5 Things to Know Before Markets Open

News of the day for November 20, 2023

Sam Altman

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / Contributor / Getty Images

Microsoft hired Sam Altman after he was ousted by OpenAI and Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt resigned following a safety review. Here’s what investors need to know today.

1. Microsoft Shares Rise as OpenAI’s Altman, Brockman Join Company

Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) moved higher by nearly 2% in pre-market trading after the tech giant said it was hiring former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman after he was ousted from the company by the board of directors on Friday. Coming with Altman will be Greg Brockman, OpenAI’s president and cofounder, who resigned his position at the ChatGPT maker in protest of the board decision. Altman and Brockman will lead an advanced artificial intelligence research team at Microsoft.

2. GM Robo-Taxi Unit Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt Resigns

The CEO of General Motors’ (GM)  robo-taxi unit Cruise resigned after the company had to pull its vehicles from testing in the U.S. for a safety review following an accident on Oct. 2. Former Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt apologized to staff for the safety review as the company announced it would retain a third-party safety expert to assess operations and culture. Shares of GM were little changed in pre-market trading.

3. Citigroup Preparing for Layoffs, Management Reorganization

Citigroup (C) is expected to announce layoffs and changes to senior management on Monday, as part of a reorganization that could impact thousands of the bank’s staff. The move comes after Citi announced plans last month to cut its layers of management to eight from 13. Shares of Citi traded 0.2% higher in pre-market trading.

4. Alibaba Extends Losses After Calling Off Cloud Division Spinoff

American depositary receipts of Chinese e-commerce retailer Alibaba Group Holdings (BABA) lost another 0.8% in pre-market trading after it said late last week it would cancel plans to spin off its cloud division. The company said it was withdrawing plans for an $11 billion spinoff of the division as U.S. export restrictions on sales of advanced semiconductors and equipment create "uncertainties."

5. US Leading Economic Indicators Index Projected to Fall

At 10 a.m. E.T., the Conference Board is expected to report its U.S. Leading Economic Index declined 0.7% in October, as it did in September. At 12 p.m. ET, Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin will deliver remarks.

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  1. Wall Street Journal. “Sam Altman to Join Microsoft Following OpenAI Ouster.”

  2. Reuters. “CEO of GM's Cruise robo-taxi unit resigns amid US safety review.”

  3. Reuters. “Citigroup employees brace for layoffs, management overhaul - sources.”

  4. Bloomberg. “Alibaba Shock Move Casts Fresh Pall Over China Inc.: Tech Watch.”

  5. MarketWatch. “U.S. Economic Calendar.”

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