It's hot outside in most places this Monday, but also inside of these pages. Here are some of your hot tickers.
 
Alibaba Gets a New Friend
 
Despite having a stock that has skyrocketed 56% over the past year, Alibaba ( BABA) finds activist investor Dan Loeb at its doorstep. 
 
So far, the approach seems friendly. 
Third Point reinitiated a stake in Alibaba, with 4.5 million shares during the second quarter ending June 30, according to regulatory filings released late Friday, Reuters reported.

In its second quarter letter to investors, Third point said the Chinese online retailer had consistently surpassed growth estimates for gross merchandise value, revenue, and earnings.

"Alibaba is currently at a positive inflection point after rolling out significant changes over the past year to its advertising platform, which currently generates the majority of the company's revenue," Third Point wrote, Reuters reported. "We view these changes as an important catalyst for meaningful revenue acceleration over the next few years. Combined with an attractive multiple, we believe now is the time to own Alibaba again."

Alibaba stock traded up 1.4% to $153.89 midday Monday.

Bitcoin Booms

Bitcoin prices surged to a fresh record high Monday as cash continues to pour into the cryptocurrency after a major exchange raised $100 billion in new funds and new rules look to speed transaction processing times.

Bitcoin prices were marked at $4,171.00 each on the Bitsmap exchange in London, just a few dollars shy of the record $4,182.00 the digital currency hit in early trading, a level that takes bitcoin's year-to-date gain to just under 320%. It also gives Bitcoin a theoretical "market capitalisation" of around $68.7 billion, based on the 16.5 million coins that have been verified by blockchain miners, a figure that would be larger than the value of Switzerland's UBS AG (UBS) or the combined values of Credit Suisse Group (CS) and the Royal Bank of Scotland Plc (RBS) .

A portion of Monday's surge is linked to the successful roll-out of a new Bitcoin data source, called SegWit2x, which should relive some of the pressure on the main network and speed up cryptocurrency transaction times, thus increasing their value.

Pay careful attention to chip makers AMD (AMD) and Nvidia (NVDA) , two names that are benefiting from Bitcoin's surge. 

Read full story here.

Take a look at what crypocurrenvy miners are doing on Instagram. 

Netflix and Disney at War

It's shaping up as a battle royale between Netflix (NFLX) and Disney (DIS) , after the streaming service poached one of ABC's top showrunners.

Netflix has signed a multi-year deal with Shonda Rhimes, the creator Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, the group said early Monday, after Disney last week said it won't pull its content from the service.

Shonda Rhimes will bring her ShondaLand production company to Netflix under a multi-year deal to produce new series and other projects. Rhimes's long time producing partner, Betsy Beers will also move to Netflix. Shondaland has been based at Disney's ABC Studios, which has agreed to release her from a pact almost a year early.

Netflix shares were trading down 0.85% to $169.95 midday Monday while Disney stock was up 0.25% to $102.24 per share.

Read full story here.

Tesla in Focus

Morgan Stanley analysts increased their price target for Tesla (TSLA) to $317 from $305 with a bull case of $526, up from $511, after the electric car-maker reported strong second quarter earnings bolstered by positive outlook for the Model 3 roll-out and improving revenue.

The Model 3 is now in a pole position, analysts wrote. With more Model 3 units delivered in the third quarter than initially expected, Tesla is on track to deliver 106,552 vehicles this year instead of Morgan Stanley's original estimate of 96,219. Analysts also see the Model 3 average price down to $50,000 from $60,000. Though this could temper revenue, it is likely good for Model 3 demand in the long run.

Given increased revenue growth and gross margin improvement in the energy and storage business, Tesla is on pace for a 19% full-year revenue jump, Morgan Stanley wrote. Gross margins are likely to increase to 5% in 2018 and 6% in 2019 versus 2% and 4%, respectively.

Tesla shares were up 1.7% to $363.85 at midday Monday.

Read full story here

Snap Gets a No Vote

Billionaire hedge fund manager Dan Loeb has exited his company's entire position in Snap Inc. (SNAP) , just one quarter after first buying the social media upstart's stock.

According to regulatory filings posted late Friday, Loeb's Third Point LLC off its stake of 2.25 million shares, worth $50.7 million. Third Point purchased the shares in the first quarter of 2017.

Snap went public to great fanfare in March, completing the largest U.S.-listed technology offering since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in 2014 with a valuation of $33 billion. Since then, Snap's shares have lost more than half of their value. The stock fell below its $17 IPO price in July and the Snapchat parent company has failed to meet Wall Street's expectations for the past two quarters.

Shares of Snap were climbing 4.5% to $12.36 at midday on Monday. The stock has stumbled 49% so far this year, however.

Read full story here.

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