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Trending tickers: Microsoft | Bitcoin | Altamira | Ashtead

The latest investor updates on stocks that are trending on Monday

Sam Altman, CEO of Microsoft -backed OpenAI and ChatGPT creator takes part in a talk at Tel Aviv University in Tel Aviv, Israel June 5, 2023. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
Microsoft hires former OpenAI chief Sam Altman. Photo: Amir Cohen/Reuters (Amir Cohen / reuters)

Microsoft (MSFT)

Shares in Microsoft jumped by more than 2% in extended trading after it revealed it had hired former OpenAi CEO, Sam Altman.

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella posted on X late Sunday that Altman and Greg Brockman, OpenAI’s president and cofounder who resigned Friday in protest over Altman’s ouster, will helm a new advanced artificial-intelligence research team.

Read more: LIVE: FTSE down and European markets mixed as ousted OpenAI chief Sam Altman to join Microsoft

OpenAI said Friday that Altman was pushed out after a review found he was “not consistently candid in his communications” with the board of directors, which had lost confidence in his ability to lead OpenAI. The board tried to reinstate him over the weekend following concerns that his departure could lead to a mass exodus of talent.

Microsoft has been a top backer of OpenAI, investing $13bn (£10.42bn) in the artificial intelligence company.

Bitcoin (BTC-USD)

Bitcoin’s price jumped this morning to $37,218 following a broader trend across the cryptocurrency market.

Bitcoin also appears to have gained some political support on the global stage following the election of Javier Milei in Argentina.

Milei has called the central bank a “scam” and bitcoin "the return of money to its original creator, the private sector”. This political shift is perceived as favourable for the cryptocurrency space, contributing to the optimistic market outlook.

Investor sentiment has been positively influenced by reports that Santander’s private arm would offer to buy, sell and hold services with Bitcoin and Ether (ETH-USD) to clients in Switzerland.

Altamira (CYTO)

Altamira Therapeutics was popular in after hours trading after announcing it has agreed to sell a 51% stake in its subsidiary Altamira Medica AG, which produces the allergy spray Bentrio, to a Swiss private equity investor.

Bentrio is a drug-free OTC nasal spray used for the treatment of allergic rhinitis, which has been cleared by the US regulator and is being commercialised in a growing number of countries.

Read more: Black Friday: Where can investors find great deals?

Altamira is set to receive about $2.3m, and will retain 49% of the subsidiary. The company will also be entitled to receive 25% of Medica’s future licensing income.

“This marks an important first step in our strategic repositioning of the company,” said Thomas Meyer, Altamira Therapeutics’ founder.

Ashtead (AHT.L)

Ashtead’s shares have plunged to the bottom of the FTSE 100 after the equipment rental firm warned that annual profits will fall short of forecasts, as fewer natural disasters in the US and the Hollywood writers’ strike hit demand.

The London-based firm said revenues over the three months to October 31 were hampered by “lower levels of emergency response activity” and the US writers' and actors' strikes.

The US, where Ashtead operates as Sunbelt Rentals, accounts for about 90% of the company’s revenue.

The group said full-year revenues would now grow between 11% and 13%, below a previous prediction of between 13% and 16%.

“It’s rare to see construction rental group Ashtead issue a profit warning so when one does come along, it’s natural for the share price to take a beating,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

“That’s exactly what has happened today and why it has caused a considerable drag on the FTSE 100,” he added.

Watch: Sam Altman Will Not Return as CEO of OpenAI

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