “a ways away from where we were pre-pandemic”.
- This would leave some space for the central bank before scaling back the massive bond purchase program.
On the European side..Eurozone producer price rises
...and ECB's chief economist said that is not inflation risk. “These are shortages” - caused by supply chain disruptions such as chip shortage etc.
- This is an indication that ECB is determined to maintain the loose monetary policy even if inflation exceeds the target later this year.
What’s Moving in the Business World?
🥳 Let’s stop fighting! Israel and the Hamas group that rules Gaza implemented a cease-fire early Friday to end an 11-day conflict. This sparked wide celebrations in Palestinian cities. (more)
🧊 The deal put on ice over sanctions: The European Parliament voted to freeze the EU-China investment deal. (more)
🖥 How many virtual events you have attended? Zoom sees virtual events as the next growth area and to launch a new platform for companies to host virtual events. (more)
💸 It’s necessary to spend more. Tencent pledged to sharply increase its investment this year after recording a 25% increase in 1Q revenue, joining Alibaba in the spending spree as competition intensifies. (more)
🥛 Oat milk’s show time: Oatly’s stocks climbed 30% in its trading debut on Nasdaq. (more)
✈️ We miss our travelers. Singapore Airlines posts a record annual loss. Only 13.4% of passenger seats were filled last year. (more)