Wednesday's Headlines: Musk Loses Title of World’s Richest Person

Wednesday's Headlines: Musk Loses Title of World’s Richest Person

Here were the biggest movers in the MyWallSt shortlist yesterday:

Moving Up ⬆️

Pinterest (PINS) +11.9%

2U (TWOU) +10.3%

Match Group (MTCH) +7.7%

DocuSign (DOCU) +7.3%

Block (SQ) +7.3%

Moving Down ⬇️

Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) -4.1%

DraftKings (DKNG) -3.8%

IMAX (IMAX) -3.5%

Copart (CPRT) -2.6%

Airbnb (ABNB) -2.3%

Musk Loses Title of World’s Richest Person 💰

Elon Musk has been ousted as the world’s richest person, with the Tesla CEO seeing his net worth tumble this year as the electric car maker’s stock has fallen significantly. Replacing him in the top spot is LVMH CEO, Bernard Arnault. The Frenchman now boasts personal holdings worth more than $170 billion thanks to his 48% ownership stake in LVMH. Musk’s fortunes, which were once as high as $340 billion, are now sitting at around $164 billion. 

Much of Musk’s recent downfall can be placed at the feet of his recent takeover of Twitter. The $44 billion acquisition was seen by many as a distraction from his other numerous roles at the head of Tesla and SpaceX, with Tesla stock in particular suffering. It was also deeply affected by the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes which have led to aggressive multiple compression in the market’s more expensive stocks. 

Arnault has long been near the top of the list of the world’s richest people, yet his vast net worth has seen much less volatility than that of his American tech counterparts. LVMH’s luxury business has hit a purple patch post-COVID after travel and shopping returned with a bang. The conglomerate boasts a stable of major brands across alcohol, fashion, and retail. 


Moderna Soars on Positive Cancer Vaccine Data 💉

Shares of Moderna climbed 20% yesterday after positive data was released on its experimental mRNA cancer vaccine. The treatment in question works in combination with Merck's immunotherapy drug Keytruda — the standard treatment for high-risk melanoma — and proved to reduce the risk of death or recurrence of melanoma in high-risk patients by 44% compared to Keytruda alone. The results of the study have spurred Moderna and Merck to pursue a phase 3 trial of the vaccine. 

The trial in question was conducted on 157 patients who had undergone melanoma-related surgery. Some were given a combination of Moderna’s mRNA vaccine and Keytruda, others were only given Keytruda. While a small sample size, the positive results have the potential to expand the treatment of the disease. Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel stated that it should be applicable beyond melanoma to other cancer types too. 

While positive now, we are still a long way out from any line of treatment becoming commercially viable. Regulators usually require a successful phase 3 trial before approving anything and the majority of successful phase 2 treatments don’t make it out of a third trial. However, the rapid advancement of mRNA technology — which teaches the body to produce an immune response to battle disease — thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine has boded well for other applications of this treatment. 


Instagram Adds New Features to Challenge BeReal 📷

Photo-sharing app Instagram is rolling out new features in an effort to compete with upstart BeReal. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, the company, which is owned by Meta, will begin testing Candid Stories this week in South Africa. The feature will give users daily notifications to take two unfiltered photos using the front and back camera lenses and share them. 

Candid Stories, many will notice, is a very similar feature to that offered by BeReal, a social media app launched in 2020 that has soared in popularity over the past year. BeReal markets itself as a more authentic alternative to Instagram and other social media platforms. 

This wouldn’t be the first time that Instagram has been accused of copying another company’s product. In 2016, following the rise of Snapchat, Instagram launched Stories — a copycat feature that many saw as a direct attack on its competitor. 

Another feature called Notes will be launched for all users this week and will show status updates from users at the top of their inbox. 

It’s been a difficult year for Meta. Changes to Apple’s tracking policies have caused chaos with the company’s traditional advertising model. Meanwhile, the new focus on virtual and augmented reality — known as the Metaverse — has failed to excite investors. 

Last week, European regulators approved a series of decision rulings that could restrict the company’s targeted advertising even further. 

Shares of Meta are currently down 64% year-to-date.