OpenAI, Argentina Elections, Biden: Your Sunday US Briefing

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(Bloomberg) -- Hello. There are just a few days to go before the feeding frenzy that is Thanksgiving, and the shopping frenzy that begins on Black Friday. But before that, here’s what you need to know about the holiday-shortened week ahead.

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The big battle: OpenAI investors are pressing the company’s board to reverse its decision to fire Sam Altman as chief executive officer, according to people with knowledge of the matter. It’s only the latest twist in the boardroom drama and another chapter in the story of Altman, who at 38 has become the face of an AI-fueled future. Here’s what we know so far, and a handy list of the key players in the saga.

The big stat: The US economic data calendar is light this week. Still, the Federal Reserve on Tuesday will issue minutes from officials’ last policy meeting, while on Wednesday, the government will report on weekly jobless claims and October orders for durable goods.

The big market thought: The Russell 2000 Index — the world’s most closely followed gauge of smaller companies — rose over 5% last week as softer US inflation data bolstered bets that interest rates have topped out but the powerful small-cap rally looks like yet another false start rather than a lasting recovery. Given how vulnerable it is to damagingly high debt costs and a potential economic downturn, it will be hard for the gauge to avoid notching its worst year since 1998 against a benchmark of larger peers.

The big earnings: The handful of retailers and tech companies reporting this week will show firms grappling with weaker consumer and corporate spending. Best Buy, Nordstrom and Lowe’s are set to post slumping sales, though Nvidia’s quarterly results could still exceed sky-high investor expectations thanks to strong demand for generative artificial intelligence.

The big vote: Argentinians go to the polls today to choose their next president in a runoff election that pits Economy Minister Sergio Massa against populist Javier Milei, two candidates with profoundly distinct plans to pull their country from the brink of economic catastrophe. Investors in the nation’s beleaguered financial markets are taking a stoic approach, bracing for more losses no matter the outcome.

The big dismay: Most lawmakers have already left Washington for the holidays but when they return post-Thanksgiving, House Speaker Mike Johnson will have to confront the growing dismay among Republican ultra-conservatives over his support of an interim funding measure. Their resentment signals turmoil ahead and heightened risk of a government shutdown in the new year.

And finally, birthdays can be bittersweet — particularly when you’re the oldest president in US history. As Joe Biden turns 81 on Monday, the occasion will highlight how age has become his greatest liability entering the final campaign of his 53-year political career.

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