Market Headlines: ADBE, PLTR, and MSFT

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Adobe (ADBE)

Adobe is a key source of aggregated consumer spending data for Black Friday-Cyber Monday. Its predicted $5.6 billion in 2023 Thanksgiving spending came precisely to fruition. This represents 5.5% Y/Y growth and points to enduring consumer resilience. For the holiday weekend overall, the firm is looking for 5.4% Y/Y growth with video games and Barbie products set to be two category standouts.

Palantir (PLTR)

The long anticipated $525 million National Health Service (NHS) contract in the UK for patient data management/analysis was awarded to Palantir.

OpenAI/Microsoft (MSFT)

If you missed it, the OpenAI saga was quite interesting this past week. Sam Altman was ousted as the CEO of the firm. Microsoft, despite its $10+ billion invested in the firm, does not have a board seat and so was caught off guard by the news. There are about a dozen different reasons to explain this firing depending on who you ask. Some say he was pushing new model cadence too aggressively, some say he was distracted from trying to fund another startup, others say different things entirely. Who knows. After the move, OpenAI’s board reportedly approached Anthropic about a merger. Anthropic’s CEO, Dario Amodei who came from OpenAI, would have led the combined firm. That didn’t pan out.

An arms race for OpenAI engineers then commenced. Microsoft offered Sam the opportunity to lead Microsoft AI; heavyweights like Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff offered to match compensation packages for any employee wanting to work there.

A letter was then sent from the majority of OpenAI’s employees to the board telling them to reinstate Sam, or they’d leave.  That magically did the trick with Sam returning to lead the company. OpenAI is arguably the most valuable generative AI firm in private markets and this played out like a script in a tentpole.

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