Morning Reads

Morning Reads




· Big bucks (biggest disruption since agricultural revolution)
· Good alternative (will compete for market share)
· Niche product (similar to current plant-based offerings)
· It's a scam (science is bogus and won't be affordable)

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Meet the meat

The battle is moving on from the #plantbased theater, which had seen clashes over labeling and skirmishes surrounding grocery aisle placement. Lab-grown meat is now in the crosshairs of several U.S. states, including Alabama, Arizona, Florida and Tennessee, with proposed legislation that would outlaw the protein source. Arguments in favor of a ban have cited concerns over safety and the role of ranchers, while others have called the innovation-stifling measures protectionist and want consumers to make the decision about what lands on their dinner plate.

How it's made: Billions of dollars have been poured into startups that are trying to produce cell-cultured meat, including investments from traditional producers like Cargill and Tyson (TSN). The cultured products are made using cells that come from a living animal, which grow inside bioreactors with the right dose of hormones and nutrients. U.S.-based company Eat Just won the first federal approval in June to sell cultivated meat to the public, but the backlash has been global, with a recent ban implemented in Italy that cited risks to culinary culture and food heritage.

Proponents of the emerging industry say lab-grown meat is better for the environment and will go a long way in achieving sustainability goals. It can also help satisfy the ever-increasing demand for protein, and does so humanely without the need for commercial slaughter. Producing meat in bioreactor tanks is still far more expensive than raising and processing animals, but the hope here is that the technology will get cheaper over time.

On the flip side: The scale to profitability can be challenging, especially if venture funding dries up. It's not only about affordable prices, but people will need to want to eat cultivated meat, which has been met with some hesitancy and skepticism. Is there enough research to support similar nutrition benefits? Is it really more environmentally friendly compared to biodiverse agricultural ecosystems? And are there bigger risks of safety or contamination if the product is subject to severe laboratory standards?

Baltimore cleanup

Emergency responders have started crane operations and wreckage removal on the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which collapsed last week after a cargo ship chartered by Maersk (AMKBF) (AMKBY) rammed into one of its pillars. The wreckage removal operations are being conducted by the so-called Unified Command. The bridge acts as the entryway to the Port of Baltimore, which is among the busiest for car shipments as well as farm and construction machinery. Though analysts have said the port shutdown is unlikely to have major effects on the U.S. economy, the sheer size of the port's volume makes it highly important in the supply chain. (7 comments)

Hot pursuit

Fresh statements from new Nippon Steel (OTCPK:NPSCY) President Tadashi Imai show the company is pressing ahead with its proposed $15B acquisition of U.S. Steel (X). The Japanese powerhouse, which pledged no layoffs or facility closures, is also continuing talks with the United Steelworkers union to win support for the deal. President Biden, who was endorsed by USW for a second term, previously said U.S. Steel should retain American ownership, while Donald Trump has vowed to block the transaction if elected. Automakers have also called on the Biden administration to oppose any effort by Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF) to buy U.S. Steel amid antitrust concerns.

Data breach

Telecom giant AT&T (T) has notified customers about a data set released on the dark web that relates to 7.6M current account holders and around 65.4M former subscribers. It is not yet known if the data-specific fields, which were leaked two weeks ago, originated from the company or one of its vendors. The hack included personal information such as social security numbers, as well as passcodes and possibly other data. AT&T, which has launched an investigation supported by internal and external cybersecurity experts, said the incident has not yet had a material impact on its operations. (92 comments)

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -1.4%. Hong Kong closed. China +1.2%. India +0.5%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.3%. Paris flat. Frankfurt +0.2%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.4%. Nasdaq +0.5%. Crude -0.2% to $82.98. Gold +1.4% to $2,269.40. Bitcoin -1% to $69,580.
Ten-year Treasury Yield unchanged at 4.21%.

Today's Economic Calendar

9:45 PMI Manufacturing Index
10:00 ISM Manufacturing Index
10:00 Construction Spending
6:50 PM Fed's Cook Speech

Companies reporting earnings today »

What else is happening...

Disney (DIS) board fight heats up as CalPERS backs Peltz, Rasulo.

Will Microsoft (MSFT) and OpenAI unveil a $100B data center project?

Consumer credit: Delinquencies are on the rise, but trends diverge.

Spirit (SAVE) could get $200M for Pratt & Whitney engine defect.

MicroStrategy among most squeezable as crypto short interest climbs.

China's manufacturing PMI at 13-month high amid robust demand.

U.S. CDC warns that bacteria causing meningitis are on the rise.

Microsoft (MSFT)-backed startup Rubrik said to prepare IPO filing.

BofA: Lightly-regulated techs may be a tempting target for government.

S&P 500 real estate stocks (SP500-60) (XLRE) see negative returns in Q1.

Known to most as Uranium Pinto Beans, Jason has more than 15 years under his belt of trading stocks, options and currencies. His expertise primarily lies in chart analysis, and he has a strong eye for undervalued stock. Because he’s got the ability to identify great risk/reward trades he usually enjoys taking the path less traveled and reaping the benefits from the adventure.

He is a co-founder of Option Millionaires, and he is best known for his weekly webinars with Scott, as well as his high level training webinars and charts found in the forums.

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