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CNBC Daily Open: Musk Threatens Apple Ban

CNBC Daily Open: Musk Threatens Apple Ban

This report is from today’s CNBC Daily Open, our international markets newsletter. CNBC Daily Open brings investors up to speed on everything they need to know, no matter where they are. Like what you see? You can subscribe here.

What you need to know today

Fresh records
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite inched to record highs ahead of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision. Technology stocks Nvidia, Meta and Microsoft boosted the indexes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 69 points. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose as investors await guidance from the central bank on the outlook for inflation and the economy. U.S. oil prices jumped 3% after Goldman Sachs predicted a supply deficit as demand for fuel increases during the summer. 

Apple ban threat
Elon Musk threatened to ban Apple devices from his companies after Appleannounced a partnership with OpenAI. Musk called the integration “an unacceptable security violation” and questioned Apple’s ability to ensure user protection. However, Apple clarified that it uses its own AI and the OpenAI integration is optional, assuring users their data will not be logged.

 Another no
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System will vote against Elon Musk’s revised pay package at Tesla, Chief Investment Officer Chris Ailman told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” Ailman criticized the “ridiculous” compensation, which is 140 times the average worker’s pay. Despite opposition from major shareholders, including Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, Ailman stated CalSTRS won’t sell its Tesla shares but believes the stock’s valuation is too high. Ailman suggested Musk should focus on one of his ventures and let professional managers handle Tesla’s daily operations.

Elliott targets Southwest
Activist investor Elliott Management has acquired a $1.9 billion stake in Southwest Airlines, sending shares up 7%. Elliott intends to push for leadership changes at the airline, which has faced challenges including delays in Boeing 737 Max deliveries, shifting travel demand, and a holiday meltdown in 2022. Southwest is exploring new revenue strategies but has seen its stock decline by more than 50% in the past three years, compared to smaller drops or gains for rivals.

Asia mixed, Taiwan hits high
Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed as investors looked to the Fed for guidance on the state of the world’s biggest economy. The Taiwan Weighted index hit a record high, before paring back gains, as technology and utility stocks rose. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dived 1.67% and mainland China’s CSI 300 index fell 1.2%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.33% and South Korea’s Kospirebounded from Monday’s losses, inching up 0.23%.

[PRO] A unique Nvidia proxy
Morgan Stanley identified an international fabless chip designer as its latest top pick, calling it a “unique Nvidia proxy.” The company is the exclusive supplier of a key component for the tech giant’s AI graphics processing unit.

The bottom line

Another day and another big Tesla shareholder has come out against Elon Musk’s $56 billion compensation package. California State Teachers’ Retirement System Chief Investment Officer Chris Ailman told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” “This pay package is ridiculous.”

Over the weekend, Norway’s $1.7 trillion sovereign wealth fund said it was also opposed to the pay deal. To which Elon Musk responded on X: “This is not cool... So far, roughly 90% of retail shareholders who have voted have voted in favor of both resolutions. The public sentiment is unequivocally supportive.” 

The second resolution Musk mentioned involves reincorporating Tesla in Texas after a Delaware court invalidated his initial pay deal, citing concerns about the board’s independence from Musk. 

Steve Westly, a former Tesla board member, in an interview with CNBC last week acknowledged Musk’s achievements but questioned the timing of the pay proposal, given Tesla’s recent slowdown in growth and profitability. Westly also questioned the feasibility of Tesla’s ambitious goals, such as the $25,000 car and full self-driving technology. 

“Elon has done an extraordinary job. He’s built one of the transformational companies of this age. But as for the $55 billion pay increase at precisely the time you have missed quarterly numbers, growth is slowing down and you have laid off 15% of the workforce. I’d say it’s hubris, to say the least,” he said. 

The vote will take place on Thursday. 

Monday was the day Apple staked its claim in the artificial intelligence universe, with what it calls Apple Intelligence. Siri received a powerful AI upgrade and can now tap into OpenAI’s ChatGPT. On the lighter side, Apple users can use AI to generate personalized emoji. 

Apple’s shares fell 1.9%, but that’s not necessarily a negative. In fact, CNBC’s Fred Imbert found that the stock typically falls on the day of CEO Tim Cook’s keynote speeches, declining in eight of the past 10 years. 

In general, Wall Street was up ahead of the Fed’s rate decision on Wednesday. Despite a strong May jobs report, UBS is still pricing in two rate cuts this year, starting in September.

“Overall, we keep our view that the US economy is slowing,” the Wall Street bank said. To that end, UBS recommended investors stick to quality bonds and technology stocks. 

— CNBC’s Jesse Pound, Lisa Kailai Han, Sarah Min, Fred Imbert, Todd Haselton, Leslie Josephs, Annika Kim Constantino, Spencer Kimball and Lim Hui Jie contributed to this report.

Source: CNBC