MGM New King? Top Stories, Sports and Business News — July 10

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Ultimate Fighting Championship rings the bell from Fight Island for UFC251 this weekend, bank stocks rally Friday ahead of earnings report, and MGM wants to be the King of online sports gambling. Here are the stories shaping sports and business on Friday, July 10.

UFC 251 Taking Place Saturday

Fight fans are getting ready for UFC 251 which features Karmaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal in the main event and Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway in the co-main. Sports Illustrated swim model Paige VanZant makes her return to the octagon for the first time in 17 months to battle Amanda Ribas.

UFC 251 begins July 11 from the UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. UFC President Dana White shared a first look at the testing protocol and infrastructure on Fight Island via his Twitter, which included more than 2,000 completed coronavirus tests, three medical facilities, and 400,000 hours to build.

Fight fans can watch UFC 251 on ESPN Plus.

An Update on the Markets

Bank stocks were rallying big time on Friday, with the KBWB (bank ETF) up 3%. Banks report earnings starting this coming week.

However, many banks are in a bear market — they’re roughly 30% below their June 8 level, which was a post-March 23 high. Many of them are trading at historically cheap valuations. 

In terms of the coronavirus, new daily cases in the U.S. hit a record high of 63,000, according to Johns Hopkins. However, Gilead Sciences'  (GILD) - Get Report Phase III vaccine results are very positive. Gilead's stock is rallying as are most sectors in the U.S. market. Investors are looking at fundamentals in a glass-half-full manner.

MGM Wants to be King

As more states in the U.S. continue to legalize sports gambling, the battle for the top bookmaker is heating up.

GVC Holdings, one of the largest sports betting and gaming groups in the world, has a partnership with BETMGM. They announced $250 million in new funding, bringing their total investment to $450 million, according to Legal Sports Report.

BETMGM  (MGM) - Get Report is in a heated race against FanDuel and DraftKings  (DKNG) - Get Report as the top destination for mobile and online sports gambling.

According to the report, GVC Chief Executive Kenny Alexander said, “Other people have the ammunition to really go and grab market share, and we’ve put this investment in as a sign the kid gloves are coming off. Our aspiration to be the market leader is very real.”

DraftKings shares are down more than 2% Friday, while discretionary businesses are seeing their stocks rally Friday. MGM Resorts was largely flat, trailing consumer discretionary.

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