After the Dow broke through the 30,000 barrier, other new peaks are being scaled. Bitcoin is trading past $19,000 for the first time since 2017, while Tesla is nearing a $500bn stock market value. The M&A boom is stepping up the pace with Bertelsmann eyeing a ‘Random’ merger with Simon & Schuster and fellow publisher Future buying Go Compare’s owner for £594m. In banking, Virgin Money hopes that its bad debt charge has peaked at £501m. In engineering, Melrose Industries has issued an upbeat trading update.
FIGHTING AN HISTORIC HEALTH BATTLE
A former US health chief says the nation is ‘in the middle of the fight of the century,’ while American retailers also fear a ‘shipageddon,’ At home, PPE price rises have cost UK taxpayers an extra £10bn and now the world’s top latex glove maker is itself being hit by COVID-19.
ON A DOWNWARD TRAJECTORY
Some peaks have passed. The FTSE 100 is down, awaiting news of the £4.3bn support package in Rishi Sunak’s spending review, President Macron is scaling back France’s lockdown and Babcock International’s profits have fallen. A leaked Cabinet Office report says Britain is facing a systemic economic crisis, while the car industry claims a no-deal Brexit would cost it £55bn. The AA is accepting a return to private equity ownership and Debenhams may close up to 60 stores.
A bizarre ‘space oddity’ monolith has appeared in the Utah mountains. Justin Trudeau has been pranked by a fake Greta Thunberg, while an Australian hedge fund has collapsed after falling for a Zoom scam. Meanwhile, a new survey is trying to kid everyone that British voices are sexier than French accents.