🍋 Hedge Funds Going Nuclear

Why hedge funds are all-in on uranium stocks, plus Meta testing pay to opt out of ads.

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"The genius thing that we did was, we didn't give up." — Jay Z

Good Morning! Biden signed an executive order on AI - but Big Tech is worried they'll have to start swapping AI secrets with each other. And Alphabet's CEO stepped up to the plate in Google's antitrust trial, defending their search dealmaking and M&A moves. And Europeans sick of seeing those ads on Facebook and Instagram can pay to opt out.

Thanks to inflation, Americans are gearing up to splurge 9.2% more on trick-or-treat sweets this year, way higher than the typical food price inflation at around 5.8%. And investment bankers shouldn’t feel alone going to McDonalds - the fast food chain says they're drawing in more wealthy clients.

If you haven’t already, make sure you are subscribed to Buysiders, our PE & VC newsletter, covering the juiciest deals on Wall Street. Next edition covering the top 3 deals of the month, goes out tomorrow.


Hedge Funds Going Nuclear

Hedge funds have a niche, bullish bet heading into 2024 - uranium stocks. They’re going all in, and are penciling in an upside of 50%, 100%, possibly more, heading into the new year.

Some of hedge funds favorite uranium stocks? Cameco ($CCJ), Energy Fuels Inc., ($UUUU), Ur-Energy ($URG), and NexGen Energy ($QSII), to name a few. And one hedge fund is especially bullish on NexGen - they’re exploring a new uranium mine in Canada that could potentially pump out a quarter of the world's supply.

But why are hedge funds all in on uranium now? More than ten years after the Fukushima disaster scared countries away from nuclear power, it turns out nuclear energy is back. It's now a crucial player in the move toward a low-carbon future. And uranium prices have shot up, with a 125% increase since 2020.

The International Energy Agency says that global nuclear capacity needs to double by mid-century to help us reach those net zero goals. 

And while nuclear demand isn’t that strong in the United States, countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa are all lining up for their new nuclear reactors.

But a move to nuclear energy isn't without controversy. Remember how Germany threw in the towel on nuclear energy after Fukushima? Well, they're regretting that move now because they're guzzling down high-emission Russian fossil fuels. 

And, some experts say uranium is green, but others are side-eyeing it, with safety and cost concerns lurking in the shadows.

Takeaway: Uranium could be a missing piece of the carbon-zero puzzle, but not all uranium stocks are created equal. The Global X Uranium ETF is up almost 30% this year, which has some hedge fund managers sniffing out opportunities to short the companies they think are going to crash and burn.


Markets Rundown

Stocks closed higher ahead of a big earnings week on Wall Street.

Movers & Shakers

  • (+) XPO, Inc. ($XPO) +15% after a strong Q3 in the wake of Yellow’s bankruptcy.

  • (+) Blackberry ($BB) +7% because of an upgrade by Morningstar; departure of its CEO after 10 years.

  • (–) ON Semi ($ON) -22% after the chipmaker lowered Q4 guidance.

Private Dealmaking

  • Healthpeak Properties merged with Physicians Realty Trust for $21 billion

  • Google invested $2 billion in Anthropic

  • Apax Partners bought the consumer retail unit of Ascential for $849 million

  • Global Infrastructure Partners sold five solar power stations to Engie Brasil Energia for $646 million

  • Bernhard Capital Partners bought Entergy’s gas distribution business for $484 million

  • Seurat, a 3D metal printing startup, raised $99 million


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Top Reads

  • Federal Reserve is starting to put a stranglehold on Corporate America (YF)

  • Wall Street made $1.7B in fees off NYC pensions last year (BB)

  • Strong earnings show U.S. consumer resilience (Reuters)

  • Treasury to borrow $776B in the final three months of the year (CNBC)

  • Gaza protests prompt VCs to consider university investments (Axios)

  • Hedge funds are boosting their presence in long-shunned Indian market (Reuters)

  • UAW reaches deal with GM, ending strike against Detroit automakers (YF)

  • SBF called some FTX customers ‘dumb m*therf**kers’ (Axios)

  • Shipping industry could lose $10B/year by 2050 thanks to climate change (CNBC)


Ours Was The Shining Future

Two decades into the twenty-first century, the stagnation of living standards has become the defining trend of American life. Life expectancy has declined, economic inequality has soared, and, after some progress, the Black-white wage gap is once again as large as it was in the 1950s.

How did this happen in the world’s most powerful country? And what happened to the “American dream”—the promise of a happier, healthier, more prosperous future—which was once such an inextricable part of our national identity? 

Drawing on decades of writing about the economy for The New York Times, Pulitzer Prize–winning writer David Leonhardt examines the past century of American history, from the Great Depression to today’s Great Stagnation, in search of an answer.

“David Leonhardt examines the most important social issue of our era.”


Short Squeez Picks

  • The Atlantic wrote a piece on the private equity industry

  • What people with high emotional intelligence learn when they’re young

  • The evolutionary reasons we’re drawn to horror movies

  • How leaders can win back a disengaged team

  • 7 pieces of advice that will make you less anxious


Bull Market Losing its Horns

YTD change in S&P 500

Source: Axios


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“New approaches will never be embraced by everyone at first. If you need unanimous consent, you’re not going to move forward.

And it’s not convenient. If it were, someone would have done it already.

Finally, it’s not sure to work.

If you need any or all three of these things for your project to move forward, you probably should pick a different project.”

Source: Seth Godin


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