Top US stocks to watch before the bell: Fox, Beyond Meat and Moderna

The UK starts rolling out Moderna’s vaccine, Fox Corp starts legal proceedings against Flutter, Amazon voices its support for higher corporation taxes, Beyond Meat opens a new facility in China, Carnival extends its pause on US cruises, and AppLovin targets a $30 billion IPO valuation.

USA (1)

Fox Corp

Fox Corp has initiated legal action against Flutter Entertainment over the price it should pay the London-listed firm for a stake in US gambling outfit FanDuel.

Fox has the right to purchase an 18.6% stake in FanDuel from Flutter in July this year and wants to pay a similar price to what Flutter paid a year ago, but the London-based company argues the price should be considerably higher because FanDuel’s prospects have improved markedly since the US gambling market has been opened up.

Flutter has pondered spinning FanDuels off to try and lift its valuation by separating it from its less prospective European operations and the spat with Fox could force it to list the company to determine its true value.

Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat has opened its new plant-based meat manufacturing facility near Shanghai in China, representing its first end-to-end production facility outside the US.

The new site will predominantly produce plant-based replacements for pork and produce goods specifically catered to the market. Beyond Meat entered the China a year ago through a partnership with Starbucks and is now working with other well known brands in the country like KFC, Pizza Hut and a number of Chinese brands.

Moderna

Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine started to be distributed in the UK on Wednesday, making it the third jab to be approved in the country alongside those made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

The UK has ordered around 17 million doses, enough to vaccinate 8.5 million people. The introduction of the Moderna jab will help propel the country toward its ambition to give all adults their first dose by the end of July.

Tesla

Tesla has tried to alleviate fears about privacy in China by posting that the cameras in its cars are not activated outside of North America, following reports that officials are growing concerned that the US company’s vehicles could be used for spying.

The Chinese military banned Tesla vehicles from entering complexes last month over security concerns, according to Reuters.

Amazon

Jeff Bezos, the boss of Amazon, has said the company supports higher corporation taxes if it can fund president Joe Biden’s plan to invest trillions into US infrastructure.

‘We support the Biden Administration’s focus on making bold investments in American infrastructure. Both Democrats and Republicans have supported infrastructure in the past, and it’s the right time to work together to make this happen,’ Bezos said on Twitter.

‘We recognise this investment will require concessions from all sides - both on the specifics of what’s included as well as how it gets paid for (we’re supportive of a rise in the corporate tax rate),’ he added.

Carnival

Carnival said it has had to extend the pause on all cruises from US ports until the start of July because of a lack of guidance from officials. The cruise operator said the pause would now run until the end of June and that customers have been notified.

‘We know that this is very disappointing to our guests who continue to be eager to sail, and we remain committed to working with the Administration and the CDC to find a workable solution that best serves the interest of public health. We are asking that the cruise industry be treated on par with the approach being taken with other travel and tourism sectors, as well as U.S. society at large,’ said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

‘While we have not made plans to move Carnival Cruise Line ships outside of our U.S. homeports, we may have no choice but to do so in order to resume our operations which have been on 'pause' for over a year. We appreciate the continued patience and support from our loyal guests, travel advisors and business partners as we work on a return-to-service solution,’ she added.

Nokia

Nokia has settled a patent battle with Lenovo Group, drawing a line under a dispute that has lasted for several years over Lenovo’s use of video-compression technology across the world.

The terms of the agreement between the two firms have not been disclosed and the pair said they hope this will allow them to work together in the future as they pursue opportunities in areas like 5G.

AppLovin

AppLovin, the mobile app and gaming company, is aiming for a valuation of over $30 billion through its IPO onto the Nasdaq this year. The company said it is planning to offer 25 million shares priced at $75 to $85 each to raise over $2.1 billion.

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