Today in the Market (11/3/2023)

Good Evening! On Friday, stock prices increased as investors assessed a slowdown in employment growth, which might strengthen the belief that the Federal Reserve has concluded its campaign of raising interest rates.

Another day in the green, with the Nasdaq Composite continuing to see solid gains of 1.38%, the S&P 500 rising by 0.94%, and the Dow Jones increasing by 0.66%.

LET THE FUN BEGIN!

Amusement park giants Six Flags (SIX) and Cedar Fair (FUN) are joining forces in an $8 billion merger, establishing a dominant theme park entity across North America. Cedar Fair shareholders will get a one-to-one exchange ratio, meaning they will receive one share of stock for each share they already possess. On the other hand, Six Flags stockholders will receive 0.58 shares for every share they currently own.

The big picture! Collectively, these firms oversee a total of 27 amusement parks and 15 water parks located across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. On top of that, due to their distinct geographical locations in North America, Six Flags and Cedar Fair might benefit from merging their operations to effectively handle fluctuations in park attendance over various seasons.

But wait, there’s more! The consolidation of the firms provides them with the advantage of size in the face of reduced consumer expenditure and climate change concerns against formidable competitors such as SeaWorld, Universal Studios (owned by Comcast), and Disney.

SBF'ed!

This courtroom sketch depicts FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, right, being questioned by prosecutor Danielle Sassoon, left, in front of US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in a federal court in New York City on October 30, 2023. (Reuters/Jane Rosenberg)

The jury has unanimously convicted the 31-year-old ex-CEO of FTX (Sam Bankman-Fried) on all seven counts of fraud and conspiracy. The sentencing for these offenses, which have a maximum penalty of 115 years in jail, is planned for March 28, 2024. It is anticipated that SBF will file an appeal.

The details. A jury deliberated for little more than four hours, which included a dinner break, to reach the verdict that SBF misappropriated $8 billion of client cash from his cryptocurrency exchange, FTX. These funds were used to finance high-risk trades, make political donations, and acquire luxurious real estate properties. The verdict concludes a trial in which three former high-ranking associates of SBF, including his ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison, provided testimony asserting that he was the mastermind behind the extensive deception that lasted for many years.

What does this mean? We have just seen one of the most significant instances of financial fraud in history. Although the crypto sector wants to get beyond the SBF crisis, it continues to confront many unresolved legal battles.

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