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March 3: Billionaires sell Billions stocks, Apple cancels electric cars, Warren Buffett hits record (Recap Ep267)

In this recap, signs of consistent strength in consumer spending persisted, with the NASDAQ achieving its first record close in over two years. NVIDIA, for the first time, reached a market capitalization of $2 trillion, experiencing a 66% surge in its stock value in 2024 and a 244% increase year-over-year. Investors continue to favor mega-cap technology stocks as a hedge against slowing inflation.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency news saw Bitcoin reaching a fresh high of $64,000 on Wednesday before retracing, marking its highest level since November 15, 2021. Additionally, it surged by 21.54% on Friday, hitting record highs in a dozen other currencies.

In commodities, the world’s largest chocolatier, “Barry Callebaut,” announced a significant workforce reduction of about 19%, affecting 2,500 jobs. Meanwhile, cocoa prices reached record highs for nine consecutive days, reflecting supply concerns. Financial and banking news revealed that despite reported growth of $334 billion in Q4, US GDP expansion came at the cost of adding $834 billion in debt. The US national debt reached $34.4 trillion on Wednesday, increasing by approximately $1 trillion every 100 days.

In economic news, India’s economy outpaced expectations in Q4, growing at its fastest pace in six quarters with a growth rate of 7.6%. Conversely, China’s manufacturing activity contracted for the fifth consecutive month in February. Corporate developments included Google’s parent company suffering a $70 billion loss in market value in a single trading day following an incident involving a controversial AI chatbot. The CEO of Kellogg’s suggested that low-income individuals should consider eating cereal for dinner to save money. On a positive note, Warren Buffet, at 93, continues to lead Berkshire Hathaway, which posted its second straight record annual profit. Berkshire’s annual operating profit climbed by 21% to $37.4 billion, surpassing analysts’ expectations.

In the realm of technology, Telegram announced plans to share 50% of ad revenue with channel owners. Apple canceled its plans to build an electric car and is focusing on generative AI. Elon Musk sued OpenAI for breach of contract. Investment news highlighted the Walton family’s sale of over $1.5 billion worth of Walmart stock, along with notable figures like Bezos, Zuckerberg, Dimon, and Gates also selling significant amounts of stocks as the market hits record highs. Internationally, agricultural ministers from the EU convened in Brussels to address the crisis as farmers blocked border crossings between Poland and Germany. Sanctuary cities in the US are facing financial pressure due to the recent surge of illegal migrants, with cities like Chicago and NYC imposing restrictions on busing migrants from the South. Many experts argue for more federal assistance to ensure these cities can cope with the influx of migrants. NYC, for example, received $145 million, less than 10% of what it spent on migrant services in fiscal 2023.

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