Good morning, Quartz readers!
Here’s what you need to know
Elon Musk sold $4 billion in Tesla shares. Most of the sales took place on Tuesday (April 26), precipitating a plunge in the EV company’s stock price, shortly after the announcement of his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter. (See more below.)
The US economy shrank. But the GDP decline doesn’t tell the whole story—demand for goods was strong and imports to the US rose, though exports didn’t keep up due to supply chain constraints.
Amazon reported its first quarterly loss since 2015. Otherwise, US stocks rose on promising Big Tech earnings: Meta’s better-than-expected earnings helped fuel the rally, while Apple said revenue rose $97 billion—its third-best performance in history.
Beijing’s lockdown intensified. The city ordered the closure of more businesses and residential areas today, as fears grow of restrictions as bad as Shanghai’s.
Russia’s Gazprom reported a record net profit. The state-owned energy company earned $29 billion in 2021, but said it expects gas output to fall by 4% this year as sanctions continue.
What to watch for
US gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 1.4% on Thursday, as exports lagged behind imports. Covid lockdowns in China and the war in Ukraine may be weighing down on imports of raw materials that are critical for manufactured goods.
We’ll see a more global—hemispheric?—picture today when Germany, France, Italy, and Spain all report their GDP numbers. Each of these countries has lowered its expectations for economic growth in 2022 because of the war in Ukraine. This past week, Germany’s economic ministry slashed its projection from 3.6% to 2.2% for the year. Earlier in April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its projection for global growth from 4.4% to 3.6%.
It remains to be seen whether these looks at first-quarter GDP will cause that estimate to move one way or the other.
Musk’s other companies
What does Elon Musk’s attempt to acquire Twitter mean for SpaceX and Tesla?
🚀 SpaceX: Just six months ago, Musk warned his rocket company’s staff that bankruptcy was a possibility if they didn’t hit a key deadline. Regulatory limbo makes that outcome likely, which means, as Musk admitted, the privately held SpaceX will need more capital. Pursuing a multibillion-dollar Twitter deal could affect his ability to find it. One possibility: a faster-than-expected spin-out of Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet network.
🚗 Tesla: Shareholders at Tesla, Musk’s publicly traded electric car firm, are clearly concerned about the Twitter transaction: Tesla’s share price fell more than 10% after the deal. Musk has put up his stock in the automaker as collateral for Twitter. Investors may be worried that he could lose control of Tesla if he faces a margin call on that loan.
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