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Short-seller accuses GM-backed Nikola Motors of being intricate fraud – Fox Business



Nikola Corp. conned its way into a partnership with General Motors Co. to build its Badger pickup truck, according to new accusations from short-seller Hindenburg Research.

“We believe Nikola is an intricate fraud built on dozens of lies over the course of its Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton’s career,” Hindenburg wrote in a report released Thursday, citing phone calls, text messages, emails and photographs.

Startups such as Nikola, which rejected Hindenburg’s claims, are more vulnerable to short-sellers since they lack a long track record on which investors can make judgments.

The sharp surge in the company’s shares after the GM deal was announced may have exacerbated that, widening potential profits from bets that the shares would fall.

“We have never seen this level of deception at a public company, especially of this size,” Hindenburg contended.


Short-sellers often publish negative claims about a company in order to drive down its share price and boost their own profits. Hindenburg said it took a short position in Nikola after conducting “extensive research.”

Shares of the Phoenix-based electric truck maker plunged by as much as 13% following the report’s release, before slightly paring their losses.

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Milton, the Nikola founder, called the report a “hit job” and said it was done to “slam” shares of the company which had seen its market capitalization soar to $16.06 billion at Wednesday’s close, up from $340.86 million on June 3, the day of its Nasdaq debut.

“Nikola has been vetted by some of the world’s most credible companies and investors,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “We are on a path to success and will not waver based on a report filled with misleading information attempting to manipulate our stock.”

Hindenburg, meanwhile, attributes the surge in Nikola’s market value to Milton misleading partners about the company’s proprietary technology.

Nikola announced last year announced it would revolutionize the industry with an acquisition that would help produce a battery cell less than half the weight and cost of the lithium-ion batteries used by competitors.

The deal fell through after Nikola realized the technology was still a concept and after discovering the company’s president was earlier indicted on a charge of using his NASA expense account to hire prostitutes, according to Hindenburg.

Nikola never took back its claims and instead Milton continued to hype the technology, Hindenburg said. Milton has made numerous other claims about its technologies that Hindenburg claims are false.

Now, Nikola will use General Motors’ battery technology as part of the agreement that was reached on Tuesday. The arrangement said GM will receive $2 billion of newly issued stock, or an 11% stake, for helping build battery-electric and fuel cell-electric models of Nikola’s Badger pickup truck.


“We are fully confident in the value we will create by working together,” a GM spokesperson said in a statement. “We stand by the statements we made in announcing the relationship.”

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Apple CEO Cook awarded stock grants with current valuation of up to $114 million – MarketWatch





said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it will give its chief executive, Tim Cook, stock currently valued at $114 million. The biggest portion of the restricted stock is eligible for distribution on Oct. 1, 2023, and is based on Apple shareholder performance between fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2023. Cook also is due to receive further grants in April 2023, April 2024 and April 2025. Apple stock ended Tuesday down 87 cents to $114.09, but has surged 55% this year.

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Resilience among American consumers continues to be the fall’s biggest theme: Morning Brief – Yahoo Finance




Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Get the Morning Brief sent directly to your inbox every Monday to Friday by 6:30 a.m. ET. 


Consumer confidence surges in September

The U.S. consumer will not let up.

On Tuesday, The Conference Board’s latest monthly data on consumer confidence surged past expectations, registering a reading of 101.8 against expectations for a reading of 90 and up from 86.3 in August. September’s gain marked the largest one-month jump in this index since 2003.

Affirming once again that U.S. consumers continue to be more resilient than many economists feared as we wrap up the second month without additional stimulus after the CARES Act expired at the beginning of August.

“Consumer Confidence increased sharply in September, after back-to-back monthly declines, but remains below pre-pandemic levels,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

“A more favorable view of current business and labor market conditions, coupled with renewed optimism about the short-term outlook, helped spur this month’s rebound in confidence. Consumers also expressed greater optimism about their short-term financial prospects, which may help keep spending from slowing further in the months ahead.”

This report follows data that shows consumer spending holding up fairly well during September once noise from Labor Day normalized.

And reveals that amid some indications the economic recovery had slowed in September, consumers don’t see a deceleration in the rate of recovery as the sign of a dimmed outlook.

“The rising exuberance is surprising given the recent moderation in employment conditions, slowing momentum in the overall economy, great uncertainty surrounding the prospect of an additional fiscal stimulus package, and the nationwide uptick in Covid-19 infections,” said Kathy Bostjancic, chief U.S. financial economist at Oxford Economics.

Consumer confidence, however, is still well below levels that prevailed pre-pandemic. At 101.8, the headline consumer confidence index is still significantly below February’s reading of 133.6. The report’s present situations index is also sitting at 98.5, well below the 169.3 posted back in February.

But overall, this data continues the theme we discussed in Tuesday’s Morning Brief, which explored lowered expectations for economic growth on account of no new stimulus while economists still noted that the economy has performed better than had been expected back in the summer.

Through much of June and July, the expiration of the CARES Act was seen as a “benefits cliff” that threatened to derail a still-fragile recovery. And indeed, this risk still exists. But so far, evidence that no additional stimulus would be a death knell for continuing the economy’s recovery is scant.

And makes headlines like those on Tuesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed a new stimulus package a potential bonus to this recovery rather than a necessary condition.

By Myles Udland, reporter and co-anchor of The Final Round. Follow him at @MylesUdland

What to watch today


  • 7:00 a.m. ET: MBA Mortgage Applications, week ended September 25 (6.8% during prior week)

  • 8:15 a.m. ET: ADP Employment Change, September (650,000 expected, 428,000 in August)

  • 8:30 a.m. ET: GDP Annualized Quarter-on-Quarter, second quarter third revision (-31.7% expected, -31.7% in prior print)

  • 8:30 a.m. ET: Personal Consumption, second quarter third revision (-34.1% expected, -34.1% in prior print)

  • 8:30 a.m. ET: Core Personal Consumption Expenditures Quarter-on-Quarter, second quarter third revision (-1.0% expected, -1.0% in prior print)

  • 9:45 a.m. ET: MNI Chicago PMI, September (52.0 expected, 51.2 in August)

  • 10:00 a.m. ET: Pending Home Sales, August month-on-month (3.2% expected, 5.9% in July)

Top News

Stock market investors cautious after first Trump-Biden debate [Yahoo Finance UK]

Disney to lay off about 28,000 parks employees due to coronavirus hit [Reuters]

NextEra Energy made takeover approach to Duke: WSJ [Reuters]

Apple gives Tim Cook up to a million shares that vest through 2025 [Bloomberg]


A powerful source of job creation is on a record-breaking upswing

More stimulus is key to Trump’s re-election  

Airline, hotel industry reps both say their rebound depends on the return of business travel

Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, SmartNews, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.

Find live stock market quotes and the latest business and finance news

For tutorials and information on investing and trading stocks, check out Cashay

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SpaceXs Starlink in action: Internet satellites keep emergency workers online amid wildfires – ZDNet




It’s emerged that SpaceX’s Starlink satellites have been delivering internet services since early August to the Washington state military’s emergency management unit helping residents recover from recent wildfires.

As noted by CNBC, providing services to Washington emergency responders is the first publicly known application of the satellite broadband service.   

SpaceX is currently conducting private Starlink beta trials with residents in some parts of northern US and lower Canada, including remote communities in Washington state, Starlink revealed in an FAQ posted on Reddit in July

SEE: Network security policy (TechRepublic Premium)

The Washington emergency division has been using seven Starlink user terminals, which SpaceX Elon Musk has previously described as like a “UFO on a stick”, with a skyward-facing disk that measures 48cm, or 19 inches, in diameter.  

Musk has previously described the end-user terminals as being as easy to set up as “point at sky and just plug in“. 

Richard Hall, the emergency telecommunications leader of the Washington State Military Department’s IT division, appears to confirm Musk’s claim. 

“I have never set up any tactical satellite equipment that has been as quick to set up and anywhere near as reliable [as Starlink],” Hall told CNBC. 

Hall also suggested Starlink was superior to other satellite broadband services his unit has used previously. Starlink satellites orbit Earth at an altitude of about 500km, or 311 miles, far closer to Earth than traditional conventional satellite broadband services. 

According to Hall, Starlink offers double the bandwidth of other services and said he’d seen more than 150% decreases in latency. “I’ve seen lower than 30 millisecond latency consistently,” he said. 

That’s a pretty good third-party reference for Starlink, which has faced doubts from the Federal Communications Commission as to whether it can deliver round-trip latencies below the 50ms that it has claimed in an FCC application to launch 30,000 satellites. In fact, Hall’s experience is closer to the 20ms Musk has previously claimed

SpaceX needs to prove to the FCC it can deliver a low-latency service to optimize its chances of securing part of the FCC’s up-to $16bn Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) to bring broadband to six million homes and businesses with current speeds below 25Mbps. 

SEE: Starlink starts to deliver on its satellite internet promise

But SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation of fewer than 800 Starlink satellites is just a fraction of the 12,000 satellites it has been approved by the FCC to launch.      

Hall said it took between five and 10 minutes to set up and connect a Starlink terminal compared with other satellite ground units. 

Musk responded to WA Emergency Management’s tweet disclosing its use of Starlink satellites, saying that SpaceX was “prioritizing emergency responders and locations with no internet connectivity at all”. 

According to Hall, Washington’s Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency are also interested in trialing Starlink satellite broadband services. 

In a recent presentation in aid of its RDOF application, SpaceX showed internet performance tests with download speeds of between 102Mbps to 103Mbps, upload speeds of 40.5Mbps to not quite 42Mbps, and a latency of 18 milliseconds to 19 milliseconds. 

It’s still early days for SpaceX’s Starlink ambitions. The company has applied to the FCC to deploy five million end-user terminals in the US, but it is currently only “on track to produce thousands of consumer user terminals per month”. 

SpaceX is scheduled to launch another batch of 60 satellites on Friday, October 2 at 9:43pm EDT. This launch marks its 13th Starlink mission and should nudge its total satellite count to over 800, which Musk has said is required for moderate coverage of North America. 

More on Elon Musk’s SpaceX and internet-beaming satellites

  • Starlink starts to deliver on its satellite internet promise  
  • SpaceX applies for rural broadband funding, gets ready for next Starlink launch  
  • Elon Musk’s SpaceX: We now want to bring Starlink internet from space to 5 million in US  
  • Amazon vs Elon Musk’s SpaceX: Bezos’ internet from space plan moves a step closer  
  • SpaceX Starlink internet-beaming satellite service takes next step for beta test  
  • SpaceX Starlink threat? Democrats propose $100bn US-wide fiber broadband project  
  • SpaceX: We’ve launched 32,000 Linux computers into space for Starlink internet  
  • New SpaceX launch: Starlink closes in on 800 internet-beaming satellite target for US service  
  • Elon Musk: SpaceX’s public beta of internet from space service coming by fall 2020  
  • New SpaceX launch: Starlink now has 360 internet-beaming satellites, as US service nears  
  • Coronavirus: SpaceX internet-beaming rival OneWeb files for bankruptcy over COVID-19  
  • Elon Musk: SpaceX’s internet from space should be good enough for online gaming  
  • Internet from space: Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches 60 new satellites for US service  
  • Elon Musk’s SpaceX warned: Your internet-beaming satellites disrupt astronomy  
  • Elon Musk’s internet from space: 60 new SpaceX satellites bring US service closer  
  • Amazon’s big internet plan: 3,236 satellites to beam faster, cheaper web to millions
  • Elon Musk: 70 percent chance I’ll move to Mars
  • SpaceX launch certification faces Pentagon review
  • SpaceX authorised to reduce number of satellites
  • SpaceX approved to send over 7,000 satellites into orbit
  • Jeff Bezos reveals design of Blue Origin’s future rocket, New Glenn
  • Why wireless ISPs are still necessary in the age of 5G TechRepublic
  • Elon Musk mocks Jeff Bezos’ Blue Moon lander in cheeky tweet CNET
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