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Microsoft Takes Non-Voting, Observer Role on OpenAI Board as Altman Assumes Leadership

Microsoft is set to assume a non-voting, observer role on OpenAI’s board, as stated by CEO Sam Altman in his first official communication after re-assuming leadership on Wednesday.

This observer status grants Microsoft’s representative access to confidential board meetings and information but doesn’t entail voting rights, particularly in matters such as director elections or selections.

Previously, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who had brought Altman to Microsoft post his departure from OpenAI, had expressed the need for governance reforms within the ChatGPT creator.

OpenAI recently unveiled its initial board, appointing former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor as chair and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers as members. Adam D’Angelo, Quora’s CEO, originally part of the board that dismissed Altman, continued as a member of the new board.

The revamped OpenAI board actively seeks six new members with expertise spanning technology, safety, and policy. Reports from Reuters suggest that investors in OpenAI are unlikely to secure seats on the non-profit’s board.

Having committed to investing over $10 billion in OpenAI and holding a 49% ownership stake, Microsoft is a major investor in the company. However, the company has not responded immediately to requests for comments.

Mira Murati, formerly OpenAI’s chief technology officer and briefly interim CEO after Altman’s departure, resumes the role of the company’s CTO.

Altman’s sudden ousting on November 17 without a clear explanation caused concern among investors and employees. His reinstatement four days later came with the promise of a new board.

In the wake of these changes, Altman announced that co-founder Greg Brockman, who had left the company alongside him, would return as president.

UnitedHealth Group Sees 2024 Profit in Line with Street Expectations, Health Costs Maintain High Spirits

The dollar was rooted near a three-month low on Thursday and was set to post its steepest monthly decline in a year as investors ramped up bets that the Federal Reserve is done with rate hikes ahead of a crucial inflation report later in the day.

The dollar index, which measures U.S. currency against six rivals, eased 0.058% to 102.74, not far from 102.46 – its lowest since Aug. 10 it touched on Wednesday.

The index is down 3.7% in November on growing expectations the Fed will cut interest rates in the first half of 2024.

The dollar clawed back some of its losses on Wednesday after data showed the U.S. economy grew faster in the third quarter than initially reported.

“I think it’s still pretty much all about U.S. yields. And by extension FOMC policy,” said Carol Kong, currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (OTC:CMWAY).

“Markets will continue to play to focus on what FOMC officials say about the prospect of the upcoming rate-hike cycle.”

Investor focus will be on comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who is due to speak on Friday in the wake Fed Governor Christopher Waller on Tuesday flagging a possible rate cut in the months ahead.

But before that, spotlight will be on Thursday’s crucial personal consumption expenditure (PCE) inflation report.

Christopher Wong, currency strategist at OCBC, said the data will offer a glimpse into whether the disinflation trend seen so far remains intact. “If core PCE undershoots expectations to the downside, then USD may extend the move lower again.”

U.S. financial conditions are the loosest since early September and have eased 100 basis points (bps) in a month, according to Goldman Sachs. The bank’s global and emerging market indexes ticked up a bit last week, but financial conditions are also looser by around 100 bps from a month ago.

U.S. rates futures markets are now pricing in more than 100 basis points of rate cuts next year starting in May, and the two-year Treasury yield is its lowest since July – it has slumped nearly 40 basis points this week alone. [US/]

The weakness in the dollar has allowed most Asian and regional currencies to take advantage. Two of the best-performers are at the polar opposite ends of the ‘carry’ spectrum – the New Zealand dollar and Japanese yen.

The kiwi got an extra boost on Wednesday following the central bank’s ‘hawkish hold’ – policymakers kept the key cash rate at a relatively high 5.50%, but unexpectedly signalled that it could be raised again if inflation doesn’t moderate.

The currency was 0.26% higher at $0.6172, staying close to the four month peak of $0.6207 it touched on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, expectations that the Bank of Japan will soon end its negative rate policy has pulled the yen up from the depths, and in the process, eased pressure on the central bank to support the currency via direct FX market intervention.

On Thursday, yen strengthened 0.09% to 147.11 per dollar, remaining close to two and half month high of 146.675 per dollar it touched on Wednesday.

Sterling was last at $1.2695, up 0.01% on the day, while the euro was up 0.06% at $1.0975. The Australian dollar rose 0.08% to $0.6623.


PVH Corp Strikes Gold in Q3, Raises Bar for Year-End EPS

PVH Corp (NYSE:PVH) has just flaunted its fancy numbers, leaving jaws dropping and market predictions in the dust. With its iconic brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, the company raked in an eye-popping $2.363 billion in revenues, giving bean counters a reason to dance a little jig.

During the same quarter, PVH pulled off a financial magic trick: a GAAP EPS of $2.66, stomping on estimates of $2.43, while its non-GAAP EPS strutted even higher at $2.90, laughing at the forecasted $2.70. How did they do it, you ask? An 8% jump in direct-to-consumer sales and a dazzling 13% leap in digital sales were the secret sauce.

In the North American fashion playground, PVH’s Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger rocked the catwalk with 6% and 4% revenue growth, respectively. But hey, not every brand can have a winning streak.

The Heritage Brands took a bit of a tumble, down 11% after bidding adieu to its intimate apparel division in November. However, every cloud has a silver lining—the sale beefed up the bank accounts, prompting PVH to splurge on a $550 million share buyback plan.

Investing is like playing financial chess in a world where the pieces have a mind of their own. You strategize, move your money like pawns and knights across the board, hoping to outmaneuver market whims and dodge those surprise checkmates. It’s a bit like trying to predict the weather in a tornado factory—unpredictable yet strangely thrilling. You’re constantly balancing risk and reward, trying to stay cool while the market roller coaster takes you on a wild ride. So, grab your financial cape, because in this game of investments, you’re the superhero of your own wealth story, battling the forces of uncertainty with a dash of smarts and a sprinkle of luck.