Communiques, Touchdowns and a Grand Slam: Your Saturday US Briefing

Something for the weekend.

(Bloomberg) — Hello.

The death toll from the earthquake in Morocco near the tourist hub of Marrakech has risen to over 1,000. The quake was the country’s most powerful in almost a century, with most of the damage occurring in small towns and villages dotting the High Atlas Mountains outside of Marrakesh and Taroudant. Morocco deployed the army to search for survivors. 

After a terrific run this year, tech stocks are finally getting a reality check. The surge that has added $5 trillion to the Nasdaq 100’s value since December screeched to a halt this week, in part as Apple faced a widening ban in China. Meanwhile, rally champion Nvidia notched its second-worst fall of the year as factor-investing legend Rob Arnott labeled the chipmaker “a great company priced beyond perfection.”  

But even Nvidia’s gains pale against those of VinFast Auto, the unprofitable EV maker that surged 504% in six days to a market value that was, at one point, greater than McDonald’s. It’s a story strikingly similar to those in the wildest moments of the early pandemic—think GameStop and AMC—and even after 11 interest-rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. It all suggests that the greater fool theory has now become a prominent, and perhaps permanent, feature of the investing landscape. 

With Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping both skipping the Group of 20 leaders’ meeting in New Delhi this weekend, President Joe Biden will have an opportunity to re-establish the US as the polestar of the international system. A final communique allowed host India to claim diplomatic success. “This is a significant milestone for India’s chairmanship and a vote of confidence that the G-20 can come together to address a pressing range of issues, and also to deal with hard issues that actually very much divide some members from others including, obviously, Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine,” US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said. The joint statement warns of “cascading crises” that pose challenges to long-term economic growth, and also calls for coordinated macroeconomic policies to support the world economy. 

The heat in some parts of the US has gotten so excessive that it’s delayed the start of school. In Montclair, New Jersey, the superintendent announced abbreviated days for the first three days of the year after temperatures reached the mid-90s. The town—famous for being the childhood home of Buzz Aldrin and adulthood home of late Yankees legend Yogi Berra—is an unassuming harbinger of the challenges ahead for educators in the era of climate change.

The heat has been a prominent feature of this year’s US Open, which enters its final rounds this weekend. Coco Gauff is playing No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in the women’s finals. At just 19,  Gauff is making her second grand slam final appearance and is the youngest American player to reach the US Open’s last round since Serena Williams. On Sunday, Novak Djokovic, 36, will be playing for his 24th Grand Slam Singles Title after defeating America’s own Ben Shelton Friday in straight sets. 

College football season is also under way and Iowa State and University of Iowa face off today, with the Cy-Hawk Trophy on the line. Another pair of fierce rivals—former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis—will be in attendance, seeking to shore up their popularity in the early voting state.   

Finally, what’s football without pizza and beer? Bloomberg Pursuits has compiled a list of the nine most important styles of pizza in America right now, while in Belgium, there’s a new $96 million monument to brewing.

Have a heady weekend. We’ll be back tomorrow with a look at the week ahead. 

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