Tesla Inc TSLA

Get an overview for this symbol, along with GPT rating and analysis.

Rating: 70

Sentiment: Positive

Analysis: Tesla Inc. (TSLA) is a publicly traded company listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The stock has a market capitalization of $682.36 billion, making it one of the largest companies in the world. TSLA has a year-to-date return of 12.41%, indicating positive performance over the past year. The stock's year high was $299.29, while the year low was $101.81. The current stock price is $214.65, which is below the year high but significantly higher than the year low. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $241.67 and a 200-day moving average of $220.87. The stock's trading volume is relatively high, with an average of 118.64 million shares traded over the past three months. Based on these indicators, TSLA appears to be a volatile stock with potential for high returns but also significant risks.

Updated: 2023-11-13 03:50:03

Latest News

Tech stocks are headed for their worst stretch since December, threatening to unravel 2023’s stock-market rally

2023-08-10 - The Nasdaq-100 crashed below its 50-day moving average for the first time since March this week, putting it on pace for its worst stretch of losses since December. What’s more, the tech-heavy index is on track to cap off a two-week pullback of 4%, as of Thursday’s close. If those losses hold, it would mark the worst such stretch since Dec. 23, when the index fell 5% over two weeks, according to Dow Jones Market Data. On Wednesday, the popular Nasdaq-100-tracking Invesco QQQ Trust Series 1 QQQ exchange traded-fund, closed below its 50-day moving average for the first time since March 10, FactSet data showed. It managed to recoup some of those losses on Thursday, rising 0.2% to $368.59, but remained below the moving average for a second day. Given that the most valuable tech stocks are responsible for such a large proportion of the index’s value, their performance since mid-July is prompting analysts to worry that this late-summer pullback might morph into a bigger, and potentially broader, selloff. Among the so-called “Magnificent Seven” stocks credited with being the biggest contributors to this year’s rally, Apple Inc. AAPL, -0.12% , Nvidia Corp. NVDA, -0.39% , Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +0.22% and Tesla Inc. TSLA, +1.30% all closed below their 50-day averages this week. Analysts said other discouraging signs lurk under the hood. In a research note shared with clients and the media on Thursday, Jonathan Krinsky, the top technical analyst at BTIG, said that QQQ and several other popular tech-heavy ETFs are nearing a “volume pocket” that could see them move even lower, in a hurry. An analysis of volume-at-price data over the past three years shows a sustained break below $368 for QQQ would leave it vulnerable to a more rapid selloff based on historical volume-at-price, a tool used by stock analysts to parse where levels of support and resistance might emerge for a given security. Volume-at-price measures trading volume for a given security at a range of price points over a given period. Krinsky looked back at the last three years in his analysis. “Support and resistance is based on prior price memory,” Krinsky said during a phone interview with MarketWatch. “Within that range, there is not as much price memory from participants. That is when you can get the faster price moves,” he added. BTIG He noted that QQQ rallied by roughly 16% over six weeks from late April to mid-June, raising the likelihood that a reversal could happen just as swiftly, if not faster. QQQ is up 38.4% year to date as of Thursday’s close, according to FactSet data. Technology stocks have fallen in recent weeks after their latest quarterly earnings failed to impress the market. Rising Treasury yields have helped to heap more pressure on stocks, especially the highflying technology names that are particularly sensitive to interest rates. The big question now is whether a further unraveling of Big Tech’s advance will take the broader market down with it, or whether other corners of the market will help to pick up the slack. Together, the biggest tech stocks are responsible for roughly 40% of the valuation of the Nasdaq-100 following last month’s special rebalancing. See: Here are 4 of the biggest changes to the Nasdaq 100 from Monday’s special rebalancing James St. Aubin, chief investment officer at Sierra Investment Management, said it looks like traders have been content to rotate into other areas of the market that aren’t quite as richly valued as the Big Tech names. The leaders are fading, but the laggards are coming up right behind them,” St. Aubin said during a phone interview with MarketWatch. “If money was flowing out across the board and going into cash and bonds, that would be a bit more concerning.” U.S. stocks eked out a gain on Thursday after blowing most of their early gains. The market initially rallied after the release of July inflation data that largely matched economists’ expectations. But San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said later that the Fed still has more work to do to tame inflation, sending Treasury yields higher and provoking a swift turnaround for equities. The S&P 500 SPX finished barely in positive territory at 4,468, while the Nasdaq Composite COMP gained 15.97 points, or 0.1%, to 13,737.99 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA rose 52.79 points, or 0.2%, to 35,176.15, FactSet data show. The blue-chip gauge had risen more than 450 points at its highs of the session. The 10-year Treasury yield BX:TMUBMUSD10Y jumped to 4.081%, its second highest level of the year, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Ford is going all in on hybrids. Here’s why.

2023-08-10 - Ford Motor Co. is betting that hybrid vehicles will be the bridge toward an all-electric-vehicle future for perhaps longer than most people expect. It’s a cautious strategy that has its admirers on Wall Street. Ford F, -4.48% is not thinking about “extremes” between hybrids and EVs, company Chief Executive Jim Farley said recently. The automaker decided to keep investing in heavy-duty hybrid vehicles and has been surprised by their popularity, he said. That’s a “subtle shift of strategy” for Ford, but one that makes sense in the current reality, said Garrett Nelson, an analyst with CFRA. On the call with analysts following Ford’s quarterly results last month, Farley noted that Ford’s hybrid offerings are extremely popular. About 10% of F-150 pickup trucks and 56% of smaller Maverick pickup trucks being sold in the U.S. are hybrids, he said. “We are adding hybrid options across our [internal-combustion-engine] lineup,” he said. “And we expect to quadruple our hybrid sales in the next five years, and we were already No. 2 in the market last year.” The pure-battery EV market has become saturated, and Ford is indicating that it is willing to be flexible, CFRA’s Nelson said. “Bottom line, aside from Tesla TSLA, +1.30% EVs, the vast majority of other EV models have sold very poorly,” Nelson said, adding that although many people are not interested in EVs, hybrids could be an easier sell. Related: Electric vehicles vs. gas-powered cars: Which one is cheaper to buy and own? “Consumers are becoming much more educated,” he said. “You can in a lot of cases go on pure battery power and not even use any fuel with these hybrids.” Japanese carmakers such Toyota Motor Corp. 7203, +1.40% TM, +0.26% and Honda Motor Co. 7267, +5.87% HMC, -0.09% have taken that approach from the start, making much bigger bets on hybrids, and “in hindsight that appears to have paid off,” Nelson said. Indeed, “hybrids are a much easier purchase in today’s environment,” said Karl Brauer, an analyst with iSeeCars.com. “They cost less than electric vehicles, they don’t involve range anxiety, and Ford has managed to make them quite practical in how it pairs the technology with the F-150,” Brauer said. Hybrids are more expensive to buy than internal-combustion-engine vehicles, but they are cheaper than electric vehicles because their batteries are significantly smaller — even those in plug-in hybrids, which are capable of driving several dozen miles solely on an electric charge. About a third of the cost of an EV is the cost of the battery. Hybrids have one more critical advantage over EVs, Brauer said — they can be produced and sold for a profit. Ford’s strategy contrasts with a more aggressive EV push by General Motors Co. GM, -5.79% , Nelson said. GM late Wednesday unveiled its Cadillac Escalade IQ, a luxury EV that starts at around $130,000 and has 450 miles of range. GM expects to begin making the vehicle in the summer of 2024, with sales beginning in late 2024. GM’s future lineup includes a number new EV models as well as electric versions of popular vehicles that were previously available only as gas-powered models. That includes an electric Chevy Equinox for next year and a return of the Chevy Bolt, among the cheapest EVs available in the U.S. See also: GM is bringing back the Bolt. What do we know so far about the updated EV? GM will cease production of the Bolt later this year but has promised to bring it back using the company’s new shared EV platform. Observers expect the new Bolt to be available around 2025. GM’s EV strategy is generally viewed as more risky. Tesla started a price war earlier this year, cutting prices of its EVs several times. Ford also cut prices, most notably on the F-150 Lightning, the electric version of a pickup truck that’s been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. since the 1980s. Hybrids also do away with so-called charge anxiety, because their gas-powered engines kick in when needed. Related: EVs zoomed ahead with a 8.2% slice of auto financing pie in second quarter According to a Consumer Reports survey in June, about 6 in 10 respondents said that concerns about charging were holding them back from purchasing an EV, and about 5 in 10 cited range as a reason they wouldn’t buy one just yet. Tesla has made its fast-charging ports the de facto standard in the U.S., and several automakers, including Ford and GM, have inked deals to allow their EV owners to power up at Tesla’s Supercharger network, which has charging stations located near major highways. An often-cited 2022 study about the reliability of public, open-to-all fast-charging stations in nine counties in the San Francisco Bay Area found a range of issues with the stations, from charging and payment failures to annoyances such as spaces being occupied by gas-powered vehicles or EVs that are not actively charging.

Tesla's 'Master of Coin' bids the EV-maker farewell after racking up a $590 million fortune

2023-08-09 - Tesla's CFO is leaving. YouTube A Tesla exec's departure will see him leave with a $590 million fortune, according to Bloomberg. Zachary Kirkhorn, worked at Tesla for 13 years, including four as its chief financial officer. Kirkhorn's wealth has surged in 2023, linked to the sharp rise in Tesla's share price. Tesla's chief financial officer is leaving the company with a bulky fortune. Nicknamed the "Master of Coin," Zachary Kirkhorn ended his 13-year stretch at Elon Musk's carmaker on Tuesday, having spent four of those years as CFO. Kirkhorn departs with a net worth of $590 million, largely due to the value of his Tesla shares and options, according to Bloomberg data. Despite owning less than 1% of Tesla's common stock, Kirkhorn has still gone home with deep pockets, according to the company's latest proxy filing. In 2022 alone, Kirkhorn earned about $16.3 million in stock awards, while being awarded almost $1.3 million in options. That's on top of a $300,000 base salary in 2022. Tesla shares have skyrocketed this year thanks to a string of aggressive price cuts and an AI-fueled tech boom. The company's stock has surged more than 100% year-to-date, boosting its market cap to roughly $800 billion, per Markets Insider data. Driving the automaker's stock higher in recent months was a pair of standout deals with GM and Ford that will allow the rival companies to use Tesla's charging network. Kirkhorn is by no means the only Tesla executive to benefit from the company's surging stock price. CEO Musk himself has seen his wealth climb to $229 billion, making him the richest man in the world. The tech guru owns about 13% of all Tesla stock, so his personal wealth is directly tied to the value of the company. It's unclear what Kirkhorn's next career step will be. Held in high-esteem at Tesla, it was rumoured he would succeed Musk as CEO. Vaibhav Taneja, Tesla's chief accounting officer will step in Kirkhorn's role following his exit. Read the original article on Business Insider

Strategist who called 2023 U.S. stock rally says S&P 500 will go nowhere for rest of 2023, and likely in 2024 too

2023-08-09 - A strategist who anticipated the 2023 rally says he expects stocks to go nowhere for the rest of the year, while potentially struggling in 2024 as well, as corporate earnings growth fails to live up to Wall Street’s overly optimistic expectations. Barry Bannister, an equity strategist at Stifel, said in a report shared with MarketWatch late Wednesday that he believes this year’s rally, spurred by relief that a U.S. recession wouldn’t arrive in 2023, has run its course. He now expects the S&P 500 SPX to trade sideways for the rest of the year, ultimately finishing at 4,400, roughly 68 points lower from where the index closed on Wednesday, according to FactSet data. However, investors can still find opportunities as sectors that have lagged behind the market leaders. Based on this view, Bannister sees opportunities in so-called “pair trades” like shorting Big Tech stocks, while buying financials, materials, industrials stocks and other cyclical growth stocks that have underperformed. He also expects the equal-weighted S&P 500 index RSP to beat the traditional capitalization-weighted S&P 500 in the second half. These trades would have already paid off over the past month. Since the start of corporate earnings season in mid-July, the equal-weighted S&P 500 has risen 2.4%, according to FactSet data, compared with 1.6% for the traditional S&P 500. Over the same period, several members of the “Magnificent Seven” group of megacap technology stocks that Bannister is recommending as shorts have started to retreat. Apple Inc. AAPL, -0.90% is down 6.6% at $178.19 per share, and Tesla Inc. is down 11.8% at $242 per share. Meanwhile, Nvidia Corp. NVDA, -4.72% , the stock that has benefited perhaps more than any other from the artificial-intelligence boom, has barely budged. Investors have reason to listen, since Bannister belongs to a select group of analysts who called this year’s rebound. At the time Bannister made his bullish call early this year, the consensus view on Wall Street, shared by analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, -1.34% , Morgan Stanley MS, -1.03% , Goldman Sachs Group GS, -1.60% and others, was that stocks would sink to new lows during the first half of 2023 before rebounding later in the year. Bannister opted to turn that call on its head, based on the expectation that U.S. inflation would retreat. That view ended up being correct. Consumer prices rose by just 0.2% in June, according to CPI data, showing inflation ebbed to the slowest pace in two years and slowed more quickly than economists had expected. Investors will receive another update on the state of U.S. inflation Thursday morning. Bannister now believes the slowdown in inflation is reaching its limit. But perhaps more important, he expects stocks could struggle in 2024 as well, as Wall Street’s lofty expectations for corporate earnings growth are ultimately disappointed. For 2024, Bannister and Stifel expect S&P 500 aggregate earnings per share to come in at $209, little-changed from where analysts expect them to be in 2023, that is compared with Wall Street’s consensus for $226. STIFEL “…[I]f our flattish EPS view is right the S&P 500 may be flat,” he said in a note to clients. Bannister expects earnings could struggle as a mild recession will arrive during the first quarter of 2024, while rising oil prices create a mini-price shock, helping to transform 3% inflation into a new floor, making it more difficult for the Federal Reserve to justify interest-rate cuts. Sluggish economic growth also will hurt corporate profits, he said. Making matters worse, COVID-19 stimulus drove a surge in earnings growth in 2021 that will result in years of difficult year-over-year comparisons for companies, Bannister said. U.S. stocks finished lower on Wednesday, extending an early-August slump. The S&P 500 lost 31.67 points, or 0.7%, to 4,467.71, while the Nasdaq Composite COMP shed 162.31 points, or 1.2%, to 13,722.02. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA fell by 191.13 points, or 0.5%, to 35,123.36.

2 Alternatives To Tesla (1 Safe, 1 More Risky)

2023-08-09 - Key Points Tesla shares are up 140% this year so far. Ford offers a solid low-risk alternative to those looking for EV exposure. NIO is riskier but has greater potential for higher returns. 5 stocks we like better than Tesla The electric vehicles (EV) industry has been one of the hottest out there in recent years. And even though the rising interest rate cycle has made it more expensive for EV stocks, which are growth stocks by definition, to fund their expansion, it feels like it’s an unstoppable force at this point. At this stage, all of our readers will be familiar with Tesla Inc NASDAQ: TSLA, with many surely having already owned shares at some point. But while Tesla, in our view at least, remains the out-and-out leader in the space, competition has been heating up. Just because Tesla has a first-mover advantage and is many years ahead of its peers doesn’t mean there’s not still an opportunity to be had in alternative EV stocks. Here are two worth keeping on your watchlist. Ford is arguably the most established of Tesla’s competition. It has a history going back 120 years, as well as a brand name that is just as recognizable. In addition, it’s already turning over tens of billions in revenue every quarter, which effectively removes the business continuity risk that has plagued many of the not-yet-at-market alternative EV stocks. It took some time for their EV plans to get off the ground, but the past two years have seen them starting to close the gap to Tesla seriously. Ford is targeting an EV production run rate of 600,000 vehicles by 2024 as part of its longer-term goal of hitting 2 million. These are astonishing numbers and indicate how seriously Ford is taking its EV business. Investors haven’t ignored it either. The past year has been tough for both stocks, but Ford avoided the 60% haircut that Tesla investors had to stomach. To be fair, Ford’s rallies have also been less aggressive, but it’s still only down 18% compared to last August, while Tesla is down 13%. If we rewind the clock to August 2020, both stocks are neck and neck with gains of 85% each. The last week of July saw Ford beat their Q2 earnings estimates while also raising their forward guidance. Forecasted EV demand is playing a prominent role in this, and investors looking at an alternative to Tesla have a strong option with Ford. If Ford is to be considered the most established alternative to Tesla, then NIO represents the newer wave of EV stocks that are still winning investors’ confidence. While Ford has effectively traded sideways for the past year, NIO shares were down as much as 65% coming into the summer. A recent rally has taken the edge of that drop, but they’re still trading lower by 35% versus where they were this time last year. This is indicative of falling confidence in the market that NIO can ever live up to the hype that sent their shares on a 3,000% rally in 2020. But with a clear bottom having been put in, those of us on the sidelines can get a clearer picture of where things might be going in the near to medium term. For starters, NIO’s July deliveries out of China saw a 90% jump month on month. This helped drive a 103% year-on-year jump, with a cumulative delivery number for the year of 364,579. By any measure, these are good results, which makes the recovery potential in NIO particularly appetizing. As recently as June of this year, NIO shares were trading back at their 2018 levels. For context, their quarter revenue has increased 42,000% in the five years since. NIO’s chart over the timeframe doesn’t make for pretty viewing, but there’s an argument to be made that they’ve had their baptism of fire and are actually starting to mature as a bonafide EV company. They remain the riskier of the two alternatives but, at the same time, hold the greater potential for another eye-watering rally. Before you consider Tesla, you'll want to hear this. MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and Tesla wasn't on the list. While Tesla currently has a "Hold" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys. View The Five Stocks Here

Tesla Model 3 Highland Refresh's New Design Elements Revealed In Photo Leaks - Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)

2023-08-09 - The rumored refreshed Tesla Inc TSLA Model 3 Highland has been spotted driving around California for months. New photos have now emerged on X, formerly known as Twitter. The images, shared by an account named "xiaoteshushu," provided a sneak peek into what appeared to be the updated wheels and a refreshed dashboard for the Tesla Model 3. The recently revealed wheels showcase a sleeker design, potentially hinting at improved aerodynamics that could further optimize the vehicle's efficiency and range. The dashboard, a critical focal point for Tesla enthusiasts and drivers alike, also exhibited a revamped look. While the exact features and changes remain speculative, the aesthetic tweaks visible in the leaked pictures suggested a drive towards a more minimalist yet advanced cabin experience. There was no official word from Tesla on when the Highland refresh would launch, or if it's even real. Many speculated Tesla's recent Full Self-Driving 1 time transfer program was a demand lever intentionally pulled before the refresh Model 3's debut. Photo: Unsplash

Reaching The Finish Line Of The EV Race Is A Daunting Task, One That Some Won't Be Able To Accomplish

2023-08-08 - For all those who are not Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) or one of the biggest Chinese EV makers, the EV venture is wildly risky ride that makes profitability seem like mission impossible sometimes. Although Kelley Blue Book reported that EV sales skyrocketed 65% last year while automotive sales contracted 8%, the EV adoption is everything but fast as it entails hefty costs. For manufacturers, Tesla made it even harder by starting a price war at the beginning of the year, one that not many are able to survive, let alone win. Some Have Already Fallen Behind... In June, Lordstown Motors Corp (OTC: RIDEQ) filed for bankruptcy. To date, it has lost about 83% of its share price. Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) stock dropped more than 77% since its launch. Despite the attractivieness of their value propositions, these two players just do not have what it takes for the EV race. The Chinese EV Players Are Going Full-speed Ahead XPeng Inc. (NYSE: XPEV) is among the leading EV makers in China as it distinguished itself with its technology and innovation that includes developing advanced driver assist-systems. Li Auto Inc. (NASDAQ: LI) is a pioneer but its ONE SUV, a plugin hybrid addressed the consumers who had concerns about range anxiety, allowing the automaker to compete with XPeng and Nio Inc (NYSE: NIO). Nio has literally carved a niche for itself in the premium EV market with its SUVs and the ET7 luxury sedan. Nio also distinguished itself with its "Battery as a Service" model and battery swap technology focused on creating a lifestyle brand that offers experiences as opposed to just one that sells EVs. The Legendary Automotive Players Are Going Above And Beyond General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) will be commiting $27 billion in its electric and automonous future until 2025, as it aims to launch 30 EV models across the planet, fueled by its Ultium battery technology. GM is known for learnings from its lessons, so its EV plans go beyond passenger vehicles to include commercial vehicles and even electric air taxis, showing its aspiration to contribute to future of electric mobility. Story continues The world’s largest automaker by production volume, Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM) might have entered the EV race later than others but will be investing $13.5 billion into battery technology by the end of the decade as it aims for 40% of its global sales to be made of EVs by 2025. With its established global presence, manufacturing expertise, and the fact it is a brand known for its reliability, Toyota certainly has a shot of being among the EV leaders someday. The German automaker, Volkswagen AG (OTC: VWAGY) is aspiring to not only catch up to Tesla but also become a global leader in electric mobility by 2025. With its ambitious "Transform 2025+" strategy, Volkswagen aims to sell approximately 26 million fully-electric EVs by 2029. With its substantial resources and diverse portfolio, this aggressive approach to EVs can certainly push Volkswagen to become a dominant EV player. Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) recently posted its second quarter revenue rose 12% YoY with net income nearly tripling to $1.9 billion. With about $30 billion of cash and more than $47 billion in liquidity, Ford has what it takes to fund its electric transition. Ford has also followed Tesla in lowering the price of its electric pickup, the Lightning, and it has exited areas where it was burning cash such as South America production and passenger segments in North America. After delivering strong second quarter results, Ford also raised its full-year guidance. Although ‘new’ as it was formed in 2021, Stellantis N.V. (NYSE: STLA) is a conglomerate formed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group to reflect their EV commitment that entails an investment of €30 billion through 2025 in developing EV technology. Stellantis aims for 70% of sales in Europe and 40% in the US to be made by low emission vehicles by the end of the decade, while covering models from small city cars to performance vehicles. Electric Pickups 2023 has already been deemed as the year of the electric pickup. With Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) already having its R1T on the road, Tesla will be finally releasing its futuristic Cybertruck by the end of the year. Interestingly, Hyundai Motor Company (OTC: HYMTF) will be releasing its Santa Cruz pickup next year that will be equipped by revolutionary solar-powered technology by Worksport Ltd (NASDAQ: WKSP). Specialized in soft and hard-folding tonneau covers, Worksport will be making a customized SOLIS solar tonneau cover for Hyundai, with Santa Cruz combining the best from an SUV and an open-bed vehicle. Moreover, with SOLIS and its COR portable battery system, Worksport might be able to extend the range of electric pickups and help EV pickup makers uplevel their game with this minor addition as Worksport is known for making innovative technology affordable. Worksport announced that it will begin assembling its ‘made-in-the-USA’ SOLIS covers at its NY facility as soon as the improved COR battery system becomes market ready, that is once R&D is finalized. Recap EV sales are expected to rise 35% YoY this year, fueled by supporting policies and incentives both for consumers and manufacturers. Yet, even legendary automakers are missing deadlines with lagging production and startups are struggling with serious financial issues, including bankruptcy. The EV space is undoubtedly crowded and the competition is fierce. With Tesla having raised the bar high, performance-wise, not everyone who started their electric ‘engines’ will succeed to reach the finish line. DISCLAIMER: This content is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as investing advice. Don't miss real-time alerts on your stocks - join Benzinga Pro for free! Try the tool that will help you invest smarter, faster, and better. This article Reaching The Finish Line Of The EV Race Is A Daunting Task, One That Some Won't Be Able To Accomplish originally appeared on Benzinga.com . © 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Tesla CFO Zachary Kirkhorn steps down after 13 years with company

2023-08-08 - Tesla Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn is departing after 13 years with the the electric vehicle and solar panel maker. Kirkhorn stepped down Friday but will remain with Tesla through the end of the year to "support a seamless transition," according to the Austin, Texas, company. Shares of Tesla Inc. slipped 2.4% in Monday afternoon trading amid a broader sell-off in the electric vehicle sector. Rivian fell 4.6% and Lucid fell 4.5%. Vaibhav Taneja was named CFO in addition to his current role as chief accounting officer, the company said in a regulatory filing Monday. Referred to as the Master of Coin in his bio on the company's website, Kirkhorn has been CFO at Tesla since March 2019, succeeding Deepak Ahuja. He has served in various roles at Tesla since March 2010. The filing gave no reason for the departure, but said Tesla has experienced tremendous growth during Kirkhorn's tenure. Tesla has experienced tremendous growth during the tenure of Zachary Kirkhorn, who is stepping down as CFO after 4 year. LinkedIn Tesla reported net income of $2.7 billion in Q2 of this year, a 20% increase from a year ago. While its profit margin fell just over 1% as a result of price cuts on vehicles, initiated in January, to boost sales amid increasing competition, the company still managed to beat analyst expectations. "Being a part of this company is a special experience and I'm extremely proud of the work we've done together since I joined over 13 years ago," Kirkhorn wrote in a LinkedIn post on Monday. He did not respond to a message seeking further comment. Kirkhorn has sold more than $6 million worth of Tesla stock this year, either as part of a prearranged trading plan or to satisfy tax obligations on vesting stock options, according to company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Taneja, 45, has been chief accounting officer since March of 2019, and served as controller since May of 2018. Ongoing auto-pilot safety issues The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earlier this month opened yet another investigation into safety problems with Tesla vehicles. The probe, the fifth started by the agency into Tesla vehicles in the past three years, is part of a larger investigation by the NHTSA into multiple instances of Teslas on Autopilot crashing into parked emergency vehicles that are tending to other crashes.

The 10 Stocks MarketBeat Readers Like Best

2023-08-08 - Key Points MarketBeat readers have spoken! These are the 10 stocks with the highest interest on the platform. Where retail investors go, price action usually moves higher, especially when the analysts are also buying. There are interesting opportunities and AI, tech, EV, and consumer spending within this list. 5 stocks we like better than Apple MarketBeat has many tools to help investors find great investments, and 1 of them is the Trending Stocks List. The trending stocks list can be tuned to different periods but tracks the same data: the net number of new followers for stocks on Marketbeat. That may seem like a simple statistic but don’t be fooled. The data tracks sentiment among retail investors and is a valuable source of trading information. Retail investors make up a large portion of the market and are influential in the direction of stock prices. When they move into a market, there’s a good chance it will move higher. If the analysts and institutions are also buying, the stock price could move significantly higher. The Market Still Has FAANGs, +Microsoft The top 4 followed stocks for the 1st week of August on MarketBeat are no surprise. The ranking from 1st to 4th is Apple NASDAQ: AAPL, Microsoft NASDAQ: MSFT, Meta NASDAQ: META, and Google NASDAQ: GOOG, representing half of the FAANG+ market. These stocks are also the most followed over the last 90 days, suggesting momentum in their respective markets. While the stories vary from name to name, the underlying theme with these stocks is that cloud and consumer-driven businesses are solid and compounded by repositioning and efficiencies that are driving bottom-line results. AI is also a central theme, with infrastructure at the story's core. These companies are foundational to the AI revolution; their results will show it. META isn’t the only or even the most obvious example of how AI impacts business, but its 7% boost in engagement driven by AI is a telling sign. The analysts also like them, which is another tailwind for their markets. All but 1 are in the top 10 Most Upgraded Stocks, and the outlier, Apple, is in 11th. Tesla Is The 5th Most-Followed Stock On MarketBeat It’s a little surprising that Amazon NASDAQ: AMZN is not in the top 5 Most Followed Stocks, but it isn’t surprising to find Tesla NASDAQ: TSLA in that position. Given the analysts ' activity, the company produced a solid beat with its 2Q results and will likely trend higher. The analysts' consensus target is lagging the price action and weighing on the rally now but trending solidly higher. The most recent activity includes a single downgrade to Neutral. Still, it came with a price target increase that has the market fairly valued at $270 or above the recent action, and many of the newest targets are well above that level. Regarding the business, the near-term headwind is the margin. Margin contracted YOY but resulted in a jump in sales that could gain momentum. The guidance was a little weak, only as expected, but may also be considered cautious given the jump in sales and the company’s track record of outperformance. AMC Entertainment Gets MarketBeat Readers’ Attention AMC Entertainment NYSE: AMC has caught the eye of MarketBeat readers and sits in the 6th position. The rise in interest is largely due to “Barbenheimer,” which is driving an expectation for outperformance this quarter. The risk here is that neither the analysts nor the institutions are buying, and the short interest is relatively high. Interesting Opportunities In Positions 7 Through 10 The final 4 in this countdown include interesting names like NVIDIA NASDAQ: NVDA, Amazon, NIO NYSE: NIO, and AMD NASDAQ: AMD. NVIDIA and AMD are being driven by AI interest, demand for their highest-performance chips, and the long-term outlook for AI, which is robust. NVIDIA is the 6th most followed stock and up 1 spot compared to the 90-day data. AMD is also up 1 position to #10, which shows growing momentum for these AI-powered names. Amazon is down from #7 to #8 but still solidly in the top 10. It’s driven by strength in AWS, core business, and the new CEO’s attention to detail. NIO, like Tesla, is supported by a ramp in production and deliveries; it produced a triple-digit increase for July and is supported by strength in its home market. Likewise, Tesla reported a triple-digit gain in China for July, and it could have been higher if not for a scheduled shutdown. Before you consider Apple, you'll want to hear this. MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and Apple wasn't on the list. While Apple currently has a "Moderate Buy" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys. View The Five Stocks Here

EV maker Lucid slashes prices of Air sedan as part of offer amid heating competition

2023-08-05 - [1/2] A Lucid Air electric vehicle is displayed in Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S., September 27, 2021. Picture taken September 27, 2021. REUTERS/Hyunjoo Jin/File Photo SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Electric vehicle maker Lucid (LCID.O) cut prices of its Air luxury sedans by as much as $12,400 as part of an offer, it said on Saturday, amid rising competition in the U.S. EV industry and a price war sparked by Tesla (TSLA.O). Lucid reduced the price of the Air Pure by $5,000 to $82,400 from $87,400, and cut prices of the more powerful Touring and Grand Touring versions by $12,400 to $95,000 and $125,600, adding that the offer would be valid as long as supplies last. A spokesperson for Lucid said the company was unable to provide details on how much stock will be part of this offer. Tesla's Model S and its performance version Model S Plaid - direct competitors with the Air - are priced at $88,490 and $108,490 down from $104,990 and $135,990 at the beginning of the year. Over a year ago, Lucid, which is majority owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, and its peers had to raise prices of its cars as rising raw material prices and nagging supply chain bottlenecks sparked by COVID-19 hit the automotive industry hard. But rising interest rates to curb inflation and fears of recession have dampened consumer demand, prompting market leader Tesla to slash prices this year. That has sent ripples through the industry, making it difficult for money-losing startups such as Lucid, which also face competition from traditional automakers launching electric models, to grab market share. Helping some lower-priced models woo customers is a $7,500 federal tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act, but more expensive cars such as Lucid's Air are not eligible. Newark, California-based Lucid is expected to show deepening losses in its second-quarter earnings on Monday after reporting a fall in April-June production due to supply-chain problems. Reporting by Abhirup Roy in San Francisco; editing by Jonathan Oatis Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Beyond Big Tech: Alternative ways to invest in A.I., according to two ETF experts

2023-08-05 - While ETFs holding stocks such as Microsoft , Tesla and Meta Platforms have outperformed this year, there are other ways to play the artificial intelligence trade beyond familiar Big Tech names. For those who want to ride the AI rally while still diversifying their portfolio beyond the tech sector, there are other fields benefiting indirectly from the AI craze, two ETF experts say. Baird's head of ETF trading, Rich Lee, and VettaFi's head of research, Todd Rosenbluth, both said there is a wider choice of industries seeing AI gains than investors may initially think. "We're seeing trends towards health care, we're seeing eCommerce companies," Rosenbluth told CNBC's Bob Pisani on "ETF Edge" on Monday. "In the last four months, we've seen consistent flows and trends towards robotics," he said, highlighting ETFs such as the Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (ROBO) , and the Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF (BOTZ) . "AI is going to empower the industrial space and robotics to make them more efficient," he added. ROBO is up 21% year to date, while BOTZ has gained more than 34%. Rosenbluth also cited fintech as a future major beneficiary of AI. "Even the financial technology space in general is going to be driven in part by AI," he said. "It's going to help advisors do their jobs better, it's going to help investors sort through information better, it's going to help processing." Lee said the industrial sector could also see gains from the technology as it becomes more incorporated into everyday workflow. "[Industrial companies] are looking for better processing through automation," he said. "They're going to have to look at AI as part of their business processes to realize some of these gains." "So, we're going to see AI creep into other sectors and industries we may not traditionally associate with tech or AI," Lee said.

What Apple did to Nokia, Tesla is now doing to the motor industry | John Naughton

2023-08-05 - An intriguing news item dropped into my inbox this week. It said that in the first quarter of this year, an electric vehicle (EV) had become the biggest-selling car in the world, outselling the Toyota Corolla. I know, I know, dear reader: you think this is non-news of the “Small earthquake in Chile, not many dead” variety. But to those of us condemned to follow the tech industry, three things are significant about it: the vanquished car was a Corolla, the EV was a Tesla (the Model Y hatchback), and the runner-up is made by Toyota. The poor Corolla gets a lot of disdainful looks from petrolheads, who tell rude jokes about it and view the vehicle as bland, unimaginative and boring. Normal people, however, have consistently regarded it as one of the best compact cars available, with good fuel economy, impressive reliability and excellent luggage capacity. And they have backed that judgment with their wallets for many years. So on the sales front, the Corolla was no pushover. Despite that, it was overtaken by, of all things, a Tesla. When Elon Musk and his co-founders embarked on making cars in 2004-5, their first product was the Roadster – an expensive premium sports car (based on a Lotus Elite chassis) that was aimed at wealthy early adopters (AKA Silicon Valley geeks) with more money than sense. From the beginning, though, Musk – with characteristic bravado – insisted that the company’s long-term strategic goal was to create affordable mass-market electric vehicles – mainstream cars, including saloons and affordable compacts. At the time, many of us (including this columnist) found that pretty hubristic. So did the automobile industry as a whole, reacting with incredulity or scepticism, or both. After all, this was a huge global industry dominated by the likes of Toyota, VW, Hyundai/Kia, Ford, General Motors, Porsche, Mercedes and BMW – corporations that had mastered the difficult art of making these complex products on a huge scale, and had been doing it for half a century or more. Sure, Tesla might have a future making exotic, expensive, specialised cars – like Jaguar in the old days, maybe. But as a mass-manufacturer of cars that ordinary people would buy? Give us a break. And yet here we are. In crude terms, an electric vehicle is essentially a giant skateboard – think of it as software with wheels Funnily enough, news of the Corolla being eclipsed triggered memories of another news item – one that emerged in the summer of 2007. It was that Apple, then a small but plucky computer manufacturer, had developed a phone! The response of the global mobile phone industry (comprising manufacturers and telecoms networks) was amused incredulity. Sure (the reaction went), Steve Jobs’s iPhone seemed smart and innovative – a handheld computer with an internet connection that could also make voice calls. But the device didn’t have a proper keyboard and you couldn’t even replace the battery! Besides, the idea that a computer company with no experience of mobiles could break into a huge industry dominated by companies such as Nokia – which built great kit and knew what it was doing – was fanciful. Well, we know how that story played out. Most of the 5bn or so mobile phones in use around the world now are smartphones based on the iPhone model: handheld computers with an internet connection that can also make voice calls. Of course, it didn’t happen overnight. Among other things, the smartphone revolution wouldn’t have been possible without ubiquitous mobile broadband and the construction of the global infrastructure of colossal datacentres that make cloud computing possible. But, for good or ill, it happened. Hindsight is famously the only exact science, so it’s easy to mock incumbent industries for fudging the future. And history never repeats itself exactly. But there are some interesting similarities emerging between the tech and automobile industries in this area. Nokia, for example, was a great company, but it was founded on the idea that it was the hardware of a phone that mattered most, with software coming a poor second. The iPhone/smartphone model had it the other way round. Toyota, in its turn, was (and still is) a great company. After all, it invented “the Lean Machine” – the way all internal combustion engine (ICE) cars are manufactured today. And modern ICE cars are governed by software to some extent. But you can’t make an EV just by taking out the engine and replacing it with an electric motor and a battery in place of the fuel tank: you have to rethink the entire concept, much as Apple re-envisioned the mobile phone. In crude terms, an EV is essentially a giant skateboard: the battery is the board, with motors and wheels on the four corners, and the whole machine is orchestrated by networked computers. Think of it as software with wheels. Which of course then raises the question: is Toyota the new Nokia? The answer is up to Toyota. I just popped in to a dealer to see its first real EV: the bZ4X. It’s an SUV and ugly in the way all SUVs are. But at least it’s a skateboard. And cheaper than a Tesla. What I’ve been reading Stagnating empire “Britain is a developing country.” Brusquely realistic diagnosis by Sam Bowman on Substack. Machine learning “An ‘Oppenheimer Moment’ for the Progenitors of AI” is an interesting essay in Noema by Nathan Gardels on the film in relation to current worries about AI. Land of the not so free “The Rise and Fall of Neoliberalism” is a wide-ranging review-essay by Louis Menand in the New Yorker.

Apple's Blueprint: Indian Government Suggests Tesla Adopt Similar Strategy For Chinese Suppliers

2023-08-02 - This story was first published on the Benzinga India portal. Indian government officials suggested Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) – currently discussing setting up a plant in India – partner with local firms to work with any Chinese suppliers the electric carmaker is currently involved with. What Happened? Officials from Tesla told the Indian government that they’d like some of their Chinese suppliers to establish operations in India to bolster the supply chain. According to sources speaking to Reuters, Indian authorities proposed that Tesla adopt Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) method, which involved gaining approvals for Chinese suppliers through local joint-venture partners. Direct approval for wholly-owned Chinese companies can prove challenging due to the intense scrutiny they’ve faced since the 2020 border disputes between India and China on their Himalayan border. Why it matters? India’s tense relationship with China, following the 2020 border clashes, complicates Tesla’s plans to utilize crucial Chinese suppliers for parts that India lacks locally. This problem isn’t unique to Tesla; even the local Tata Motors sources battery cells from China. In recent months, the Indian government has accepted some joint-venture partnerships between Chinese suppliers and Indian firms on a case-by-case basis. However, they remain cautious about Chinese companies expanding in India, particularly automakers. Chinese car manufacturer BYD recently dropped a $1 billion investment plan for electric vehicles in India due to stringent scrutiny. Read next: BYD in Hot Water Over Alleged Tax Underpayment in India: Report Don't miss real-time alerts on your stocks - join Benzinga Pro for free! Try the tool that will help you invest smarter, faster, and better. This article Apple's Blueprint: Indian Government Suggests Tesla Adopt Similar Strategy For Chinese Suppliers originally appeared on Benzinga.com . © 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Stock futures slide after Fitch’s U.S. downgrade sours the market mood

2023-08-02 - U.S. stock futures stumbled Wednesday after markets were rattled by a downgrade to the U.S. government’s credit rating. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 71 points, or 0.2%, to 35631, the S&P 500 declined 12 points, or 0.27%, to 4577, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 62 points, or 0.43%, to 14284. What’s driving markets Equity-index futures are succumbing to a broad risk off tone across markets after rating agency Fitch downgraded the U.S.’s credit rating from AAA to AA+, citing “expected fiscal deterioration” and an “erosion of governance”. Fitch’s move follows a similar downgrade by S&P more than a decade ago. The U.S. Treasury market acts as a global benchmark upon which many financial products are based and so uncertainty about its stability can cause anxiety for investors. The news found a stock market arguably vulnerable to unwelcome surprises, with the S&P 500 having already gained 19.2% this year and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite up 36.5%. The CBOE VIX Index , an option-based gauge of expected S&P 500 volatility, jumped 16% to 16.2, its highest in nearly four weeks. Traditional perceived havens saw demand, with the Japanese yen USDJPY gaining 0.7%, gold GC00 nudging up to $1,950 an ounce, and benchmark German government bond yields moving lower. U.S. 10-year Treasury yields were little changed at 4.03%. However, most analysts did not see the downgrade causing the stock market much long term damage. “While debt downgrades seldom, if ever, have long legs, investors may pause and let the dust settle before re-entering risk markets. However, within this super market-friendly environment of stable growth and a Fed close to the end of its hiking cycle creating fertile ground for stock gains, its unlikely risk sentiment will wander too far off the soft landing path,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner of SPI Asset Management. Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said “the market remains sensitive as the final throes of earnings season rumble on, but 82% of S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far have surprised to the upside, offering a bit of a sentiment buffer.” Earnings results due Wednesday include CVS Health CVS, Humana HUM and Carlyle Group CG before the opening bell, followed after the close by PayPal PYPL, Shopify SHOP and Qualcomm QCOM. U.S. economic updates set for release on Wednesday include the ADP employment report at 8:15 a.m. Eastern.

Exclusive: Foxconn EV venture targets India, Thailand for new small car

2023-08-01 - [1/3] Mobility in Harmony (MIH) Chief Executive Officer Jack Cheng speaks at an interview with Reuters at the headquarters of Foxconn's EV platform unit in Taipei, Taiwan July 27, 2023. REUTERS/Ann Wang/FILE PHOTO TAIPEI, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Foxconn's (2317.TW) venture attempting to build a standardised electric vehicle platform is targeting India or Thailand for the production of a small battery-powered car under development, the unit's chief executive said. The Taiwanese company's EV platform unit Mobility in Harmony (MIH) would be willing to work with its parent or another company to build the new three-seat EV priced below $20,000 and tailor-made for a corporate delivery fleet, MIH CEO Jack Cheng told Reuters in an interview. MIH has been in talks with convenience stores, car rental companies and courier companies ahead of unveiling its first prototype EV at Japan's largest auto trade show in October, Cheng added. He declined to name the companies in talks with MIH, but said the car would be priced between $10,000 and $20,000. India and Thailand are likely contenders for production sites, he said, adding that he expected India to be crucial to MIH's longer-term growth. "You build where the potential market is...In India or Southeast Asia, you have a huge volume opportunity right now," Cheng said, calling India a potential "emerging power for the next generation" in the EV sector. MIH had not previously described its manufacturing strategy or the potential customers for its new vehicle. Since 2021, Foxconn has had a joint venture with Thailand's state-energy company PTT (PTT.BK) centred on EVs, an area of focus for the Southeast Asian country's government. For its part, Foxconn has so far failed to land the kind of deal that would show the EV market can be opened to the type of contract manufacturing that Foxconn came to dominate in consumer electronics for Apple's (AAPL.O) iPhone. Foxconn established the MIH consortium of some 2,600 suppliers two years ago with the aim of creating an open platform that could become the equivalent of Google's (GOOGL.O) Android operating system for EVs. Cheng conceded MIH had "not seen success yet" but said returns for participating suppliers would come with orders for a range of new EVs called Project X. The idea is to use low-cost, shared platforms to allow corporate fleet operators to order custom-made EVs. So far, that model is largely untested, and analysts have said the best opportunity for a new EV entrant like Foxconn could close in the next few years as established automakers and startups ramp up their own production. MIH plans to start production of the three-seat EV about 18 to 24 months after the prototype is unveiled in October, Cheng said. A six-seat EV is scheduled to follow in 2024 and a nine-seat model in 2025. Based on its timeline, it would take MIH four years or more from its founding to first sales in a best case scenario. But Cheng, who was a co-founder of Chinese EV maker NIO (9866.HK) and headed Fiat's joint venture in China before joining Foxconn, said Tesla's (TSLA.O) success with its large Shanghai plant showed how quickly an EV maker could scale up. "I'm building another Shanghai, probably in India," Cheng said. "If this is a Foxconn plant, fantastic, it's the mother company, we put it into the Foxconn plant. If this is a local India plant and it's even more competitive, give it to the India plant." Foxconn, which only produces a small number of EVs at present, has set an initial target of gaining a 5% share of the global market by 2025. MIH's sales will count towards Foxconn's target, Cheng said. Reporting by Sarah Wu; Editing by Kevin Krolicki and Jamie Freed Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Why Cathie Wood's Ark Says Tesla Is 'Large And Looming' Rival That Could Capitalize On Regulatory Strides Made By Cruise, Waymo - Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA),

2023-08-01 - On Monday, an analyst from Cathie Wood-led ARK Investment Management shared a prospective aftermath of the Cruise expansion for Tesla Inc TSLA. What Happened: ARK Invest analyst Tasha Keeney said in a newsletter that though Cruise is beginning to test its robotaxis in different cities will give it more ‘corner cases’ to improve the autonomy of its vehicles, the pace at which Cruise can launch public, commercial services at scale is more important. The analyst’s take comes on the heels of Cruise’s announcement from last week that it will start testing its vehicles in Nashville. Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL unit Waymo and General Motors-backed GM Cruise each take up about 10,000 customer trips per week and have about 400 cars on the road. Keeney said that these numbers are important to watch for as they try to scale their services. Keeney opined that Tesla could have an advantage over these rivals once it kickstarts its robotaxi business thanks to the data it has compiled with the beta version of its full self-driving (FSD) software so far. Further, the regulatory jumps procured by Cruise and Waymo over the past decade for autonomous transportation will pave the way for ‘the large and looming competitor,’ Keeney said. Why It Matters: Though Waymo and Cruise are already providing rides, they are limited to certain cities and mostly certain hours of the day within these chosen cities. In April 2022, Musk predicted Tesla would achieve volume production of Robotaxis in 2024. In the company's second-quarter earnings call last month, Musk said that its dedicated robotaxi products will be a revolutionary design made in a revolutionary way. "It’ll be by far the highest units per hour of any vehicle production ever," Musk said. Analysts at ARK see robotaxis turning into a “revenue generating machine” for the EV giant. Image source – Shutterstock Check out more of Benzinga’s Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link. Read More: Texas Senator John Cornyn Tours Tesla Gigafactory, Says Discussed ‘AI, Supply Chains…SpaceX, China’ With Elon Musk

Elon Musk is threatening us for telling the truth about Twitter

2023-08-01 - This weekend Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, was welcomed back to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, with open arms. The account was reactivated just months after it had been suspended for Ye repeatedly tweeting hateful and antisemitic statements. In December, when he praised Hitler and posted an image that appeared to show a swastika inside a Star of David, Twitter owner Elon Musk tweeted that Ye had “again violated our rule against incitement to violence.” When Ye posted an image that appeared to show a swastika inside a Star of David, Musk tweeted that he had “again violated our rule against incitement to violence.” At the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) we haven’t heard of any apologies Ye has made for those tweets. Nor do we know of any promises he’s made to abide by the “community standards” that apply — in theory, at least — to all users. Even so, Musk has decided that Ye, who has an inglorious track record of posting hate speech, deserves to be on his platform. After self-reporting that advertising revenue is down 50%, Musk is desperate to court advertisers. It’s clear from the company’s announcement of Ye’s return that its executives know his hateful posts are anathema to advertisers. After all, X has also promised advertisers that their ads won’t appear next to his posts. What’s perhaps most revealing about that promise is that it means that X is capable of identifying and recognizing hateful posts, understands how repugnant such posts are to most people, and, despite that understanding, is nevertheless choosing to invite Ye again: perhaps for the division, fear, anger and attention he might generate. The Center for Countering Digital Hate has been at the forefront of cataloging and reporting on the hate proliferating on Twitter/X under Musk’s ownership, which began in October. Despite his claim the following month that “hate speech impressions” were down by one-third, we at the CCDH have found that hate and disinformation on his platform have increased under Musk's leadership. CCDH’s reporting has shown that the volume of tweets containing slurs have risen by up to 202%; shown that tweets linking LGBTQ+ people to “grooming” have more than doubled; demonstrated that climate denial content and accounts are surging; and revealed Twitter’s failure to act on hate posted by Twitter Blue subscribers. Members of Twitter’s own Trust and Safety Council resigned, citing CCDH findings in their resignation statement. Our research has been cited by many news outlets, including NBC News. So what has Musk, that self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist,” done in the face of this wave of hate on his platform that is driving advertisers away? He is trying to silence the independent researchers at CCDH who are shining a light on the situation. Musk and his legal team have engaged in an aggressive campaign to intimidate, bully and silence CCDH, including Musk on July 18 calling my organization “evil” and me, its CEO, a “rat.” On July 20, Musk cold-called my organization’s board chair and demanded a conversation, giving him a deadline of two hours to respond. Later that same day, a law firm representing Musk sent a letter threatening a lawsuit against us based on the “fanciful” legal theory that “CCDH intends to harm Twitter’s business” and that we have violated a law created to prohibit false advertising. He has accused us of working for his competitors, or for foreign governments, even though we’ve published reports critical of his competitors and even though we aren’t funded by any government or social media company. X’s legal threat is a brazen attempt to silence honest criticism and independent research, perhaps in a desperate hope that it can stem the tide of negative stories and rebuild the company's relationship with advertisers. Advertisers have the right to decide not to be associated with something known to be harmful and toxic. Musk has fostered the proliferation of hate and racism on his platform, and advertisers have the right to decide not to be associated with something known to be harmful and toxic. Musk is targeting CCDH because we reveal the truth about the spread of hate and disinformation on the social media platform during his ownership, and his bottom line is taking a hit. Through lawyers, CCDH responded Monday to Musk’s “ridiculous letter” that attempts to intimidate and silence us. In our letter we promise that we will continue to hold accountable social media companies that spread hate and disinformation to the public. The public, researchers and advertisers deserve a more transparent, accountable and responsible X (Twitter). To do anything less is to let the bullies win.

New Leaders Emerge: S&P 500 Shows Shift in Top Performers

2023-08-01 - It wasn’t that long ago that the “Magnificent 7” stocks, Apple Inc. NASDAQ: AAPL, Microsoft Corp. NASDAQ: MSFT, Nvidia Corp. NASDAQ: NVDA, Tesla Inc. NASDAQ: TSLA, Amazon.com Inc. NASDAQ: AMZN, Alphabet Inc. NASDAQ: GOOGL and Meta Platforms Inc. NASDAQ: META were pretty much the only game in town. Key Points This year, a few mega-cap tech stocks dominated the market, but since late May, other stocks have been rotating into leadership. Cruise line companies, Carnival and Royal Caribbean rank third and fourth in YTD S&P 500 performance, with returns of 129.40% and 119.64%, respectively. Tesla, PulteGroup, Align Technology, Palo Alto Networks, Norwegian Cruise Line, and General Electric also make the top performers list. The equal-weighted S&P 500 index shows how smaller companies contribute to the market's overall performance. Increased market breadth signals broad confidence and positive sentiment, contributing to a potentially more sustainable market rally. 5 stocks we like better than Align Technology Since late May, other stocks have been rotating into leadership. As of July 31, the top S&P 500 performers and their year-to-date returns were: That’s quite a different list from the one you would have seen a couple of months ago. In particular, as cruise lines sail to higher prices, the makeup of S&P top performers is changing. Equal-Weighted S&P As Gauge Of Breadth One informative way to slice and dice the performance of S&P internals is by comparing the performance of the equal-weighted index with the traditional market-cap weighted. As its name implies, the S&P 500 equal-weighted index assigns an equal weighting to each constituent, providing a balanced representation of all included stocks. That means no component, regardless of its market capitalization, has outsized influence over index performance. This approach tends to tilt the index toward the smaller holdings, which are frequently more volatile than the mega-caps that dominate the market-cap-weighted index. That volatility isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it can, at times, lead to outperformance. You can track the S&P equal-weighted index with the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF NYSEARCA: RSP. While the equal-weighted index can provide a more diversified representation of components, giving smaller companies an equal sway as larger ones and potentially reducing concentration risk, the traditional market-cap weighted index is still outperforming by a wide margin. Not Unusual To See Performance Divergence So far this year, the market-cap-weighted S&P 500 is outpacing the equal-weighted index by 97%. It’s not necessarily unusual to see that disparity at this juncture; there’s generally a cyclical nature to the indexes’ returns, as the market-cap weighted tends to outperform as the market is rebounding, as is happening this year. Still, the performance of the equal-weight index offers one more data point to support the case that breadth is returning to markets. A look at the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF’s chart shows the fund is within a whisker of clearing a base that began in early February. So what does the performance of equal-weighted S&P leaders mean for market breadth? How Smaller Companies Contribute To Index Return The equal-weighted index shows how smaller companies are contributing to the overall market; as their performance improves, as we’re clearly seeing with the cruise lines, they frequently bring other industry peers along with them. To use a cliche that’s appropriate in this case: A rising tide can lift all - or at least other - boats. Stock market breadth is considered bullish when many stocks across various sectors and market capitalizations participate in an uptrend. A broad-based rally indicates a healthy market as more companies see positive price movements, reflecting overall investor optimism. Greater Breadth Suggests Greater Confidence A high degree of market breadth suggests broad confidence and positive sentiment, often indicating a robust and more sustainable rally. It also signifies that multiple industries and companies are contributing to the market's strength, making it less reliant on the performance of a few heavily-weighted stocks or sectors. It’s that latter point that has made investors nervous all year, even as AI, cloud computing and electric vehicles sent some stocks on rocket rides. While it’s certainly possible the market will see a pullback before year’s end, it’s statistically unlikely that 2023 will be a down year in the market. Historically, down years are most often followed by a year with S&P 500 price gains. Increased breadth only makes that likelihood stronger, as it’s not up to just big techs to carry the entire market on their backs. Before you consider Align Technology, you'll want to hear this. MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and Align Technology wasn't on the list. While Align Technology currently has a "Moderate Buy" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys. View The Five Stocks Here

American drivers are falling out of love with the latest car designs and tech, study finds

2023-07-31 - “The decline in consecutive years might look small, but it’s an indicator that larger issues may lie under the surface.” That’s how Frank Hanley, senior director of auto benchmarking at J.D. Power, introduces the results of the research giant’s latest study of how Americans are responding to automakers’ latest vehicle designs and performance. J.D. Power’s U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study measures “owners’ emotional attachment and level of excitement with their new vehicle.” Researchers poll new car owners on “37 attributes, ranging from the sense of comfort they feel when climbing into the driver’s seat to their exhilaration when they step on the accelerator.” For the first time in the study’s 28-year history, overall scores have declined two years in a row. Americans are growing less enamored of new cars. Overall satisfaction scored a middling B grade – 845 on a 1,000-point scale. Plus: The deadliest—and least deadly—cars, trucks and SUVs Infotainment system complexity Complex entertainment and information technologies continue to frustrate buyers, the study finds. Less than half of owners prefer to use their car’s own built-in technologies to navigate, use voice recognition, and make calls. Most preferred to use their phone in the car (are you listening, GM? GM ). Only 56% of owners use their car’s own systems to play music – falling quickly from 70% in 2020. But, in a new development, buyers are growing less fond of how new cars look. Satisfaction with exterior design fell further than any other factor measured — 888 from 894. Check out: 18 new EVs to watch for in 2024 No difference between best luxury, non-luxury scores The winners among luxury cars and mainstream cars tied. Among premium buyers, Jaguar owners were the most in love with their new cars. But new Dodge owners rated their cars just as well. Acura scored last among luxury brands. Chrysler took the last spot among mainstream cars. Perhaps more surprisingly, Toyota TM – the world’s largest automaker – barely stayed out of last place. Genesis, Hyundai, Kia win more matchups Having a particularly large lineup gives an automaker more chances to succeed and to fail. Hyundai Motor Group (Genesis, Hyundai, and Kia KR:000270 ) didn’t place any of its brands in the top three of either list. But the company had more models ranking highest in their segments than any other. The Genesis GV60, Hyundai Santa Cruz, Kia Carnival, Kia EV6, Kia Forte, Kia K5, Kia Rio, Kia Stinger, and Kia Telluride all led their categories. No other manufacturer won in more than five. Plus: The 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid offers great fuel economy with plenty of safety features and lively performance Luxury automaker scores Brand Score (on a 1,000-point scale) Jaguar 887 Land Rover 883 Porsche POAHY 883 BMW XE:BMW 878 Genesis 877 Mercedes-Benz 876 Lincoln 873 Segment Average 871 Cadillac 865 Lexus 864 Alfa Romeo 859 Volvo VLVLY 856 Audi 855 Infiniti 854 Acura 853 Tesla TSLA and Polestar PSNY are not ranked because they do not allow J.D. Power to access owner information where permission is required by law. Based on the limited data available from states that don’t require company authorization, J.D. Power says, Tesla would have scored 878, and Polestar 865. Also read: What do car dealers have to be worried about? Plenty, survey says. Mainstream automaker scores Brand Score (on a 1,000-point scale) Dodge 887 Ram 873 GMC 858 Mini 856 Kia 851 Chevrolet 846 Hyundai 844 Nissan NSANY 843 Buick 841 Ford F 838 Segment Average 837 Honda HMC 835 Jeep 831 Mitsubishi MSBHF 831 Mazda MZDAY 828 Volkswagen VWAGY 827 Subaru FUJHY 824 Toyota 824 Chrysler 810 This story originally ran on KBB.com.

Skepticism prevails as Chinese leaders promise to back private businesses to spur slowing economy

2023-07-31 - A woman walks past a store with a sign which reads "Clearing at a lost, left-over sizes clearance" at a store in Beijing, Thursday, July 27, 2023. Chinese leader Xi Jinping's government is promising to drag the economy out of a crisis of confidence aggravated by tensions with Washington, wilting exports, job losses and anxiety among foreign companies about an expanded anti-spying law. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) A woman walks past a store with a sign which reads "Clearing at a lost, left-over sizes clearance" at a store in Beijing, Thursday, July 27, 2023. Chinese leader Xi Jinping's government is promising to drag the economy out of a crisis of confidence aggravated by tensions with Washington, wilting exports, job losses and anxiety among foreign companies about an expanded anti-spying law. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) A woman walks past a store with a sign which reads "Clearing at a lost, left-over sizes clearance" at a store in Beijing, Thursday, July 27, 2023. Chinese leader Xi Jinping's government is promising to drag the economy out of a crisis of confidence aggravated by tensions with Washington, wilting exports, job losses and anxiety among foreign companies about an expanded anti-spying law. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) A woman walks past a store with a sign which reads "Clearing at a lost, left-over sizes clearance" at a store in Beijing, Thursday, July 27, 2023. Chinese leader Xi Jinping's government is promising to drag the economy out of a crisis of confidence aggravated by tensions with Washington, wilting exports, job losses and anxiety among foreign companies about an expanded anti-spying law. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s government is promising to drag the economy out of a crisis of confidence aggravated by tensions with Washington, wilting exports, job losses and anxiety among foreign companies about an expanded anti-spying law BEIJING -- The Fangbiaogan Real Estate Agency in the southern city of Nanning is still waiting for China’s post-COVID rebound. Home sales are 30-40% below last year's depressed level after the economy barely grew in the latest quarter, according to the owner, who would give only his surname, Cai. He has cut staff by 80% to 40 employees. Their income from sales commissions has fallen as much as 90%. “People are worried,” said Cai. “They feel safer holding onto their savings instead of spending them.” Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s government is making ambitious promises to drag the economy out of that crisis of confidence aggravated by tension with Washington, wilting exports, job losses and anxiety among foreign companies about an expanded anti-spying law. Its most striking pledge: To support entrepreneurs who generate jobs and wealth but have felt under attack over the past decade as the ruling Communist Party built up state-owned industry, tightened control over business and pressured them to pay for its technology and industrial ambitions. China has an “urgent need” to “boost confidence in the outlook for the private economy," the Cabinet said in a July 19 announcement. Entrepreneurs and investors are waiting to see what tax, spending or other steps the ruling party might take — and whether it will rein in state companies that dominate banking, energy and other industries and that economists say are stifling growth. The ruling party took action after the economy grew by just 0.8% in the three months ending in June from the previous quarter, down from 2.2% growth in January-March. That is equal to a 3.2% annual rate, among China’s weakest in decades. With households anxious about possible job losses, retail sales growth slid to 3.1% in June from the previous month’s 12.7%. “Policymakers have underestimated the difficulty in boosting the confidence of households and private companies,” Macquarie economists Larry Hu and Yuxiao Zhang said in a report. China needs a “reset in macro and regulatory policies to make them more pro-growth and pro-business,” they said. The ruling party’s Politburo followed up on July 24 with a statement promising to shore up economic growth and support real estate, which has struggled since Beijing clamped down on debt levels in China's biggest industry. Stock markets in Hong Kong and China surged on the news but fell back as investors waited to see what Beijing might do. “I’ve seen lots of policies like this, but none were carried out,” said Cai, the real estate broker. China's leaders want the prosperity generated by free enterprise but also are requiring businesses to invest in political initiatives that include developing computer chips and narrowing the wealth gap between China’s elite and the poor majority. Regulators shut down an internet-based tutoring industry and imposed limits on children playing online games. Skeptical businesspeople and economists expect little more than fine-tuning. “We doubt this marks a fundamental shift in the way that the leadership views the role of private firms,” Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a report. The country’s No. 2 leader, Premier Li Qiang, and Cabinet ministers spent the first half of this year meeting visiting CEOs including Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook and Elon Musk of Tesla Ltd. in a charm offensive aimed at reviving investor interest. Despite that, foreign companies are on edge following unexplained raids on two consulting firms and a due diligence firm. The expansion of an anti-spying law and a push for self-reliance in technology also are seen as risks. Foreign investment into China fell 2.7% from a year earlier in the first half of 2023, according to official data. A survey by the British Chamber of Commerce in China found 70% of foreign companies want “greater clarity” before making new investments. The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said its members are shifting investments to Southeast Asia and other targets. Exports in June fell 12.% from a year earlier after interest rate hikes to cool inflation dampened U.S. and European consumer demand. A furniture dealer in the central city of Taiyuan said her sales were down 20-30% compared with during the pandemic. The merchant, who would give only her family name, Ma, said her customers are salaried urban workers who still were recovering from anti-virus measures that shut down companies. “We have lost money so far this year,” said Ma, who was unaware of the ruling party’s promise of support. An official survey found unemployment among young people in cities spiked to a record 21.3% in June. A researcher at Peking University, Zhang Dandan, wrote in the business news magazine Caixin the true rate might be almost 50% if young people who are paid by parents to work around the house while they try to find other jobs or have given up looking are included. The party's decision to reverse one of its signature policies and ease controls imposed in 2020 to rein in surging debt in real estate reflect the urgency of the problem. Those curbs triggered a wave of hundreds of bankruptcies among developers and dragged on business activity. Still, the property industry’s problems persist. Developers have renegotiated payments to banks and bondholders, but financial analysts say they face another cash crunch if sales fail to pick up. The biggest, Evergrande Group, still is trying to resolve more than $300 billion in debt. Tech tycoon Ma Huateng, the publicity-shy co-founder of games and social media giant Tencent Holding, broke his media silence and issued a statement praising the July 19 announcement as a “clear and in-depth understanding” of challenges for entrepreneurs. Tencent, operator of the popular WeChat message service, is a target of anti-monopoly and data security crackdowns launched by Beijing in 2020 to tighten control over tech industries. Its share price has fallen by half, wiping out more than $400 billion in stock market value. The statement “raised earnest expectations for high-quality development of private enterprises," Ma wrote on a state TV blog. The party has tried to shift money to the public by pressuring successful companies including e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to raise wages and reduce charges. But the party has avoided giving money straight to households through Western-style social welfare programs. The chief economist of state-owned Bank of China International Ltd. suggested a politically sensitive alternative: Hand ownership of state-owned companies that are the core of the ruling party's strategic plans to the Chinese public. Their dividends would “create wealth effects for residents, stimulating increased income and consumption,” Xu Gao wrote in a commentary published by a Beijing think tank, the Center for China and Globalization. The party has given no sign it might consider that. It has not clarified the status of law and consulting firms and other companies under the anti-spying rules, which have left many uncertain about whether gathering information on business conditions is prohibited. Another risk factor: More abrupt policy changes as Xi, China’s most powerful leader in decades, pursues his economic, social and strategic ambitions. “There is little to prevent private firms from being targeted again down the road,” said Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics. ___ AP researcher Yu Bing contributed.

Bitcoin ETF Potential, Musk's Dogecoin Support, RFK's Investment And More: This Week In Cryptocurrency - BlackRock (NYSE:BLK), Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)

2023-07-30 - This week in the cryptocurrency sector was marked by significant developments, from the potential impact of a Bitcoin ETF to Elon Musk’s continued influence on Dogecoin. Here’s a look at the top stories: Bitcoin ETF Impact: Investment research firm Fundstrat predicts that the potential launch of a Bitcoin ETF from BlackRock BLK could skyrocket Bitcoin’s BTC/USD price to $180,000 before the scheduled halving in April 2024. The firm sees a 75% probability that a spot bitcoin ETF is approved in the near term. Read the full article here. Musk’s Dogecoin Support: Elon Musk subtly updated his Twitter bio to display the Dogecoin symbol, triggering an 8% surge in Dogecoin’s price. The move sparked speculation about potential integration of Dogecoin into the Twitter platform. Read the full article here. Kennedy Jr.’s Bitcoin Investment: Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. revealed that he purchased 14 Bitcoin in May of this year, currently worth around $400,000. Kennedy touted Bitcoin as the currency of freedom and acknowledged his investment after facing criticism for promoting Bitcoin without owning any. Read the full article here. Sherman’s Bitcoin Criticism: U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman expressed skepticism about the innovation of cryptocurrency, mistakenly referring to Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto as "Saratoshi Nagamoto." Dogecoin DOGE/USD co-creator Billy Markus criticized Sherman for his error and his stance on cryptocurrency. Read the full article here. Tesla’s Payment Options: Tesla Inc TSLA reportedly removed Bitcoin from its payment page source code while retaining Dogecoin. The move comes amidst increased regulatory scrutiny and environmental concerns about Bitcoin. Read the full article here. For more in-depth coverage of these stories and more, you can read more on Benzinga's cryptocurrency coverage by following this link. Dogecoin Photo by Chinnapong on Shutterstock

Here's what thousands of Tesla owners really think about their Model 3

2023-07-30 - A Bloomberg survey found many Tesla Model 3 owners were disenchanted with Elon Musk. However, 87% of respondents said they were considering buying another Tesla as their next vehicle. Here's some of the best and worst things the respondents had to say about their Model 3. Morning Brew Insider recommends waking up with, a daily newsletter. Loading Something is loading. Thanks for signing up! Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go. download the app Email address By clicking “Sign Up,” you also agree to marketing emails from both Insider and Morning Brew; and you accept Insider’s Terms and Privacy Policy Click here for Morning Brew’s privacy policy. A Bloomberg survey of more than 5,000 Tesla Model 3 owners found many respondents had become disenchanted with the EV maker's owner Elon Musk in the four years since the outlet's last survey. Many reported deep concerns about Musk's online presence and some of his controversial opinions. Nevertheless, the owners were overall still very positive about the Model 3 and said they planned to stick with Tesla. Nearly 87% of the Model 3 owners surveyed said they were considering another Tesla for their next vehicle, while 96% said they were considering an EV of some sort. But some still found issues with their vehicles, and many shared safety worries over Tesla's Full Self-Driving technology. Here's some of the best and worst things customers told Bloomberg about their Model 3 – and the FSD technology. The good "Best car I've ever owned." "The one repair I needed was for the charge door and they came to my house to fix it in one day, not under warranty. A great experience." "I love my car, and intend on getting my wife a Tesla when she moves to USA. Safest cars on the road are Teslas." "Makes it almost impossible to consider buying any other vehicle, especially electric." "Performance & mechanical reliability amazingly better than any non-EV. There just isn't any comparison." The Model 3's interior. Tesla The bad "Numerous problems with reliability follow a pattern. First, Tesla claims it doesn't exist, then they damage the car trying to fix it. Window actuators failed multiple times. Each time claimed no problem. Then, when they looked at, once they damaged the door trying to slam it while window stayed open, second time, cut the interior while trying to replace actuator. Both times, they needed to keep for 10 days to fix their own fubar." "The wheel well rusts and Tesla claims it is normal. This is the first time I've seen a wheel well rust from the 5 or so cars I have owned in the past." "I've been unable to use USB storage and charging for years, HVAC system doesn't work properly above 32 F, rear inverter blew while parked, some trim pieces fell off" "Car has been unable to drive for 3 months. AC system has not worked for over a year. Very dissatisfied." "Worst car I've ever owned. Appears to have been assembled by a 6 year old. Drunk. With a hand tied behind his back. Garbage." Autopilot and FSD "I definitely feel safer driving with it. It isn't perfect, but neither am I, and we complement each other's weaknesses. It has faster reaction times and sees better (360 degrees)." "People's risk profiles understandably differ, but if auto pilot is used properly and expectations are realistic, it's outstanding and much safer." "It is dangerous and this man must be stopped." "This $10,000 option was clearly fraud and should be treated as such by regulators." "Phantom braking is a frightening experience that greatly lowers confidence in FSD. I simply don't trust it and would like a refund." "My wife describes Autopilot and FSD in the following way, 'Your car drives like a drunk old man.'" "FSD is nowhere near safe enough to be used on public roads without 100% driver attention. Given that drivers rely on the hype and not reality, I think this is likely to create unsafe situations for everyone sharing the road."

Self-Driving Cars Could Change the Auto Industry (GM, F)

2023-07-30 - Level Who Does What, When Level 1 The human driver does all the driving. Level 2 An advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) on the vehicle can sometimes assist the human driver with either steering or braking/accelerating, but not both simultaneously. Level 3 An advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) on the vehicle can itself control both steering and braking/accelerating simultaneously under some circumstances. The human driver must continue to pay full attention (“monitor the driving environment”) at all times and perform the rest of the driving task. Level 4 An Automated Driving System (ADS) on the vehicle can itself perform all driving tasks and monitor the driving environment – essentially, do all the driving – in certain circumstances. The human need not pay attention in those circumstances. Level 5 This is the envisioned "driverless" car. An Automated Driving System (ADS) on the vehicle can do all the driving in all circumstances. The human occupants are just passengers and need never be involved in driving. Impact on the Automobile and Related Industries The automobile industry has been historically slow to react to technological change. Traditional car makers have been reluctant to develop a full-featured electric car, and start-ups such as Tesla Motors (TSLA) have been founded to innovate instead. If self-driving cars become prevalent, it is likely that technology companies such as Google or Apple (AAPL) will lead the way and put a serious dent in the profits of traditional car companies such as GM, Ford (F) or Toyota (TM). Let's look a variety of more specific impacts AVs can have on the automobile industry. Changes to Business Models The emergence of autonomous vehicles can lead to a shift in the traditional business model of the auto industry. It's estimated that the 2023 autonomous vehicle market size is $33.5 billion; it's also forecast that the industry will grow to over $93 billion by 2028. Instead of just manufacturing and selling cars to individual consumers, automakers are exploring new revenue streams through mobility services. This includes developing autonomous ride-hailing services, car-sharing platforms, and subscription-based models where customers pay for access to a fleet of autonomous vehicles rather than owning a car. This shift may require automakers to form partnerships with tech companies and mobility service providers to deliver integrated and seamless mobility solutions. New Automakers The development of autonomous technology has attracted tech giants and startups to the auto industry. Companies like Google, Tesla, and Apple are investing heavily in AV technology, creating new competition for traditional automakers. As a result, automakers face a more competitive environment in the race to bring reliable and safe autonomous vehicles to the market. Interior Design Autonomous vehicles offer new design possibilities since passengers will no longer need to focus on driving. Interior spaces can be reimagined to become more comfortable and provide features for productivity or entertainment. Additionally, the integration of advanced sensors and AI technology requires automakers to rethink vehicle architecture and design to optimize sensor placement and ensure maximum safety. With potential changes of how these vehicles are operated, the future of what cars may look like is evolving. Interconnectivity AVs generate massive amounts of data through their sensors and AI systems. This data is invaluable for improving autonomous algorithms, enhancing safety, and optimizing traffic flow. Though the extent of how this big data can be used is still evolving, consider how city municipalities can acquire and leverage this data to better understand traffic flows, driving tendencies, and ways to improve their cities. Automotive Supply Chain The transition to autonomous vehicles may impact the automotive supply chain. Automakers may need to collaborate with new suppliers for specialized AV components, such as advanced sensors and AI processors. Additionally, AV technology may require changes in manufacturing processes, quality control, and testing protocols to ensure the safety and reliability of autonomous vehicles. Government Regulation The introduction of autonomous vehicles presents complex regulatory challenges. Governments and policymakers must create a clear legal framework and standards to govern AV operations, safety testing, liability, data privacy, and cybersecurity. Keep in mind that approximately 1.3 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes due to traditional means of driving. Harmonizing regulations across regions and countries will be essential to facilitate the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles on a global scale. Auto Insurance Driverless car-makers promise their products will be safe and reduce accidents. Drunk driving will become a thing of the past as inebriated passengers will be chauffeured by their mechanical Hobsons. As a result, the incidence of hazard might fall dramatically – seriously impacting car insurance companies such as Allstate (ALL), GEICO (BRK.A), and Progressive (PGR). Since there presumably would be fewer accidents, the cost of insurance would plummet along with insurance companies' bottom lines. In a 2023 survey by AAA, 68% of individuals surveyed noted they are afraid of partially-automated vehicle technology, up 13% from last year. Impact on the Greater Economy In addition to disrupting the auto industry, AVs can have widespread and deep impact to the global economy. Here's a brief list of potential repercussions of the evolution of driverless cars. Employment The advent of autonomous vehicles has raised concerns about job displacement for professional drivers. Occupations such as truck drivers, taxi drivers, and delivery drivers may face job disruptions as AVs become more widespread. However, new job opportunities will also emerge, such as overseeing AV fleet operations, maintenance, and software development. The auto industry will need to manage this transition and potentially invest in retraining programs for affected workers. Environments and Consumption Safer driving and optimized traffic flow can also reduce fuel consumption and emissions, contributing to ESG benefits and potentially transforming the automotive industry's sustainability efforts. Autonomous vehicles can be programmed to optimize driving patterns, maintain consistent speeds, and avoid aggressive acceleration or braking, leading to smoother traffic flow and improved fuel efficiency. Autonomous cars can also employ eco-friendly driving strategies, such as predictive cruising and route planning. Consumer Tendencies Private ownership of cars may become a thing of the past, and consumer theory may be set to evolve. If driverless cars can be summoned by a user using an Uber-like app, then there would be no need for that user to own their own car, let alone multiple cars. A decentralized fleet of driverless cars, therefore, could be shared by many needing rides. Though this may negatively impact car sales, the need to never drive again may free consumer resources (time and money) to be spent overwise. Urban Development Driverless cars could prompt changes in urban development and infrastructure planning. Reduced demand for parking spaces and increased emphasis on mobility services may lead to the repurposing of parking lots and garages for other uses. Cities may need to adapt their transportation infrastructure to accommodate autonomous vehicles, which could result in both public and private investment opportunities. Corporate Productivity With autonomous vehicles handling the driving, commuters and businesses can utilize travel time more efficiently. Passengers can work, relax, or engage in other activities during their journeys, leading to increased productivity. Businesses may also benefit from improved logistics and delivery processes, reducing operational costs and enhancing overall economic output. Are Driverless Cars Safe? Driverless cars are designed with multiple safety systems, redundancies, and fail-safe mechanisms to minimize risks. The technology aims to significantly reduce accidents caused by human error, which account for a large percentage of road crashes. Extensive testing and validation processes are conducted to ensure the safety and reliability of autonomous vehicles, though the full extent of how reliable these driverless cars is yet to be fully determined. What Role Does Artificial Intelligence Play in Driverless Cars? Artificial intelligence is the driving force behind autonomous vehicles. AI algorithms process sensor data, recognize patterns, identify objects, and make real-time decisions on how to navigate safely. The continuous learning capability of AI enables AVs to improve their performance through data analysis and experience. What Are the Challenges Facing Driverless Car Adoption? Key challenges to driverless car adoption include regulatory and legal frameworks, safety concerns, public acceptance, cybersecurity, and data privacy. Additionally, the integration of autonomous technology with existing transportation infrastructure and vehicles presents technical and logistical challenges. What Are the Privacy Concerns with Driverless Cars? Driverless cars collect vast amounts of data from their sensors and cameras, which raises privacy concerns. Ensuring transparent data management, data anonymization, and robust cybersecurity measures are crucial to address these privacy issues and gain public trust in the technology. The Bottom Line Once just a far-off dream, driverless cars are now technologically feasible and may be coming to a street near you sooner than later. Autonomous cars are sure to disrupt the automobile and related industries, seriously hurting the bottom line of those companies who are not quick to adapt. At the same time, the benefits to society and the macroeconomy will be positive and significant. There will, however, be a smaller few who become displaced by the new technology and will not benefit from the larger societal gains.

MarketBeat Week in Review – 7/24 - 7/28

2023-07-29 - Key Points Markets moved higher to end the week as investors prioritized moderating inflation over rising interest rates. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates to their highest level in 22 years, but also indicated that the rate cycle may be near the end. The latest PCE reading shows that inflation pressures continue to moderate. Next week investors will hear from Amazon and Apple; the jobs report on Friday may also be a market mover. Here are some of the most popular articles from this week. 5 stocks we like better than Exscientia Markets rallied to end the week after the latest reading on the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) Index showed that prices were rising at the slowest pace in nearly two years. However, the Federal Reserve made it clear that this is no time to declare a victory over inflation. The Fed raised its benchmark rate by 25 basis points. The move was largely expected, however, and that is allowing investors to look for opportunities as earnings are coming in, so far, better than expected. Next week will bring key earnings reports from Apple and Amazon. Investors will also get the latest employment information when the jobs report is released on August 4. It’s setting up to be another noisy week at a time of year when markets are usually much quieter. But as you get some R&R, the MarketBeat team will continue to help you stay on top of the news that’s moving the market. Here are some of our most popular stories from this week. Articles by Jea Yu This week, Jea Yu was asking an important question: are we starting to experience AI fatigue? In June, ChatGPT usage declined for the first time. Before you dismiss that as due to students being out of school, Yu also writes that generative AI appears to be getting less intelligent over time. However, artificial intelligence isn’t going away, and one example of that is in the biotechnology sector. Yu writes about the small-cap AI-driven pharmatech company, Exscientia NASDAQ: EXAI. As more attention is shining on the potential for AI to speed drug discoveries, investors are noting that Exscientia is the first company to bring AI-designed drugs to the human clinical trial stage. And partnerships with major biopharmaceutical companies are a good indicator that the company may be successful in bringing a drug to market. Yu was also looking at the improving outlook for Polestar Automotive Holding UK PLC NASDAQ: PSNY. The Swedish EV startup is benefiting from record quarterly deliveries in the second quarter, which is moving the company closer to profitability. Articles by Thomas Hughes Thomas Hughes was also alerting investors to the idea that the markets may be reaching peak AI. Hughes writes that the results from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ; MSFT) show that the market may have priced in this quarter’s earnings and is waiting to hear the forward guidance before taking AI stocks higher. Hughes sees a similar situation emerging with Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. NYSE: CMG. The company had a solid earnings report. But at a time when solid is expected, a slight miss on revenue was all it took to send shares tumbling. However, as Hughes explains, the CMG stock chart shows this could present investors with an opportunistic entry point. Turning his attention to an undervalued stock, Hughes was looking at the cybersecurity firm, Check Point Software Technologies NASDAQ: CHKP. The company is lagging behind the big names in this sector, but as Hughes writes, the company’s revenue and margins are increasing, which is making CHPT stock a deep value for investors. Articles by Sam Quirke Tesla, Inc. NASDAQ: TSLA is a favorite stock for many MarketBeat subscribers. It’s one of our team’s favorites too. And this week, Sam Quirke explains why investors should view the recent downgrade of TSLA stock as a buying opportunity. And if you enjoy learning about, and investing in, real pick and shovel companies, Quirke points you to Cadence Design Systems Inc. NASDAQ: CDNS. The company makes software and hardware that are essential to the manufacturing of semiconductor chips. Chips are the backbone of many technologies, such as AI, so Cadence has a long runway for growth. However, in what is becoming a familiar theme for tech stocks, the company delivered a good, but not great, earnings report and shares are down. With that in mind, Quirke explains why a pullback in CDNS stock may be a buying opportunity. Articles by Chris Markoch The Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike was expected. But as Chris Markoch explains, the existence of higher-for-longer interest rates will undoubtedly have lingering effects on the housing market. With that in mind, Markoch gave readers three housing stocks to move out of until market conditions improve. While the housing sector may be one to avoid, Markoch was more bullish on the autonomous vehicle sector. This is a sector that will benefit from the exploding demand for AI. Elon Musk is making a $1 billion investment in Tesla’s Project Dojo, and Markoch gave investors three autonomous vehicle stocks that are also making strides in this technology. And while the health of the banking sector is still a primary concern for investors, Markoch was looking at the financial technology (fintech) sector which continues to disrupt the industry. Specifically, Markoch shared his thoughts on two fintech stocks for investors to consider buying and one they should avoid. Articles by Kate Stalter One of the biggest stories of the week came from United Parcel Service Inc. NYSE: UPS which averted a strike when company management and the Teamsters union agreed to terms on a new contract. However, as Kate Stalter notes, the stock hasn’t moved much since the announcement, which means that investors are more concerned about the company's fundamentals, which continue to show declining shipments and revenue, which will eat into profits. Stalter was also looking at the growing market for weight loss treatments. Specifically, she was writing about the recent news that is driving shares of Eli Lilly & Co. NYSE: LLY higher. The company is buying Vesantis, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that focuses on new weight-loss treatments. This is happening as the company is seeking FDA approval for its own drug, Mounjaro, as a weight-loss drug. And as some of the big oil companies begin to report this week, Stalter explains why investors may want to be cautious about investing in the energy sector, specifically oil stocks as analysts expect demand to decline between now and 2025 due to the effect of higher interest rates. Articles by Ryan Hasson While Jea Yu and Thomas Hughes wrote about potential AI fatigue, Ryan Hasson wrote about a different story in the sector. Specifically, Hasson explained why C3.ai, Inc. NYSE: AI) may present investors with a short-squeeze opportunity. Speaking of short-squeeze candidates, Hasson was also looking at the recent surge in the stock of Rivian Automotive, Inc. NASDAQ: RIVN. While the EV manufacturer did beat on production and delivery numbers, it was high short interest which led to some short covering that has pushed the stock up over 100% in the last three months. Hasson gives you the bullish and bearish case so you can decide. And as the market rally has started to broaden out, small-cap stocks are starting to catch a bid. With that in mind, Hasson explains the recent news around two small-cap stocks so you can decide if they belong in your portfolio. Articles by Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli This week, investors got the latest data on the housing market. The takeaway is that supply of existing homes remains tight. And as Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli explains, that is likely to be an opportunity for home builders in general, and Osorio-Mazilli focused on PulteGroup, Inc. NYSE: PHM, which may be on the verge of a breakout after its recent earnings report. Osorio-Mazilli was also writing about Southwest Airlines NYSE: LUV which is down sharply after posting lower-than-expected earnings in its most recent quarter. However, the long-term outlook for the industry suggests that this may be an overreaction, and patient investors may have a buy-the-dip opportunity. The Boeing Company NYSE: BA is moving in the opposite direction after earnings. Osorio-Mazilli explains why investors are bullish and why technical indicators point to the possibility of a monster rally in BA stock. Articles by MarketBeat Staff We can’t be sure, but it sounds like some of the MarketBeat staff might have taken part in the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon. The staff wrote about how the strong opening weekend for the two blockbuster movies may lay the groundwork for a short squeeze in AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. NYSE: AMC. The MarketBeat staff also looked at the recent earnings report for Mattel Inc. NASDAQ: MAT. The company stands to benefit from increased sales of its Barbie-related merchandise. However, that’s not showing up in the company’s stock price after a solid earnings report. That suggests that investors don’t like what they see in the company’s fundamentals. And as China’s economy continues to gain strength, the staff was looking at Alibaba Group Holding Limited NYSE: BABA and giving investors five reasons that it may be time for skeptical investors to buy BABA stock while it’s still below $100 a share. Before you consider Exscientia, you'll want to hear this. MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and Exscientia wasn't on the list. While Exscientia currently has a "Moderate Buy" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys. View The Five Stocks Here

Alaska has boosted its Nvidia bet 50-fold in recent years, giving it a $142 million stake in June

2023-07-28 - A dog race in Alaska. REUTERS/Mark Meyer Alaska has ramped up its bet on Nvidia by more than 50-fold since early 2017. The state's revenue department commanded a $142 million stake in the chipmaker at the end of June. Alaska's position peaked at 466,000 shares in 2020, a stake worth $212 million today. Alaska has boosted its Nvidia wager by more than 50 times within the past seven years, giving it a stake worth $142 million at the end of June, a Markets Insider analysis shows. The state's revenue department first reported a position in the microchip maker in the first quarter of 2017, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show. Adjusted for Nvidia's 4-for-1 stock split in July 2021, it owned fewer than 7,000 shares at the time, worth less than $200,000. The agency ramped up its bet to a split-adjusted 281,000 shares, worth $16 million, by early 2018. The position peaked in size at the equivalent of 466,000 shares in the second quarter of 2020 — a $44 million stake then that would be worth $212 million today. Alaskan officials have gradually pared the holding since then, to 337,000 shares worth $142 million at the end of June. But the state still counted the semiconductor giant's stock among its largest positions last quarter, which included $400 million-plus stakes in Apple and Microsoft. The state agency also invested in Tesla as early as the first quarter of 2017, SEC filings show. It commanded a $380 million stake in Elon Musk's electric-vehicle company as of June 30. Nvidia, Tesla, Microsoft, and other Big Tech stocks have surged in value this year, as investors wager the companies' artificial-intelligence efforts will supercharge their profits. In particular, Nvidia shares have more than tripled in value within the past seven months, and now trade at record highs. Growth stocks have received a boost from improved market sentiment too. Investors have cheered a drop in inflation from a 40-year high of 9.1% to 3% over the last 12 months. Many are now hoping the Federal Reserve will stop hiking interest rates, and the US economy will escape a recession. The total value of Alaska's stock portfolio declined slightly to just below $4.4 billion last quarter. The state relies on oil taxes and royalties, federal funding, and investments to finance its spending, as it doesn't tax personal incomes or sales. Read the original article on Business Insider

Elon Musk's Tesla Reportedly Speeds Up India Plans: Executives To Meet Government Officials For Manufacturing Base - Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)

2023-07-28 - This story was first published on the Benzinga India portal. Tesla Inc TSLA is reportedly accelerating plans to set up a manufacturing base in India, with company officials set to meet agency heads and top government officials soon. What Happened? Senior executives from the electric car maker on Thursday met with Nivruti Rai, the newly appointed CEO of Invest India, which assists global investors to invest and operate in India, Economic Times, a local newspaper, reported, citing sources. Further meetings with the nation's commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal are also on the agenda, the sources added. While the details of the recent meeting with Rai remain undisclosed, it follows a reported virtual meeting between Goyal and Tesla CEO Elon Musk earlier this month. Multiple ministries, including the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, have reportedly been involved in discussions regarding Tesla’s proposals to set up car and battery manufacturing facilities in India. These talks have gained momentum since Musk’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the US last month. Tesla has been eager to extend its reach beyond China to India and is exploring the possibility of setting up its auto parts and electronics chain in the latter. Possible incentives and tax breaks have also been part of the discussions. The Indian government has encouraged Tesla to assess the existing domestic auto components supply chain, but the company wants to establish its own supply chain ecosystem in India. Tesla has been interested in selling low-cost cars in the Indian market but has reportedly faced challenges with the government’s stand against lowering import duties. Read Next: Elon Musk’s Tesla Could See Next Boost To Its Stock Price Come From India, Says Top Investor

Tesla Analyst Shrugs Off Report On EV Maker's Hush-Hush Squad To Quash Customer Complaints: Here's Why - Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)

2023-07-28 - After a report suggested that Tesla, Inc. TSLA had set up secret teams to silence customer complaints about range issues, an analyst did not attach much significance to it. What Happened: Future Fund's Gary Black tweeted that he is not concerned about the report carried by Reuters about suppressing complaints regarding underperformance on the range of the vehicle. "Reuters which has a history of posting wildly false negative reports on $TSLA," he said. "The EPA sets the advertised battery range for each EV based on the same process, so it would be difficult for TSLA to game." Tesla’s service team reportedly canceled appointments for customers who complained about range issues, as per Reuters. One customer traveling from Colorado to California in a new 2021 Model 3 found the range less than half of the advertised 353 miles on a fully-charged battery. The team, known as the “Diversion Team” in Las Vegas, was tasked with canceling as many range-related appointments as possible to alleviate range anxiety and service center complaints. Inside the Nevada team’s office, employees celebrated canceling appointments with applause. The team closed hundreds of cases weekly, saving the company $1,000 per diversion. Benzinga’s request for clarification from Tesla went unanswered. Tesla frequently overpromised on performance, leading to numerous complaints, the report noted, citing automotive experts. Years ago, Tesla reportedly employed another tactic by rigging its range-estimating software. The range meter showed optimistic projections on a full battery, but below 50% charge, it displayed more realistic projections to prevent customers from getting stranded. Why It's Important: Tesla stock has been on a lean trot since it reported its earnings and has lost over 12%. Black said in a separate tweet that some of the weakness seen on Thursday in Tesla stock is attributable to the Reuters report. In June 2022, Tesla CEO Elon Musk's mother Maye Musk took exception to Reuters’ coverage of the company's announcement regarding job cuts. “Reuters is particularly bad at accurate Tesla reporting," she had said then. Later that month, she agreed with one Tesla influencer's comment that "Reuters is hired to create Tesla FUD imho." Tesla closed Thursday’s session down 3.27% at $255.71, according to Benzinga Pro data. Check out more of Benzinga’s Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link. Read Next: Cybertruck, Tesla’s ‘Home Run?’ Analyst Sees EV Pickup As ‘Rolling Billboard’ That Will ‘Really Catapult’ Stock Photo via Shutterstock

Vietnam's EV maker VinFast set to break ground on delayed U.S. factory

2023-07-28 - VinFast is set to break ground on its delayed U.S. factory on Friday. VinFast has received incentives worth $1.2 billion from the state of North Carolina for the project. "We see a lot of potential in the U.S. market with EV infrastructure ... with the regulations to force EVs in major cities by 2035. So I think there's a huge market and the whole world is moving from internal combustion engine vehicles to EVs," Le told CNBC's " Squawk Box Asia " on Friday. VinFast said the 1,800-acre facility is designed to produce up to 150,000 vehicles a year in phase 1 . "We just completed getting the permit for the construction. We are very excited that [it] is going to be a big milestone for VinFast history in the U.S. and we will start groundbreaking for the plant here in the U.S.," VinFast CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy told CNBC. Vietnam's VinFast will begin construction on its electric vehicle factory in North Carolina on Friday morning local time, the Vietnamese automaker confirmed with CNBC. Le acknowledged that there's increasing competition in the U.S. market. "We think that there's still a lot of room for new players. I think the U.S. consumers are open to new players, as long as we have good quality products," said Le. VinFast entering the U.S. EV market means it will have to go up against Tesla and BYD, as well as traditional automakers increasingly focusing on hybrids and EVs. But crucially, the electric vehicles produced at VinFast's new facility could qualify for up to $7,500 in U.S. tax credits. VinFast vehicles do not currently qualify because they are not built in the country, but are built in Vietnam. The company is also pricing its VF 9 model at a considerable discount to the comparable Tesla Model X. Prices for VinFast's VF 9 are expected to begin around $85,000 for the Eco model, according to Motor Trend. A Tesla Model X costs about $100,000. "Our strategy from the beginning has always been providing premium quality products at affordable pricing, coupled with excellent customer service. So we stay true to that strategy," said Le. "We are the only one in the market that have a lineup of vehicles from very small city vehicles like $12,000 vehicles to full-size three-row SUVs like the VF 9 that will go to market in the U.S. later this year." VinFast's U.S. expansion has faced hurdles, including delayed deliveries to its first customers due to a software issue in May. The company also reduced its U.S. headcount in February. "We [recalled] the vehicles because the screens could potentially go blank for a second. So we updated our software over the air to to fix the issues out of precaution. We announced that we [recalled] the vehicles but that was just a software update," Le said. In May, the firm announced that it plans to list in the U.S. via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Black Spade Acquisition Co. — CNBC's Penny Chen contributed to this report.

Feds propose 18% fuel-economy increase — to 43.5 MPG — for new vehicles by 2032

2023-07-28 - The U.S. government is proposing an 18% increase in the requirement for new-vehicle fuel economy beginning with the 2027 model year and fully enforced by the 2032 model year. That means the new average across all cars, pickups, SUVs and commercial vans would be about 43.5 miles per gallon when measured in real-world driving, not in testing. The proposed numbers were released Friday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A 60-day comment period now opens. Currently, the fleet of new vehicles must average 36.75 mpg by 2026 under corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, standards adopted by the Biden administration. Biden’s rule marked the reversal of a lessening of fuel-economy requirements made by former President Donald Trump, the latter of which came at the urging of the auto industry. Increasing the fuel economy of vehicles is popular with consumers. A 2022 Consumer Reports survey found that 95% of Americans say fuel economy is important to them when considering their next vehicle, and seven in 10 say it is “very important” or “extremely important.” Fuel economy standards from NHTSA differ from but are largely complementary to the emission standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which sets rules that aim to make vehicles in the U.S. less polluting. State agencies can set rules that are stricter than the federal regulations if they choose. The highway safety agency said it will try to align regulations with the EPA’s proposed vehicle reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. But if there are discrepancies, automakers likely will have to follow the most stringent regulation. “I want to make clear that EPA and NHTSA will coordinate to optimize the effectiveness of both agency standards while minimizing compliance costs,” NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson said. Environmental groups generally welcomed the proposed boost to the CAFE standards. “All Americans, and particularly low-income drivers, are burdened with volatile gas RB00, +0.05% prices. Cleaner cars are good for our lungs, our climate and our wallets,” said Katherine Garcia, who leads environmental group Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All program. Read: Why are gas prices going up again? Brace for further increases, analysts say “This proposal —alongside the EPA’s proposal to reduce emissions from vehicles —are key tools to addressing the nation’s top source of pollution,” Garcia added. Don’t miss: We warned you about this heat, Joe Biden, a leading scientist scolds. ‘Declare a climate emergency’ NHTSA estimates the new regulations will save more than $50 billion on fuel used across the new fleet on American roads, over the vehicles’ lifetimes. The proposal will save more than 88 billion gallons of gasoline collectively through 2050 if NHTSA’s preferred alternative is adopted. Sen. Ted Cruz, the Republican of Texas and ranking member on the Commerce Committee, was critical of the more-stringent proposal. “Commerce Republicans warned the failed radical NHTSA nominee Ann Carlson not to take this step in a May 1st letter because American families should be free to purchase any vehicle they want,” Cruz said in a statement. “This de facto [electric vehicle] mandate will dramatically raise car prices, weaken energy security and is likely contrary to the law.” A leading auto industry trade group which includes General Motors GM, -2.36% , Toyota TM, +1.04% , Ford F, -3.42% , Crysler and Jeep parent Stellantis STLA, +3.79% and others said requirements from the agencies should be lined up to provide clarity for manufacturers. “If an automaker complies with EPA’s yet-to-be-finalized greenhouse gas emissions rules, they shouldn’t be at risk of violating CAFE rules (from NHTSA) and subject to civil penalties,” John Bozzella, CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, said in a statement. Read: Ford revenue jumps 12%, but stock dips as Wall Street spooked by shifting EV production goal But that auto alliance has also expressed its concerns that EPA-led emissions policy will require a huge increase in electric vehicle sales TSLA, +4.20% that’s not reachable by the proposed deadline of 2032, even if EV sales are on the rise. The EPA says the industry can reach the greenhouse gas emissions goals if 67% of new vehicles sold in 2032 are electric. Currently, EVs make up about 7% of new vehicle sales. And, automakers can meet the new requirements with a mix of EVs, gas-electric hybrids and efficiency improvements in gas and diesel vehicles. NHTSA said its proposal includes a 2% annual improvement in fuel mileage for passenger cars, and a 4% increase for light trucks. It’s proposing a 10% improvement per year for commercial pickup trucks and work vans. The Associated Press contributed.

Exclusive: Sigma Lithium CEO says in talks with potential buyers

2023-07-28 - July 28 (Reuters) - Sigma Lithium (SGML.V) is working with Bank of America (BAC.N) to coordinate talks with parties interested in acquiring it, the chief executive of the miner, which produces the metal used to make electric vehicle batteries, told Reuters on Friday. The deal discussions come amid a supply crunch for lithium. Sigma earlier this year started production at the Grota do Cirilo hard rock lithium project in Brazil to supply roughly a fourth of its output to LG Energy Solution (373220.KS) with the rest slated for sale on the spot market. Bank of America has been Sigma's bank on retainer for some time and has been holding meetings for at least four months with parties that approach with interest in acquiring the lithium miner, Sigma CEO Ana Cabral-Gardner said in an interview. She added that the company "is focused on alternatives that embrace the importance of our shareholders' values of social sustainability." Bank of America declined to comment. Bloomberg News reported in February, citing sources, that automaker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) was considering a bid for Vancouver-based Sigma, which is listed on Nasdaq and has a market value of $4.2 billion. "What I can confirm is that since the rumors started in February, the management continues to work to understand strategic alternatives to strengthen Sigma's and Brazil's unique environmentally competitive position on the midstream of the global supply chain," said Cabral-Gardner. She is also managing partner of A10 Investimentos, which owns 44% of Sigma's shares. Cabral-Gardner said that while Bank of America is coordinating meetings with parties that approach Sigma, Sigma has not yet picked a bank to advise on any potential transaction. "Maybe I'm not selling. Maybe I'm partnering with someone. I don't know what I'm doing yet," Cabral-Gardner said in the interview. "We need to find someone to marry, and when we find someone to marry, then we choose a priest," Cabral-Gardner said, making an analogy between an M&A banker and a priest. "The priest is going to depend on who we're going to marry." Cabral-Gardner added that Sigma does not plan to sell the Brazilian mine separately from the company itself. "The company is the asset," she said. Because lithium demand is low in biofuel-focused Brazil, the country exports nearly all of it. Sigma has projected the mine will reach annual free cash flow of $455 million for its first phase of production. Eight analysts recommend buying Sigma's stock and believe it should be trading 28% higher than current levels, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Cynthia Osterman Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Volkswagen buys stake in Xpeng, will jointly develop two new EVs with the Chinese automaker

2023-07-26 - Volkswagen and Xpeng will jointly develop two new VW-brand EVs for China based on Xpeng's electric G9. Volkswagen said Wednesday that it has signed a deal to jointly develop two new electric vehicles for China with Chinese EV maker Xpeng . As part of the deal, Volkswagen will invest about $700 million in Xpeng, taking a 4.99% stake. Xpeng's U.S.-traded shares ended the day up over 26% following the news. Under the deal, Volkswagen and Xpeng will develop two midsize battery-electric models based on the platform that underpins Xpeng's G9, a midsize electric crossover SUV. In a separate statement confirming the deal, Xpeng said the two new vehicles will also incorporate its advanced driver-assist software. The new EVs, which will be branded as VWs and sold only in China, are expected to launch in 2026. Volkswagen is paying $15 per U.S.-traded share for its Xpeng stake and will receive a seat on the EV maker's board of directors, subject to regulatory approvals. Volkswagen also confirmed that its Audi subsidiary has signed a separate deal with its longtime Chinese joint venture partner, Shanghai-based SAIC Motor , to jointly develop new Audi-branded EVs for the Chinese market. The plan is to develop new EVs in segments where Audi does not currently have entries in China, the company said. "We are leveraging the strengths of Volkswagen and our partners to create synergies to bring additional products to market faster," said Ralf Brandstätter, Volkswagen's China chief, in a statement. "In doing so, we focus on the specific needs of our customers in China. At the same time, we want to significantly optimize development and procurement costs."

Tesla under investigation by California attorney general over Autopilot safety, marketing

2023-07-26 - Elon Musk, Tesla boss, runs to a Tesla at the Tesla Gigafactory construction site. In Grünheide near Berlin, a maximum of 500,000 vehicles per year are to roll off the assembly line starting in July 2021. The California attorney general's office is investigating Tesla , seeking information from customers and former employees about Autopilot safety issues and false advertising complaints, CNBC has learned. Greg Wester, the owner of a 2018 Tesla Model 3, filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission in August 2022, regarding "phantom braking" — sudden, automatic braking by a car for no apparent reason — that he would experience when using the company's driver assistance systems, or Autopilot, on the highway. Wester also told the FTC that he felt misled by Tesla after paying thousands of dollars for the company's premium driver assistance option, marketed as Full Self Driving capability (FSD) in the U.S. By the second quarter of this year, an analyst with California Attorney General Rob Bonta's office left Wester a voicemail seeking to interview him about the issues referenced in the complaint. Wester shared the voice message with CNBC, and provided a copy of the FTC's automated response acknowledging receipt of his complaint. CNBC confirmed that the person who called from the California AG's office works as an analyst there. The government employee did not request confidentiality in the voicemail. The California attorney general's press office issued the following statement to CNBC: "To protect its integrity, we're unable to comment on, even to confirm or deny, a potential or ongoing investigation." Phantom braking, a known issue that Tesla customers have complained about to federal agencies for years, can leave drivers susceptible to being rear-ended, among other dangers. Musk has long promised investors and customers that features and functions would be added to Tesla vehicles over time, via over-the-air software updates, that would turn their cars into self-driving or autonomous vehicles. On Tesla's second-quarter earnings call, Musk called himself "the boy who cried FSD." To this day, Tesla has not delivered a self-driving car and sells "level 2" systems, which require an attentive driver behind the wheel who is ready to steer or brake at any time. "Tesla should offer customers the option to receive a full refund of Autopilot features if they are unsatisfied with the product," Wester said in an interview. In purchasing FSD, he said, "we bought a full autonomy product and we received a driver monitoring product with partial autonomy." Wester isn't the only Tesla customer to be contacted by analysts with the attorney general's office after voicing safety and related concerns. A former Tesla employee, whose family owns a 2021 Model 3 with the FSD option, was contacted by email in July 2023 by a senior legal analyst in the California AG's consumer protection division. In the email, reviewed by CNBC, the analyst said she was seeking information from the person for an unspecified but active investigation into Tesla. The former Tesla employee, whose identity is known to CNBC, asked to remain unnamed to protect his privacy. The person had previously voiced concerns about Autopilot and FSD safety issues at Tesla and publicly. Tesla didn't respond to CNBC's request for comment. The FTC declined to comment. It's not unusual for law enforcement offices in the U.S. to obtain consumer complaints filed to the FTC via an online database called the Consumer Sentinel Network. According to the federal agency's website, the network "gives law enforcement members access to reports submitted directly to the Federal Trade Commission by consumers," and to other reports shared by "data contributors." In its second-quarter financial filing, Tesla said it receives "requests for information from regulators and governmental authorities, such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, the SEC, the Department of Justice ('DOJ') and various state, federal, and international agencies." While the company has previously identified "requests from the DOJ for documents related to Tesla's Autopilot and FSD features," Tesla has not disclosed that the California attorney general was investigating the company. "Should the government decide to pursue an enforcement action, there exists the possibility of a material adverse impact on our business, results of operation, prospects, cash flows and financial position," Tesla said in the filing. California has been Tesla's largest U.S. market for its electric vehicles and is home to the company's first vehicle assembly plant in Fremont. The company relocated its corporate headquarters to Austin, Texas from Palo Alto, California, in 2021. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has been investigating Tesla's driver assistance systems for years, and has formally accused the company of deceptive practices in marketing its Autopilot and FSD technology. WATCH: Tesla's limited product line makes pricing power key to growth

Elon Musk's Tesla To Discuss Low-Cost Car With Indian Government — Aims For A Price Below Model 3 in China: Report

2023-07-25 - This story was first published on the Benzinga India portal. Electric car maker Tesla Inc TSLA is set to resume talks with the Indian government to establish a factory in the country to manufacture low-cost EVs, including a new $24,000 (INR 2 million) car. What Happened? Tesla representatives are scheduled to meet India’s commerce minister this month to further discuss the plans, which include setting up an EV supply chain and land allotment for a factory, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Tesla has been looking to make a foray into the Indian market as it makes an effort to diversify beyond China. It was previously reported that the US company plans to build up capacity to manufacture 500,000 cars in the country every year. See Also: Tesla’s India Charge: Can Local Manufacturing Overcome Pricing, Charging Challenges? Tesla has also reportedly been keen on bringing its own supply chain to the country and continues to push for tax breaks in the South Asian nation. Why It Matters: The proposed $24,000 EV model would be 25% cheaper than Tesla’s current lowest-priced offering, the Model 3 sedan in China, which sells for over $32,200 (INR 2.6 million). The company aims to make significant progress in the Indian market and meet the country’s growing demand for electric vehicles. This would be the highest-level meeting between Tesla and Indian government officials since Tesla CEO Elon Musk met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June and said he intended to invest significantly in the country. Electric vehicles currently account for less than 2% of total vehicle sales in India, the world’s third-largest market for automobiles. Read Next: Tesla Sets Up For India Entry: Plans For Local Assembly And Vendor Base On The Horizon

TikTok introduces text-only posts as Elon Musk rebrands Twitter as X

2023-07-25 - TikTok has announced the introduction of text-only posts, as it becomes the latest tech company seeking to capitalise on people who may be looking for an alternative to Twitter. Video sharing platform TikTok announced on Monday that it will now allow users to create “text-based content”, in a move it characterised as “expanding the boundaries of content creation for everyone on TikTok” and “giving the written creativity we’ve seen in comments, captions, and videos a dedicated space to shine.” Users will also be able to add coloured backgrounds and stickers to the posts, which have a limit of 1,000 words. Variety compared the feature to Instagram, where rather than facilitating a conversation, the posts can simply be commented on. Website TechCrunch reported that the introduction of the feature was “likely to take on Twitter (now X) and Meta’s Threads.” In his latest change since buying Twitter in October, Elon Musk rebranded the company X this week, in a move labelled “extremely risky” by commentators. Twitter is suffering financially, announcing in July that its ad revenue had dropped by 50% as advertisers withheld spending on the site. Rival tech companies have used the perceived chaos and upheaval of Musk’s purchase of Twitter as an opportunity to attract some of its user base and launch rival platforms. Threads is Instagram’s text-based app, which makes use of the existing base of Instagram users and was launched to much fanfare earlier this month. While Threads saw 100 million people sign up in fewer than five days after its launch, the number of active daily users has since fallen by 70%, Forbes reports. TikTok has just over a billion users, according to the company website, whereas Instagram has 2.3 billion users, according to industry website, Business of Apps. TikTok’s audience is younger than Instagram’s, with the UK Communications watchdog finding this week that it is the number one news source for 12 to 15-year-olds, followed by YouTube and Instagram. TikTok has however faced criticism over its links to the China, with the Canadian, US, UK and Australian governments restricting the app on government-owned devices. This week, the company revealed that its China-based employees can access some Australian user data.

Tesla models, prices, charging, stock: A complete guide to the electric car maker

2023-07-25 - Tesla has introduced innovative features and products, from its lineup of models to Autopilot. Tesla also faces competition from other electric vehicle startups. The company's future products include an 18-wheeler, a pickup truck, and a humanoid robot. Morning Brew Insider recommends waking up with, a daily newsletter. Loading Something is loading. Thanks for signing up! Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go. download the app Email address By clicking “Sign Up,” you also agree to marketing emails from both Insider and Morning Brew; and you accept Insider’s Terms and Privacy Policy Click here for Morning Brew’s privacy policy. Since Tesla was founded in 2003 and its IPO in 2010, Elon Musk's electric-car company has contended with high highs and low lows. And throughout Tesla's history, the automaker managed to put electric vehicles on the map and become the most valuable car company on the planet. Working at Tesla Tesla CEO Elon Musk has led the company to outperform traditional automakers over the last few years. But that doesn't mean the carmaker is immune to economic headwinds. Tesla has been through periods of rapid growth — and five rounds of Tesla layoffs in the last six years. Musk has also been very critical of work-from-home and starting in the summer of 2022, all but killing the Tesla WFH policy, telling executive staff that they needed to return to the office or resign. Musk moved Tesla headquarters from California to Austin, Texas officially in December 2021. However, it still employs thousands of workers in California. In February 2023, Musk said the company is moving into office space in Palo Alto that was previously occupied by Hewlett-Packard. Tesla currently has six massive gigafactories in the US, Europe, and Asia, where it builds batteries and electric vehicles. Elon Musk spoke at Tesla's 2022 annual meeting about wanting to 10-12 more in the next several years. Expanding the Tesla Gigafactory network would boost the company's manufacturing capabilities. TSLA Stock Tesla's stock price was essentially flat for several years after its 2010 IPO. But in 2013, Motor Trend named the Model S its Car of the Year. At that point, Tesla's share price took off. If you bought Tesla stock right after the IPO and held on, you'd be looking at a 1,000%-plus return today. Tesla revenue was $81.5 billion last year, putting the company in 50th place on the Fortune 500. The vast majority of its revenues come from sales of its EVs. But 17.5% of its revenue stemmed from activities like selling regulatory credits and energy products. Investors have recently been most concerned about price cuts and lower margins. The latest Tesla earnings call revealed revenue rose 47% to $24.93 billion. Musk indicated the company's priority, for now, is growth over profit and said the company is navigating through an "uncertain'" macro environment. "[It's] better to ship a large number of cars at a lower margin and subsequently harvest that margin in the future as we perfect autonomy," Musk told analysts. Tesla Products From least to most expensive, the Tesla models are Model 3, Model Y, Model S, and Model X. The names of the models spell out the word "S3XY." Leave it to Musk to sprinkle in some juvenile humor wherever possible. The Model 3 and Model S are sedans, while the Model Y and Model X are SUVs. The vehicles fall in a price range of $40,240 to $108,490. Because Tesla sells direct to consumers, its prices have been known to change. The entry-level Tesla Model 3 cost is one that often fluctuates. The current starting price is $40,240, and all Model 3 versions are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit in the US. Tesla's Model S, a luxury family sedan, is the EV maker's oldest vehicle still in production. It costs nearly $90,000 for the most basic version, and Tesla claims it's the most aerodynamic production car on Earth. Tesla delivered the first Model S to a customer in June 2012. For a buyer comparing Tesla Model 3 vs. Model S, the Model 3 will be more accessible to more buyers because of its lower cost. For drivers looking to splurge, the Model S delivers a high-end luxury vehicle with more space and better performance than the Model 3. The Model X SUV is the biggest and most expensive vehicle Tesla sells to everyday drivers. At a starting price of $98,490, it comes with five seats, but you can pay extra for a third row with six- or seven-seat layouts. The Model X's falcon-wing rear doors swing up instead of out, making it look like some kind of spaceship. Tesla's smaller SUV is the Model Y, which is one of Tesla's cheaper offerings alongside the Model 3 sedan. It recently became the best-selling vehicle in the world. EV features Some Tesla features are what you might expect from a modern electric car, like the app and keycard. Others reflect Musk's unique sense of humor and have added to Tesla's cult following. While Autopilot gets a lot of attention, the cars come equipped with many more, including the "frunk," "Dog mode," and "Ludicrous Plus Mode." The carmaker brought minimalist and unique interior design to the auto industry. Tesla interiors were among the first to cut the instrument cluster and introduce a steering yoke. Tesla's Full Self-Driving software beta was first released in 2020 and is now available to anyone who pays for the software upon request. It's currently in about 400,000 cars in the US, according to the company. Tesla FSD is not self-driving, despite the name. The tech enables Teslas to automatically change lanes, enter and exit highways, recognize stop signs and traffic lights, and park. Charging and batteries Superchargers are the fastest way to charge a Tesla and the closest you can get to gas station-like refueling times. The company says the best Superchargers can add 162-200 miles of range in 15 minutes. The company offers a Tesla Supercharger map where users can look up locations of chargers. Today, there are roughly 45,000 worldwide— a big gain from the 10,000 that existed in 2018. Where possible, Tesla Supercharger cost is charged per kilowatt hour (kWh) used. Where Tesla is unable to bill per kilowatt hour, they will instead charge a per-minute fee. To access the Tesla network as a non-Tesla owner, you will need the Tesla smartphone app. A Tesla destination charger lets users charge their cars at locations like hotels, malls, and restaurants. Unlike Supercharging, destination charging is designed more for overnight stopovers or to stay topped up while running errands, as opposed to short breaks in a road trip. There are ways to charge your Tesla without stopping to charge — some are more realistic than others. One YouTuber's experiment involved a Tesla with a generator, powering his Model S during an 1,800-mile road trip through the Midwest without stopping to plug in. (He did have to stop for gas for his generator, ironically.) How long does it take to charge a Tesla at home? A full charge can be achieved in 8-10 hours if you install a 240-volt outlet, like the kind used to power clothes dryers. You can also charge with a $230 Tesla mobile connector plugged into any standard outlet and get from three to 30 miles of range per hour charged. Tesla guarantees its batteries for eight years or 100,000-150,000 miles— whichever comes first. The cost of Tesla battery replacement would be steep. In 2019, Elon Musk put the cost between $5,000 and $10,000. EV competitor comparisons Tesla isn't the EV game in town, with new competitors popping up all the time. But are any worth considering over a Tesla car? One up-and-coming electric car brand gunning for some of Tesla's success is Polestar. The Tesla Model 3 competes directly with the Polestar 2. Putting Tesla vs Polestar head to head reveals that the brands have a lot in common, including online ordering, simple interiors, and an emphasis on performance. The Polestar 2 has a more user-friendly touchscreen setup and is more expensive. Rivian, one of the most successful electric vehicle startups in the US, is another Tesla competitor. The Tesla Model X and upcoming Cybertruck pickup will compete with Rivian's R1T pickup and R1S SUV. When comparing Tesla vs. Rivian, Rivian, whose brand is all about getting outdoors, is catering to buyers who want a larger vehicle and better off-road capability. Tesla's cars are more about on-road performance, and they deliver that in spades, particularly if you choose a sportier model, like the Tesla Model S Plaid. Lucid is a promising EV startup based in California. Lucid's CEO, Peter Rawlinson, was previously a top engineer at Tesla. Lucid's entry-level Air Pure starts at $87,400. The model's pricing goes all the way up to $249,000 for the Air Sapphire, a super-powerful speed monster. In a Tesla vs. Lucid matchup, Tesla's closest competitor would be its Model S sedan, which also delivers tons of range, awe-inspiring quickness, and lots of advanced technology. Future Products EV fans are patiently waiting on several future Tesla models, including a pickup, semi-truck, supercar, and self-driving taxi. Many of these vehicles have already faced long delays. The Tesla 18-wheeler semi-truck is the company's first offering beyond passenger vehicles. Tesla announced the product in 2017 and made its first Semi delivery five years later to Pepsi after several 18-wheeler production delays. The long-awaited Tesla truck, a pickup called the Cybertruck, is set to finally enter production this year. Its exoskeleton-based body is the opposite of how trucks are usually produced — and how they usually look. The original Tesla Roadster was the company's first vehicle and was a limited-production sports car. The new Tesla Roadster was first announced in 2017, but its release has been delayed. The new Roadster base model will cost $200,000, Tesla said when it announced the car's return. Whether or not the company makes a Tesla tiny house has been a source of confusion for some fans. The company does not offer housing of any kind in its product lineup. However, Elon Musk has spoken about owning a tiny house from the company Boxabl. Musk does, however, have Tesla robots in the works. In 2021, Elon Musk announced a Tesla humanoid robot named Optimus. It is designed to help reduce the labor shortage, according to Musk, and keep workers safer. Optimus will use Tesla's Autopilot software connected to eight cameras feeding into its neural network. Tesla Drivers A study that analyzed drivers of several Tesla models found that the typical Tesla owner is a white man with a household income over $130,000 per year. Tesla owners are also more likely to own a home. In 2023, more than a dozen Tesla owners told Insider the best and worst parts of owning their cars. They said cost, performance, technology, the Supercharger network, and home charging were among the best Tesla features. Cons of Tesla ownership, according to this group of drivers, include a stiff ride, build quality, association with Elon Musk, and customer service. Experts have said that Tesla customer service complaints could tarnish the brand's reputation. Electric vehicle owners who spoke to Insider have had mixed reviews, commenting that their experiences ranged from frustrating to quick and easy. Tesla car insurance costs more than other cars, partly due to expensive repairs. Tesla launched its own cheaper insurance product in 2019 to squeeze other insurance providers. However, it's only available in 12 states. A Tesla tax credit is currently available for two of the company's cars, the Model 3 and the Model Y, alongside other models from Chevrolet, Ford, Rivian, and more. The tax credit for EVs, which can be up to $7,500, was introduced to encourage electric car production and adoption in the US. Tesla has won some praise for pushing electric and self-driving vehicles to new heights, but its cars have also been involved in hundreds of deaths. According to the Tesla Deaths database, which cites news articles as well as reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 393 people have died in incidents involving a Tesla. That figure largely consists of pileups, DUIs, medical emergencies, and other collisions that could've occurred in any Tesla model. But as many as 95 people have died in Teslas that either caught fire or were using the Autopilot feature, according to reports from the online database. That's nearly one in every four deaths involving Elon Musk's EV brand.

Elon Musk's Tesla Cybertruck Spotted Sporting Clever Disguise, Masquerading As Ford F-150 - Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)

2023-07-24 - A leaked image from a Tesla TSLA shows a Tesla Cybertruck with a wrap that makes it look like a Ford F-150, Electrek reports. Is Tesla Trolling or Testing?: The images, shared by a Twitter user by the name Greggertruck, show the Cybertruck sporting a wrap that mimics the design of a traditional pickup truck. The tweet read, “I am…. Confused. But enjoy this shot. [Elon Musk] troll level 69420 Cybertruck wrapped like an ICE F150 with its hood up.” This move is seen as a playful jab by Tesla Inc. whose CEO, Elon Musk, has previously criticized pickup truck designs for their lack of innovation. See Also: Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino Says X.com Will Be Powered By AI And Will Connect In Ways We’re Just Beginning To Imagine Frunk or No Frunk: The leaked image also raises questions about the presence of a front trunk, or ‘frunk’, in the Cybertruck. The image suggests that if a frunk does exist, it would be relatively small. This would mark a departure from other Tesla models, all of which feature a frunk. Read Next: No More Poop Emoji For The Media, Elon Musk Says He’s Gonna Send This To Reporters Instead Image via Shutterstock

MarketBeat Week in Review – 7/17 - 7/21

2023-07-24 - Key Points Investors continue to climb the wall of worry as earnings reports are coming in better than expected. However, economic data continues to point to a weakening economy. All eyes now turn to the Federal Reserve which is expected to increase interest rates by 25 basis points on July 26. Here are some of the most popular articles from this week. 5 stocks we like better than Microsoft Investors face a moment where the irresistible force may soon meet the immovable object. Bullish momentum continues to drive the indexes higher. Case in point, 75% of the companies that have reported earnings have beaten expectations. That’s a relatively small sample size, but at a time when an earnings recession is being predicted, it’s impossible to ignore. However, investors shouldn’t quickly dismiss economic data that continues to be negative. The index of leading economic indicators and the Philly Fed manufacturing survey out this week both point to a recession. Next week, the earnings season really picks up steam. Investors will hear from Microsoft Corporation NASDAQ: MSFT, Meta Platforms, Inc. NASDAQ: META, and Alphabet Inc. NASDAQ: GOOGL among others. And the Federal Reserve will almost assuredly raise interest rates by 25 basis points when it meets next week. That’s a lot of news that can move markets, and the MarketBeat team will be on top of all of it to help you make the right decisions for your portfolio. Here are some of the most popular articles from this week. Articles by Jea Yu The intersection of AI and biotech may be a blockbuster for investors. And as Jea Yu writes, this week’s announcement by Nvidia Corporation NASDAQ: NVDA of its $50 million investment in Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. NASDAQ: RXRX may be the beginning of what is likely to be more profitable pairings in the two sectors. And speaking of biotech partnerships, Yu explains how two key partnerships are likely to boost the stock of OPKO Health Inc. NASDAQ: OPK. The company recently received FDA approval of NGELA, a long-acting medicine for treating growth hormone deficiency in children that it has been developing as part of a partnership with Pfizer, inc. NYSE: PFE. Jea Yu helped investors understand the significance of the special rebalancing which the Nasdaq 100 will do after the markets close on July 21. This will reduce the overconcentration of the index on its most heavily weighted stocks. As Yu writes, the index rebalances every quarter, but this special rebalancing was triggered by the recent run-up in Tesla, Inc. NASDAQ: TSLA stock. Articles by Thomas Hughes Apple, Inc. NASDAQ: AAPL is one of the “Magnificent 7” stocks that has led the rally in 2023. And although it’s due for some reweighting, Thomas Hughes gives investors four reasons why the tech giant may be ready to power up to new highs. That’s in contrast to Tesla, Inc. NASDAQ: TSLA which Hughes believes has topped and may be ready for a correction even after reporting solid earnings. Investors still can’t seem to get enough of EV startups. The flavor of this week, at least, was GreenPower Motor Company, Inc. NASDAQ: GP which moved up sharply after reporting better-than-expected earnings. Hughes explains why the stock may have nowhere to go but up. If you’re looking for a safer stock in the midst of all this volatility, Hughes recommends Johnson & Johnson NYSE: JNJ which is at an inflection point that may support a breakout opportunity for this dividend king. Articles by Sam Quirke Sam Quirke had his eye on value this week and offered one large-cap and one small-cap for investors to consider. The big banks are finished reporting for the quarter, and while all eyes are on some of the usual suspects, Quirke suggests investors look at the stock of this hidden gem that is performing just as well but with a smaller market cap. Turning to the semiconductor space, Quirke put Cohu, Inc. NASDAQ: COHU on the radar of investors. The chipmaker’s stock is up 30% in 2023, but Quirke explains why this inexpensive chipmaker stock may have more upside ahead. Another small-cap stock that has recently taken flight (pun intended) is Joby Aviation, Inc. NYSE: JOBY. After outperforming for much of the year, JOBY stock has been in a tailspin. But Quirke explains why a recent downgrade may present an opportunity. Articles by Chris Markoch Dividend stocks can be less attractive in a risk-on market. However, Chris Markoch explains why investors shouldn’t give up on dividend stocks so soon and offered three dividend stocks that continue to offer good value for investors. Markoch was also identifying an opportunity that could be presenting itself for three mid-cap stocks. These stocks typically offer investors a compelling middle ground between large- and small-cap stocks. And when these stocks get upgraded by analysts as these three stocks do, it could set up a nice opportunity for investors. And as the market sentiment turns more risk-on, penny stocks become more attractive to speculative investors. Markoch gave investors two penny stocks that appear to be buying opportunities and one that investors should continue to avoid. Articles by Kate Stalter Investors hoping for a shallow recovery were dealt another blow when housing starts came in lower than expected. And with interest rates expected to go up next week, Kate Stalter wrote about why investors have to be cautious if considering investing in homebuilding stocks. Stalter offered investors a more bullish outlook on Celsius Holdings, Inc. NASDAQ: CELH. The energy drink providers is outperforming a key rival and is expected to beat on earnings when it reports earnings in August. And as Stalter notes, the stock recently pulled back into a buy zone. And Stalter explained how the recent rally in Uber Technologies Inc. NASDAQ: UBER may continue to have legs after an analyst upgrade. The stock recently hit a two-year high despite an ongoing legal battle in California that continues to be a headwind for UBER stock. Articles by Ryan Hasson Ryan Hasson was helping investors understand the recent price action with Unity Software, Inc. NYSE: U. The stock was outpacing the NASDAQ with a 55% gain in 2023 before a recent pullback. Hasson explains why the stock chart is offering mixed signals and suggests investors look at other metrics to size up the opportunity. Hasson sees a clearer technical outlook for Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company NYSE: HPE. The chart is showing a likely breakout if the stock can get past a key area of resistance. And while cryptocurrency is not for every investor, Hasson explains why the recent price action in Bitcoin CCC: BTC may create an opportunity for risk-tolerant investors. Although the price of these two crypto stocks is highly sensitive to the price movement of Bitcoin, they are up over 400% and could have further to run. Articles by Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli Now that bank earnings are in the books; it’s time to assess winners and losers. Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli looked at the earnings report for Wells Fargo & Company NYSE: WFC and explains why the company’s earnings report may be the catalyst WFC stock needs to break out of a year-long sideways pattern. Osorio-Mazilli also wrote about the pullback in American Airlines Group, Inc. NASDAQ: AAL despite a bullish earnings report. As Osorio-Mazilli explains why seemingly contradictory price action like this can be an opportunity for momentum investors to buy AAL stock before it takes the next leg higher. Osorio-Mazilli was also looking at the geopolitical concerns that hang, perhaps uniquely, over Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing NYSE: TSM. The company faces the same cyclical issues as other chip makers. However, its proximity to China and concerns over a possible invasion of Taiwan add extra risk and potentially an opportunity for clever value investors. Articles by MarketBeat Staff The MarketBeat staff was looking at Canoo, Inc. NASDAQ: GOEV. It’s been a difficult year for the EV start-up. However, recent contracts with the United States Department of Defense and NASA may offer speculative investors an opportunity to buy the news on GOEV stock. Acumen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. NASDAQ: ABOS is another speculative stock that risk-tolerant investors may want to consider. Many biopharmaceutical companies are developing drugs and therapeutics to combat Alzheimer’s disease. And ABOS stock spiked after recent news about positive Phase 1 trial results. Now investors have to decide if the gains will hold. For investors looking for more of a sure thing, the staff explained the opportunity for The Hershey Company NYSE: HSY. Despite posting stellar earnings last quarter along with raising its guidance, HSY stock is down 10% from its high in May. However, the fundamentals show that investors are missing the value that’s present in HSY stock which presents a sweet buying opportunity. Before you consider Microsoft, you'll want to hear this. MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and Microsoft wasn't on the list. While Microsoft currently has a "Moderate Buy" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys. View The Five Stocks Here

Stellantis, Samsung Agree to Build Second US Battery Plant

2023-07-24 - Stellantis, Samsung Agree to Build Second US Battery Plant (Bloomberg) -- Stellantis NV and South Korea’s Samsung SDI Co. have signed an agreement to build a second US battery plant as the automaker expands its range of electric vehicles. Most Read from Bloomberg The factory will start production in 2027 and have initial capacity of 34 gigawatt-hours, Samsung SDI said in an emailed statement Monday. Stellantis and Samsung SDI last year announced plans to build a $2.5 billion battery plant with annual capacity of 33 gigawatt-hours in Kokomo, Indiana. A site for the second factory hasn’t yet been chosen. “This new facility will contribute to reaching our aggressive target to offer at least 25 new battery electric vehicles for the North American market by the end of the decade,” Stellantis Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares said statement. Samsung SDI will accelerate its entry into the US by building the new plant, CEO Choi Yoon Ho said. Read more: Samsung, Stellantis Invest $2.5 Billion in US Battery Plant Stellantis, the owner of the Jeep, Peugeot and Ram brands, has pledged to sell 5 million battery-electric vehicles by the end of 2030. It aims to make all of its European passenger car sales fully electric by that time, as well to make half of its North American sales battery powered. Samsung SDI is also building a $3 billion battery plant with General Motor Co.. It will have annual capacity of 30 gigawatt-hours and mass production should start in 2026. Read more: GM, Samsung SDI Outline $3 Billion Spend on US Battery Plant Samsung SDI shares rose as much as 2.6% in early trading in Seoul, the biggest intraday gain since July 13. --With assistance from Gabrielle Coppola. (Adds comments from chief executive officers of both companies.) Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek ©2023 Bloomberg L.P.

Twitter successor ‘X’ marks Musk’s war for the public’s attention

2023-07-24 - The internet is astir over Twitter’s name change — from “Twitter” to “X” — which was officially announced Monday. The specifics of what, exactly, this means for the social platform are a bit hazy, but owner Elon Musk’s goals as it pertains to the move are hardly mysterious. What will X be? Last October, Musk tweeted: “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app.” That phrase — an “everything app” — is widely viewed as a descriptor for popular apps that are essentially multiuse apps, allowing users to use a single app to peruse social media, pay bills, conduct calls, make purchases and do virtually anything they’d do elsewhere on the internet. Musk talked up one such app, the China-backed WeChat, during his town hall with Twitter employees in June. But as TechCrunch noted back in October: “The exact WeChat features that impress Musk are also the source of criticisms of the app.” The writer of the piece, Rita Liao, explained concerns that critics have expressed about WeChat and its parent company, Tencent: The all-in-one messenger has in effect erected a walled garden, critics say, where e-commerce transactions only take place over its payments app and information consumed by users is either published within WeChat’s infrastructure or third-party services backed by Tencent. Links from Tencent’s nemeses, like Alibaba and Douyin (TikTok’s sister in China), were inaccessible on WeChat until Beijing’s recent anti-monopoly movement began to tear down the thick walls. Liao went on to explain: “A super app might bring convenience to users as they hardly need to leave the platform — which in turn helps drive revenues for the company — but the model can stifle competition and rule out user choices.” Musk’s quest for an everything app begins to make a bit more sense when you consider he’s starved — or, at least, hungry — for attention. By which I mean, he enjoys being the focus of people’s interest — and his businesses, from Tesla to what was formerly known as Twitter, rely on acquiring massive amounts of data from consumers. To be clear, essentially every social media platform relies on a business model that involves parlaying user data into money made from advertisers hoping to target ads at particular users. Musk seems to think X is his shot at world domination in the tech space. This is why I’ve written previously about platforms like Facebook and Twitter being involved in an “ugly war for our time and attention.” Meta’s weapons of choice are well-known platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and the newly launched Threads. Musk seems to think X is his shot at world domination in the tech space. Ultimately, this competition shows that our time — especially time spent on social media apps — amounts to real money. And some of the wealthiest people in the world are plotting ways to claim it for themselves. I’d be cautious about giving it over to them so freely.

Barbenheimer bonanza: how two films saved the summer box office

2023-07-24 - The past weekend wasn’t the first time that two major films had been released simultaneously but the big screen blitz of Barbie and Oppenheimer saw the first time audiences saw it less as a competition and more of a collaboration. Months ago, Barbie v Oppenheimer had been widely discarded for the cosier, Bennifer-adjacent Barbenheimer, the bomb-maker and the bombshell hand-in-hand, fans planning to watch them both rather than just one, an unprecedented event that had exhibitors and studios both geared up for a much-needed win. But even the most ambitious box office analysts couldn’t have predicted just what a win that was going to be, the higher end of estimates now looking positively conservative, the two films combining to shatter records and create a genuine, online-to-offline pop culture phenomenon. Greta Gerwig’s gently satirical Mattel comedy was the inevitable No 1 but with a weekend haul of $162m in the US, it also became the year’s biggest opener to date as well as the highest-ever opening for a female director. Just as surprisingly, Christopher Nolan’s dark period drama managed an $82m second place win, a staggering amount for something of that ilk, a talky, 3-hour awards movie treated by audiences like a superhero epic. Globally, the picture was similarly rosy, the two films combining to bring in over $500m between them, a much-needed boost to what had been a mostly troubling summer at the box office. While audiences had turned out en masse for superhero sequels Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 (although neither film has reached the magic $1bn global mark), they’d mostly stayed away from other tentpole offerings. DC’s beleaguered comic book mash-up The Flash sputtered out as the biggest superhero bomb of all time, set to lose $200m. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny looked unlikely to prove profitable thanks to an exorbitant $300m budget and a worldwide gross not that much higher. Tom Cruise’s ultra-expensive Mission: Impossible sequel opened beneath projections and thanks to Barbenheimer, suffered a catastrophic second week drop. Animated adventures Elemental and Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, came in way below expectations. Comedies such as Book Club: The Next Chapter, Joy Ride, The Blackening, The Machine and About My Father tanked in wide release. Before this weekend, ticket sales had been down 20% in comparison to the same point in 2019. Advertisements for Oppenheimer and Barbie in Los Angeles Photograph: Chris Pizzello/AP The industry has still been in recovery from the darkest days of the pandemic when cinemas were shuttered or re-opened with caveats or shuttered again, forcing confused or concerned audiences to stay at home and the studios to reconfigure release strategies. The shortening of the window from theatrical to home viewing, at times reduced to nothing with day-and-date releases available on both big and small screen, has for many made the cinema seem like an unnecessary and overpriced relic of the past, helped by streamers such as Netflix and Amazon releasing blockbuster-sized movies with stars to match straight-to-smartphone. The great disruptors as they were once known have became the great destructors, the subscription model unable to ever prove quite as profitable as the model it was aiming to replace. But even in a year when the box office might be down, there were signs that it wasn’t out. Oscar films such as The Fabelmans, Tar and Women Talking might have stumbled during the dying months of 2022 but 2023 kicked off with B-movie hits like M3gan and Cocaine Bear, luring audiences out with the promise of freakish sights unseen, like a carnival coming into town. There was more good news with acclaimed sequels to Creed, Scream and John Wick all bringing in franchise bests before The Super Mario Bros Movie became the first, and only, film to push past $1bn at the global box office. The audience was there, it just needed a reason to show up. So what did Barbenheimer do to achieve such a record turnout? When both films were announced to be sharing the same date, many saw it as a petty swipe from Warner Bros, positioning Barbie up against Nolan, their long-time director who had moved across to Universal for his latest (the Dark Knight film-maker, like many others had been displeased by the studio’s Covid-era plan to release theatrical films simultaneously on streaming). Barbie had taken an almost 15-year long journey through various developments, with names such as Anne Hathaway and Amy Schumer previously attached. It took Margot Robbie and her production company LuckyChap fresh off the success of Promising Young Woman to really get the wheels turning, approaching Gerwig post-Little Women who agreed on the proviso that her husband and collaborator Noah Baumbach could co-write. Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig Photograph: Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock The two were seen as unconventional choices, their previous work closer to the arthouse than the multiplex, character rather than plot-led, not the most obvious fit for something set to become the first official Mattel Studios movie (future Mattel movies promise partnerships with JJ Abrams, Lena Dunham and Daniel Kaluuya). But their involvement, along with Robbie and a cast that eventually grew to include Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell and surprisingly diverse support from Issa Rae, Simu Liu, America Ferrera and Hari Nef, became early proof that this was not going to be your eldest sister’s Barbie and those who might have otherwise turned their noses up at a toy-based tentpole were suddenly intrigued. Even without them, the Barbie brand continues to be big business. While it might have seen a slight drop from the year before, 2022 still saw Mattel make $1.49bn from Barbie products. That’s staggering in-built IP, not just for new consumers but for those who have some attachment to the brand all the way back to its original release in 1959. While Gerwig and Baumbach might have taken a satirical look at Barbie, approaching topics such as patriarchy, capitalism and body image, the film was still launched with a poppy marketing campaign of bright pink everything, a soundtrack featuring Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish and Charli XCX and brand partnerships totaling around 100, from Chevy to AirbnB. Its budget of $145m is believed to be doubled when marketing costs are added, a summer event movie with bite, but a summer event movie nonetheless. Barbie has been inescapable for the past few months but so has the excitement, leveled up by every new soundtrack release, every new clip, every new teasing piece of press from those involved (“This movie is crazy,” Gerwig told the Observer earlier this month) and the meme-ification of its same-day release with a film that couldn’t be any more opposed. While Gerwig’s Barbie had the brand awareness of one of the biggest toys ever created to support her offbeat vision, Nolan had a rockier road ahead. Selling the story of J Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, with a $100m budget at stake and a 3-hour, talk-heavy runtime at the height of summer felt like an unprecedented gamble, a heavy serving of vegetables in the middle of an all-you-can-eat fast food buffet. But Nolan, one of the few working directors who can draw a substantial audience by name alone, turned what could have been a dry history lesson into an IMAX spectacle thanks to a stacked starry cast (Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr, Matt Damon, Rami Malek and Florence Pugh) and an extravagant marketing campaign that kicked off a year before release with a ticking clock and a brooding trailer. Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy Photograph: Neil P Mockford/Getty Images for Universal Pictures The campaign continued with class during a season often devoid of it with stars out at every available opportunity and Nolan taking on the Tom Cruise role of cinema savior, highlighting the importance of the theatrical experience. While audiences wouldn’t know this upon buying a ticket, in order to secure the film with Universal, the director made them agree to a number of key terms, including a theatrical window of at least 100 days before any form of digital release and a three-week period before the studio releases another film. Universal had been one of the most open studios to a theatrical window reduction with some films available to watch digitally just 17 days after release. This decision should theoretically give the film better legs than most, allowing it to pull in audiences who might otherwise have waited for a home viewing. Last summer’s biggest hit Top Gun: Maverick was similarly kept in cinemas for longer than what had become standard (it took three months for a rental release), as a result of Cruise’s insistence, and topped out at just under $1.5bn (Barbie similarly has no planned digital release as of yet). One of the most interesting analytic tidbits over the weekend shows that, despite skewing older on paper, Oppenheimer’s audience was surprisingly young, with 18- to 34-year-olds making up 66% of tickets sold. While older audiences are historically less likely to rush out on opening weekend in the same way, this still makes for a revealing result, its over-performing domestic debut (bigger than more commercially viable summer tentpoles like Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning: Part One, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts and Fast X) an important sign to studios that mass audiences will come out to watch films that prioritize words over action. Its success speaks to the rise of the world’s biggest film-based social network Letterboxd and the cineaste culture that comes along with it, amplified by the pandemic where many were left at home to watch classics with nothing new coming out (Oppenheimer is already the 52nd highest-rated film ever on the platform). Barbie shares a vital similarity in that it also aimed to snag an audience often ignored during the warmer months: women. When studios have bothered to eventise films aimed at a female audience in the summer, it has tended to pay off. Just weeks after Iron Man kickstarted the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008, the first Sex and the City movie reached over $400m worldwide before Mamma Mia! made over $600m (both films beat out the same summer’s more-hyped tentpoles The Incredible Hulk and Wanted). Since then, Bridesmaids ($306m), Sex and the City 2 ($294m) and Girls Trip ($140m) have shown the power of an underserved audience, but Hollywood has been reluctant to listen. The cultural moment shown in cinemas across the globe at the weekend – parties, costumes, sold out screenings, women making up a massive 71% of audiences – should hopefully be a reminder to pay better attention. Barbie fans in Glasgow Photograph: Katherine Anne Rose/The Observer Leading up to its release, the right had tried to engineer a culture war, enraged by its diversity and its perceived anti-man stance with the usual suspects trotting out tired rants about the evils of wokeness. But the same crowd, who love nothing more than to bask in the failure of a film with a diverse lead, such as Bros or The Little Mermaid, were noticeably quiet over the weekend as the numbers proved that yet again, audiences are more than willing to accept the things a small portion of loud voices are railing against. The unlikely combination of the two films, the creation of Barbenheimer, was a Twitter joke without studio backing that had a striking real world impact. In the US, at least 40,000 double-bill tickets had been sold by AMC while in the UK, Vue reported that a fifth of its visitors were also going to both. Celebrities, such as Quentin Tarantino, were even seen going from one to the other. What’s telling about both films leading to such a craze is that both were given high marks by critics – Barbie at 91% and Oppenheimer at 94% – an ongoing trend of audiences willing to fork out for films that are worth the effort (both films were also handed an A CinemaScore from cinemagoers). With the rise of ticket prices making a trip to the multiplex that much harder to justify and the rise of online spaces where people can share opinions, studios have relied heavily on promoting a film’s critical impact, including Rotten Tomatoes ratings in trailers and on streaming platforms. Sometimes the simplest answer is also the most relevant: both films did well because people like them. Barbenheimer has arrived not only at a worrying time for box office but at an even more worrying time for the industry at large. The ongoing writers’ and actors’ strikes have paused major productions and added a question mark to those already in the can. The actors’ strike prevents guild members from promoting studio work, its official start arriving just after the majority of Barbie and Oppenheimer press had taken place. But it carries a cloud over the rest of the year, obscuring the sunshine from the past weekend. This week’s release of The Haunted Mansion, based on the Disney ride, has been hampered from a lack of star access with actors such as Lakeith Stanfield, Owen Wilson, Rosario Dawson and Jamie Lee Curtis unable to walk a red carpet or feature on a morning TV show to sell the film. Some later releases have already been yanked off the schedule such as A24 comedy Problemista and Zendaya-led love triangle drama Challengers, also pulled from a splashy premiere at the Venice film festival. With rumours that major films such as Dune 2, Aquaman 2 and The Color Purple may also move, it adds a bittersweet tang to the Barbenheimer success. It’s proved that engaged and enthused audiences are out there, but with studios seemingly unwilling to compromise with unions, whether they’ll have much to go see over the coming months is less sure.

X marks ... what? Elon Musk proves once again he’s incredibly bad at naming things | Andrew Lawrence

2023-07-24 - On Sunday, in a series of posts that surely won’t be called tweets for much longer, Elon Musk reasoned that his company’s new logo, a badly rendered letter X, embodies “the imperfections in us all that make us unique”. What does he mean by that? He, of course, has no idea. This is a man with a terrible, terrible history for naming things. At Tesla, Musk would insist on a model lineup that spelled out the word “sexy”, even after there was no chance of Ford relinquishing their copyright on the Model E (so he ended up with Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y). At SpaceX, an uninventive moniker in itself, he named his rockets like an improv audience member shouting out random words to inspire a comedy scene: Grasshopper! Merlin! Starship! Musk’s failure of a tunneling concern, the Boring Company, shows he also flair for lame puns that don’t quite land. Bad names run in his family, too. X is how Musk referred to the son he had with the musician Grimes after the child’s original name – X Æ A-12 – was rejected for flouting a California law that limits birth certificates to “the 26 alphabetical letters of the English language”. Grimes said the X took inspiration from algebra’s “unknown variable”, while Æ (a diphthong that echoes the long I in most English dialects) referred to the “elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence)”. Musk tacked on the A-12, the label for Lockheed’s mold-breaking spy plane (“the coolest plane ever,” he gushed to Joe Rogan). Musk’s love of the letter X is particularly uninspired. In the days of Descartes, X was the preferred letter to symbolize the ineffable – a kiss, a signature, the place on a map where treasure is buried or the eyes of the dead in drawings. But in the tech world, X has become a nothing letter, used to name everything from operating systems (Mac OS X) to gaming consoles (Xbox) to the telecom company Comcast, which changed names to Xfinity in hopes of escaping its overwhelmingly negative consumer reputation. (Time magazine called it one of the worst corporate rebrands of all time.) So it fits that the first letter companies turn to when they want to sound “with it” is Musk’s absolute favorite. Musk named his first company X.com, an online bank. In 2000, it merged with a competing software company co-founded by Peter Thiel – who promptly replaced Musk as the CEO of X.com and renamed the new conglomerate PayPal. (The rest is IPO history.) In 2017, Musk bought the X.com domain back from PayPal, hinting at bigger plans. Three months before purchasing Twitter, a user asked Musk if he had considered creating his own platform. “X.com,” was his reply. At a Tesla shareholder meeting that same month, he revealed “a pretty grand vision” for X that “would be very useful to the world”, a one-stop shop to rival WeChat – China’s all-in-one messaging, social media and mobile payment service. X was the name used in the three Delaware-registered holding companies Musk used to buy Twitter for $44bn. Today, the company is worth less than a third of that, proof that Musk isn’t much better with numbers, either. Musk has had a considerable hand in immolating much of that equity – doing away with character limits, hate speech protections and other features that made Twitter special and safe. Reports say the conference rooms at Twitter HQ were changed on Monday to include the letter X. New names include “eXposure”, “eXult” and – once again – “s3Xy”. This latest change figures to have even more longtime Twitter users pulling up stakes for Threads, Spill and other new replacements. Musk may think himself clever by consolidating all his companies into one nice, neat “Brand X”. But the name reads more like the residue of too much time spent watching product comparison TV adverts than it does proof of genuine creativity. (Also: wasn’t Brand X always the crappier option?) Still, credit where due: Musk picked the right letter to mark the death of a cartoon bird, Xs rolling in its eyes. He might not appreciate that irony until his app is itself dead and buried.

Tesla stock is worth only $85 after gross margin whiff, analyst says: Wall Street reacts

2023-07-20 - After Tesla's mixed second quarter, which featured a bad whiff on gross profit margin thanks to a steady drumbeat of price cuts, one Wall Street analyst is coming out blasting on the the EV maker's stock. "I still think Tesla is egregiously overvalued right now," Roth Capital Partners Tesla bear Craig Irwin said on Yahoo Finance Live (video above). Coming into the earnings release late Wednesday, Irwin had an $85 price target on Tesla, suggesting downside potential of a whopping 71%. Tesla shares fell 3% to $281.55 in pre-market trading on Thursday. The company's ticker page was the most active on the Yahoo Finance platform. The analyst didn't rule out slashing his price target further owing to Tesla's various profit challenges — ranging from price cuts to increased investments in AI software and Cybertruck production. Irwin added: "We're very bearish on Tesla. We think people are much better off looking at many of the other names either in conventional auto manufacturers or some of the emerging players as opportunities for investment." Tesla's results had a little bit of red meat for bulls and bears. On the bullish side of the ledger, Tesla's sales of $24.9 billion easily beat analyst forecasts for $24.51 billion. Earnings per share of $0.91 topped forecasts for $0.81, and marked a 45% increase from a year ago. The company reiterated its 1.8 million vehicle production expectation for the year. For the bears, Tesla's gross profit margin of 18.2% fell shy of estimates for 18.8%. The figure represented another continued decline from the fourth quarter 2022 peak of 24%. Tesla's Cybertruck is displayed at Manhattan's Meatpacking District in New York City, U.S., May 8, 2021. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon CEO Elon Musk struck a downbeat tone on the economy, again. "One day it seems like the world economy is falling apart. And the next day everything's fine. I don't know what the hell is going on," Musk told analysts on the earnings conference call. Tesla shares fell 3% to $281.55 in pre-market trading on Thursday. The company's ticker page was the most active on the Yahoo Finance platform. Here's what else Wall Street is saying about Tesla's quarter. Wall Street Reacts Wedbush analyst Dan Ives (Buy rating; $300 price target): "Tesla delivered its June quarter results where the company saw beats on the top and bottom lines following multiple rounds of aggressive price cuts has put Tesla in a position of strength after building its EV castle and now is set to further monetize its success. The automotive ex-credits gross margin beat was front and center and is clearly an indication that Musk & Co. continue to play chess while other EV players are playing checkers. Overall this was a goldilocks 2Q print by Musk & Co. given all the noise surrounding the story heading into this quarter." Citi analyst Itay Michaeli (Neutral rating; $278 price target): "A mixed outcome that aligns with our previewed neutral-to-slightly negative setup. Q2 revenue ~1% ahead and gross margin in-line, but GAAP operating profits and free cash flow below. EPS beat but largely on a below-the-line gain. The outlook commentary didn’t shed much light on the second half margin bridge but Q3 is expected to face some factory downtime (for upgrades) that could yield some inefficiencies. The future role of AV/full self driving was once again heavily emphasized on the call—a view that fully aligns with our own industry thesis around AV/AI being the biggest value unlock in this race. Still, for this to anchor the Tesla investment thesis, we’d need to see more evidence of full self driving progress (including on the licensing front) given Tesla’s unique approach. We expect the shares to trade modestly lower as the current valuation likely needed a stronger Q2 outcome. That said, no major surprises here either." Brian Sozzi is Yahoo Finance's Executive Editor. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn. Tips on deals, mergers, activist situations, or anything else? Email brian.sozzi@yahoofinance.com. For the latest earnings reports and analysis, earnings whispers and expectations, and company earnings news, click here Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance

Tesla Sinks as Musk Warns of More Blows to Profitability

2023-07-20 - (Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc. shares dropped in early trading after the carmaker warned of more hits to its already-shrinking profitability. Most Read from Bloomberg Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said Tesla will have to keep lowering the prices of its electric vehicles if interest rates continue to rise. Months of markdowns have already taken a toll on automotive gross margin, which fell to a four-year low in the second quarter. In addition to potentially having to budge further on pricing, Tesla is pouring money into new models, including the behind-schedule Cybertruck, plus Dojo, the in-house supercomputer Musk plans to spend at least $1 billion on by the end of next year. While Tesla remains on track to produce around 1.8 million vehicles in 2023, output will dip this quarter due to factory upgrades. The CEO downplayed the thinner profit margins as short-term speed bumps. Investors still reacted negatively, with the stock falling as much as 4.2% before the start of regular trading Thursday. “It does make sense to sacrifice margins in favor of making more vehicles, because we think in the not-too-distant future they will have a dramatic valuation increase,” Musk said, referring to his belief Tesla will eventually offer autonomous-driving capability that will make already-sold cars worth more. Read More: Musk Says Tesla to Spend Over $1 Billion on Dojo While Tesla exceeded expectations for both earnings per share and revenue, the results undermined confidence that margins have bottomed, Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois said in a note to clients. The carmaker’s profit, excluding some items, came to 91 cents a share, more than the 81 cents that analysts estimated. Revenue rose 47% to $24.9 billion, better than the consensus expectation for $24.5 billion. In January, Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn said Tesla expected to maintain a more than 20% automotive gross margin, excluding revenue from regulatory credits. He walked back that forecast in April, after the company dipped below the threshold at the start of the year. Automotive gross margin excluding credits slipped further to 18.1% last quarter, the lowest since the second quarter of 2019. Inventory Buildup Adding to Tesla’s challenges is its growing inventory of cars. The Austin-based company said it now has 16 days’ worth of supply globally, up from 15 days last quarter and just four days a year ago. Inventory continued to build despite steep discounts on Tesla’s best-selling models, and perks including free charging that the carmaker offered consumers. Musk declined to go into details on the degree to which Tesla’s production will drop in the third quarter. In January, he said there was potential for the company to make closer to 2 million cars this year. Cybertruck While analysts have said new models like the Cybertruck could help Tesla maintain its sales-growth rate, the pickup won’t be available in large volumes until next year. The first vehicle rolled off the line in Tesla’s Austin factory just recently, the company said over the weekend. On Wednesday, Tesla clarified that Cybertrucks being built now are actually “release candidates” and not for sale. The company didn’t offer any updates about pricing or specifications and reiterated that it expects to start deliveries later this year. Musk also touted progress toward Tesla potentially making its driver-assistance software available to other automakers. The CEO said Tesla is in early discussions about licensing its system to a major manufacturer that he didn’t name. (Updates with conference call details from second paragraph. An earlier version of this story corrected the automotive gross margin.) Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek ©2023 Bloomberg L.P.

The only reason to buy Tesla stock has nothing to do with its EV business, market strategist says

2023-07-20 - The only reason to buy Tesla stock has nothing to do with its EV business, market strategist says A screenshot from Tesla's 2016 self-driving car ad showing the car stopped at a red light. Tesla Tesla competes in an industry that has not been kind to its investors over the past few decades. Shares of General Motors, Ford, Honda, and Mercedes are trading at the same price today as they were over a decade ago. When it comes to Tesla stock, the only reason to buy has nothing to do with its electric vehicle business. Tesla stock has soared 142% year-to-date and its valuation has cruised past $900 billion as investors cheer the company's continued growth in its electric vehicle deliveries. But according to a Wednesday note from DataTrek Research co-founder Nicholas Colas, there's only one reason to buy Tesla stock at its current levels, and it has nothing to do with its EV business. The car industry is difficult to compete in, as evidenced by the current stock prices of legacy automakers, he observed. Shares of Ford and Mercedes are trading at the same prices today as they were in in the 1990s, Honda is where it was in January 2006, and General Motors is at August 2013 levels. Clearly, investors have not been rewarding auto companies for simply selling millions of cars every year, even as legacy automakers transition their fleet to fully electric vehicles. So when it comes to Tesla stock, don't just look at its EV sales, according to Colas. To buy Tesla at its current valuation of $918 billion and expect further upside, an investor has to believe that the company's self-driving technology is close to reaching a truly autonomous threshold that can enable the robotaxi thesis commonly echoed by Ark Invest's Cathie Wood. Colas estimated that about $600 billion to $700 billion of Tesla's current market value is "a call option on autonomous driving." "Even Elon Musk himself has said Tesla is worth almost nothing without this technology. If and when autonomous is ready for prime time, Tesla should be there first or at least early. That is a trillion-dollar opportunity at the very least. But it is also an incredibly difficult challenge to make a truly self-driving car," Colas said. The remaining $200 billion to $300 billion of Tesla's current market valuation is assigned to the company's EV business, which is comparable to Toyota's current market valuation. Both Toyota and Tesla "will almost certainly be around in 20 years making cars. I cannot confidently say the same thing about any other auto company in existence today. That's how hard the next two decades will be on this industry," Colas said. That means if Tesla fails to deliver on full autonomous driving technology, its stock could plunge about 70% based on Colas' valuation model. "The investment takeaway is pretty clear cut: avoid traditional auto stocks, and only overweight Tesla if you have a degree of conviction that Musk and his team can soon deliver a truly autonomous vehicle," he said. Read the original article on Business Insider

Stock market today: Global shares mixed as investors eye profit reports and inflation

2023-07-20 - TOKYO (AP) — Global shares are mixed as investors digest a slew of profit reports while keeping an eye on the latest inflation data. France’s CAC 40 gained 0.3% in early trading to 7,345.07. Germany’s DAX rose 0.2% to 16,143.18. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.6% to 7,636.32. The future for the S&P 500 slipped 0.2% while that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up less than 0.1%. On Wednesday, Wall Street advanced on strong profit reports from banks and other big U.S. companies. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% and has rising nearly 19% this year. It’s at its highest level in more than 15 months. The Dow industrials gained 0.3% and the Nasdaq composite edged up less than 0.1%. The earnings reporting season is picking up momentum in its second week. Analysts are forecasting a third straight quarter of weaker earnings per share for S&P 500 companies, but that low bar makes it easier for companies to top expectations. Netflix reported that its subscriber base grew while profit was weaker than forecast. Its shares sank 6.9% in pre-market trading. Tesla’s results, although positive, also proved disappointing. Its shares were down 3% in pre-market trading. Japan reported Thursday that it logged a trade surplus in June for the first time in nearly two years as imports sank nearly 13%, largely due to lower oil prices and a weak Japanese yen. Exports rose only 1.5% from a year earlier despite sharp increases in shipments of vehicles as supply chain problems eased. Economists say they anticipate weaker exports in coming months as demand in other major economies slows. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 declined 1.2% to 32,490.52. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added less than 0.1% to 7,325.00. South Korea’s Kospi edged down 0.3% to 2,600.23. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.1% to 18,928.02, while the Shanghai Composite shed 0.9% to 3,169.52. The tepid results for Netflix and Tesla may have made Asian investors cautious, Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, said in a commentary. “But with inflation easing and odds for a soft landing rising, investors may adopt an ‘it could have been worse mood,’ ” Innes added. In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude added 11 cents to $75.40 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 9 cents to $79.55 a barrel. The U.S. dollar fell to 139.53 Japanese yen from 139.68 yen. The euro cost $1.1213, up from $1.1204.

Tesla, ABB, TSMC get Q2 earnings off to downbeat start

2023-07-20 - [1/5] A Tesla logo is seen on a wheel rim during the media day for the Shanghai auto show in Shanghai, China April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo Summary Companies Musk says we're in "turbulent times"; shares fall Shoppers seek cheaper appliances, says Electrolux ABB says China orders fell in Q2 Results will deepen worries about China's faltering economy LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - ABB (ABBN.S) warned on Thursday of slowing Chinese demand, Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC forecast a drop in 2023 sales and Electrolux cautioned shoppers are seeking cheaper appliances, deepening worries about global corporate and economic health. The news cast a pall over stocks as second-quarter earnings season ramps up. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were indicating lower, while European stocks recovered ground lost in early trade. ABB said its orders in China, its second-biggest market, fell 9% in the three months to the end of June, with its electrification, motion and robotics divisions all seeing lower demand. ABB, whose results are seen as a bellwether for the health of the broader industrial economy with its motors, drives, controllers and electrification products used in transport systems and factories, also saw lower demand in Germany. The comments will unsettle investors, who had hoped that Beijing's decision to abandon strict and prolonged COVID curbs at the end of last year would revive the world's second-biggest economy. Data this week showed China's economy grew at a frail pace in the second quarter as demand weakened at home and abroad, with post-COVID momentum faltering rapidly. Adding to the overall gloom, Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC (2330.TW) forecast a 10% drop in 2023 sales as global economic woes dented demand for chips used in applications as varied as cars, cellphones and servers. Some earnings highlighted the challenge for companies trying to protect margins after raising prices to offset high energy and raw material costs since last year. Analysts have warned easing input costs will put pressure on companies to start cutting prices, or they may lose business. Late on Wednesday, Tesla (TSLA.O) CEO Elon Musk signalled he would cut prices again on electric vehicles to shield against competition and economic uncertainty. Its shares were down almost 4% in pre-market U.S. trade. "One day it seems like the world economy is falling apart, next day it's fine. I don't know what the hell is going on," Musk told analysts on a conference call. "We're in, I would call it, turbulent times." Swedish hygiene product maker Essity's (ESSITYa.ST) second-quarter earnings missed market expectations, hit by wage inflation, bigger marketing costs in its consumer goods unit, and lower volumes after price hikes. Electrolux (ELUXb.ST), Europe's biggest home appliances maker, swung to a loss as cash-strapped shoppers opted for cheaper products and demand from residential property builders slowed. Investors punished the companies' shares. Essity stock lost 11% in early trading, set for its worst day on record while Electrolux was down 15.7%, the biggest faller in Europe and on track for their worst day in 12 years. DOWNBEAT TONE The results set a downbeat tone early in the earnings season, with soaring shopping and food bills and high interest rates curbing consumer spending and pressures building on corporate profit margins. Also on Wednesday, streaming video pioneer Netflix (NFLX.O) disappointed Wall Street with second-quarter revenue that fell short of analyst estimates, sending shares tumbling nearly 9% in after-hours trading. Earnings at STOXX 600 companies are currently expected to fall by 9.2% in the second quarter, a big downturn from 11% growth in the first three months of the year, based on Refinitiv I/B/E/S data. That's down from 29% a year ago, when the economy was recovering from the end of COVID lockdowns. Revenue is seen falling 6.2%, compared with a rise of 1.1% in the prior quarter. They would be the weakest results since the fourth quarter of 2020. In the United States, earnings are expected to fall 8.2%, compared with growth of 0.2% in the first quarter and a reversal from 8.4% growth a year ago. Revenue is seen falling 0.8%, down from 13.6% a year ago. Reporting by Reuters reporters; Writing by Josephine Mason; Editing by Sharon Singleton Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Nasdaq, S&P 500 futures fall after Q2 reports by Tesla, Netflix

2023-07-20 - Summary Companies Futures: Dow up 0.12%, S&P slips 0.15%, Nasdaq down 0.78% July 20 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures fell on Thursday as Tesla kicked off second-quarter earnings for megacap growth and technology stocks on a somber note, while Netflix slid as quarterly revenue missed analyst estimates. Tesla (TSLA.O) CEO Elon Musk signaled on Wednesday that he would cut prices again on electric vehicles in "turbulent times," even as his all-out price war squeezes the company's own margins. Shares of the electric car maker slid 3.5% in premarket trading after Musk's comments, even as Tesla beat quarterly profit estimates. "Amid the macroeconomic backdrop of sluggish global growth and a softening consumer, Tesla has been cutting prices several times to try to preserve demand," said Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor. "However this has been weighing on its profit margins." The tech-heavy Nasdaq (.IXIC) has advanced 37.2% so far this year, supported by a scorching rally in megacap growth and technology stocks on optimism over artificial intelligence, a resilient U.S. economy and hopes that the Federal Reserve was nearing the end of its aggressive rate hike cycle. Netflix (NFLX.O) fell 7.0% after the streaming video pioneer disappointed Wall Street with second-quarter revenue that fell short of analyst estimates. Enterprise software provider IBM (IBM.N) eased 1.0% after second-quarter revenue missed Wall Street expectations on Wednesday, dragged by a decline in the sales of its mainframe computers as businesses cut tech spending. At 4:35 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 44 points, or 0.12%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 6.75 points, or 0.15%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 124.25 points, or 0.78%. The Dow registered its longest winning streak in almost four years on Wednesday as investors gauged Goldman Sachs earnings, while major U.S regional banks jumped, saying their deposits mostly stabilized and net interest income rose after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in the first quarter sparked an industry turmoil. Among other earnings-driven moves, United Airlines (UAL.O) advanced 2.6% on upgrading its full-year profit outlook after posting the highest ever quarterly earnings on booming demand for international travel. U.S.-listed shares of Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC fell 2.7% after warning of a 10% drop in 2023 sales. Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Musk hints at more Tesla price cuts, with autonomy still tricky

2023-07-20 - Companies Tesla Inc Follow July 20 (Reuters) - Elon Musk's elusive goal of creating self-driving software is driving the Tesla CEO to prioritize sales over profits, a strategy that could deepen a price war - and investor concern. Shares of the automaker fell 3.5% in premarket trading on Thursday after Musk signaled there might not be any let-up in cuts that have already sent gross margins to a four-year low. "The short-term variances in gross margin and profitability really are minor relative to the long-term picture. Autonomy will make all of these numbers look silly," Musk said. Musk believes self-driving could one day account for a majority of Tesla's (TSLA.O) value and give it a cushion other automakers lack as they focus on turning their EV operations profitable. But his focus on self-driving risks sacrificing current profitability for technology that is in the crosshairs of regulators after a number of crashes involving Tesla vehicles. The Tesla logo is seen on a car in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 9, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/ "That margin outlook may be a disappointment for some, present company included, that were looking for margins to slowly improve this year," said Gene Munster, managing partner at Deepwater Asset Management - a Tesla investor. In the second quarter, automotive gross margin, excluding regulatory credits, fell to 18.1% from 19% in the first, according to Reuters' calculation. It also marked a sharp decline from the 26% reported a year ago. Analysts said the margin weakness would likely weigh on the stock, which has more than doubled this year thanks to the growing adoption of the company's charging system. Still, they were mostly positive about Tesla, with more than seven upgrading the stock while four downgraded it. The stock trades at a pricey 12-month forward price to earnings multiple ratio of 72.65, compared with Ford's 8.45. (This story has been refiled to correct the dateline) Reporting By Peter Henderson, Aditya Soni and Akash Sriram; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Netflix shares slump on revenue outlook, Tesla stock slips on margin fears and other stocks on the move

2023-07-20 - Here are some of the biggest movers of the day: Stock gainers:

Nasdaq futures slide as Tesla and Netflix results damp earnings optimism

2023-07-20 - Nasdaq futures were underperforming early Thursday, after results from Tesla and Netflix were not very well received by traders. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.31% rose 109 points, or 0.31%, to 35061, the S&P 500 SPX, +0.24% increased 11 points, or 0.24%, to 4566, and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.03% gained 4 points, or 0.03%, to 14358. What’s driving markets Investors were being reminded Thursday that when stocks rise swiftly and are afforded rich valuations, earnings results that are good on the surface still may not be good enough. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite closed the previous session at 15-month highs having jumped 18.9% and 37.2% respectively for the year to date, as cooling inflation revived hopes that the Federal Reserve can soon stop raising borrowing costs. Helping drive those gains were Tesla TSLA, -0.71% , up 136% so far in 2023, to sport a price-to-projected 2023 earnings ratio of 86, and Netflix NFLX, +0.59% , up 62% and a P/E ratio of 42, according to FactSet. But results and comments from both market darlings, released after Wednesday’s close, have been found wanting. Shares in Tesla were off 4% in premarket action and Netflix was sliding 8%, dragging futures for the tech-focused Nasdaq 100 lower. “Netflix missed sales estimates and issued lower-than-expected Q3 guidance, while Tesla’s results showed shrinking profitability with squeeze on margins,” said Henry Allen, strategist at Deutsche Bank. Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said that both could be vulnerable to a deterioration in household sentiment. “Concerns are growing that a slowing economy, combined with the erosion of lockdown savings will weigh further on spending on discretionary goods and services, particularly big-ticket items like cars and nice to have but not necessary streaming accounts in the months ahead,” said Streeter. Still, the earnings come thick and fast. America Airlines AAL, -0.43% , Johnson & Johnson JNJ, -0.20% and Blackstone BX, +1.21% are among those delivering figures before the opening bell, while after the close its the turn of Capital One COF, +1.63% , CSX CSX, +0.15% and First Financial Bank FFBC, +4.21% , to name a few. U.S. economic updates set for release on Thursday include the weekly initial jobless claims and the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing survey for June, both at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. The June existing home sales and leading economic indicators will be released at 10 a.m.

Elon Musk says Tesla will spend ‘well over’ $1 billion on Dojo supercomputer

2023-07-20 - Tesla Inc. will spend “well over” $1 billion by the end of 2024 on building an in-house supercomputer known as Project Dojo. In Tesla’s earnings call with analysts late Wednesday, Chief Executive Elon Musk said Dojo would be used to process data and video to improve the EV maker’s autonomous driving capabilities, with the goal of full autonomy.

Elon Musk Is Spending $1B On Tesla's Dojo Supercomputer – Here's What You Need To Know - Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)

2023-07-20 - Tesla Inc. TSLA is set to invest over $1 billion in its project Dojo Supercomputer by the end of 2024, according to CEO Elon Musk. Dojo is Tesla’s proprietary supercomputer platform, specifically designed from scratch for AI machine learning purposes, with a particular focus on video training using data obtained from its fleet of vehicles. The supercomputer is designed to handle vast amounts of data, including video from Tesla cars, to develop autonomous driving software, Bloomberg reports. Despite already possessing one of the world’s most potent supercomputers based on NVIDIA GPUs, Tesla has developed its custom-built Dojo computer, incorporating unique chips and a complete infrastructure crafted entirely by the company. Tesla’s in-house custom-built supercomputer, Dojo, is set to significantly enhance the company’s capability to train neural networks using video data, a crucial aspect of its self-driving technology reliant on advanced computer vision capabilities. See Also: Elon Musk’s Scooby-Doo Meme Boosts Dogecoin Value By $320M: Doges FTW Investment Details: Musk revealed the investment plan during a conference call with analysts. He said that Tesla “will be spending well over $1 billion on Dojo” over the next year. However, this announcement seemed to unsettle investors, contributing to a post-market slide in Tesla’s share price. The Dojo supercomputer is being developed to process a “staggering amount” of video data collected from Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Beta features. The company has already begun production of its “Dojo training computer.” Read Next: Ron DeSantis Dodges Question On Whether He Would Sign Nationwide Abortion Ban Image via Shutterstock

Johnson & Johnson, Tesla And 3 Stocks To Watch Heading Into Thursday - Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL)

2023-07-20 - Wall Street expects Johnson & Johnson JNJ to post quarterly earnings at $2.62 per share on revenue of $24.66 billion before the opening bell. Johnson & Johnson shares gained 0.2% to $159.09 in after-hours trading. to post quarterly earnings at $2.62 per share on revenue of $24.66 billion before the opening bell. Johnson & Johnson shares gained 0.2% to $159.09 in after-hours trading. Tesla Inc TSLA reported better-than-expected earnings and sales results for its second quarter, but said operating margin narrowed to 9.6% from 14.6% in the year-ago period. Tesla shares fell 4.2% to $279.07 in the after-hours trading session. reported better-than-expected earnings and sales results for its second quarter, but said operating margin narrowed to 9.6% from 14.6% in the year-ago period. Tesla shares fell 4.2% to $279.07 in the after-hours trading session. Analysts are expecting American Airlines Group Inc. AAL to have earned $1.58 per share on revenue of $13.74 billion for the latest quarter. The company will release earnings before the markets open. American Airlines shares rose 2.2% to $19.00 in after-hours trading. Netflix, Inc. NFLX reported upbeat earnings for the second quarter, while sales missed expectations. Netflix shares fell 8.1% to $438.70 in the after-hours trading session. reported upbeat earnings for the second quarter, while sales missed expectations. Netflix shares fell 8.1% to $438.70 in the after-hours trading session. Analysts expect Abbott Laboratories ABT to report quarterly earnings at $1.05 per share on revenue of $9.70 billion before the opening bell. Abbott shares rose 0.3% to $107.60 in after-hours trading. Read This Next: Top 5 Risk Off Stocks That May Crash This Month

Stock market today: Global shares mixed as investors eye profit reports and inflation

2023-07-20 - A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 20, 2023. Asian shares were mixed Thursday after Japan reported weaker than expected trade data for June, with imports falling nearly 13% from a year earlier. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 20, 2023. Asian shares were mixed Thursday after Japan reported weaker than expected trade data for June, with imports falling nearly 13% from a year earlier. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 20, 2023. Asian shares were mixed Thursday after Japan reported weaker than expected trade data for June, with imports falling nearly 13% from a year earlier. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 20, 2023. Asian shares were mixed Thursday after Japan reported weaker than expected trade data for June, with imports falling nearly 13% from a year earlier. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) Global shares are mixed as investors digest a slew of profit reports while keeping an eye on the latest inflation data TOKYO -- Global shares are mixed as investors digest a slew of profit reports while keeping an eye on the latest inflation data. France's CAC 40 gained 0.3% in early trading to 7,345.07. Germany's DAX rose 0.2% to 16,143.18. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.6% to 7,636.32. The future for the S &P 500 slipped 0.2% while that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up less than 0.1%. On Wednesday, Wall Street advanced on strong profit reports from banks and other big U.S. companies. The S &P 500 rose 0.2% and has rising nearly 19% this year. It's at its highest level in more than 15 months. The Dow industrials gained 0.3% and the Nasdaq composite edged up less than 0.1%. The earnings reporting season is picking up momentum in its second week. Analysts are forecasting a third straight quarter of weaker earnings per share for S &P 500 companies, but that low bar makes it easier for companies to top expectations. Netflix reported that its subscriber base grew while profit was weaker than forecast. Its shares sank 6.9% in pre-market trading. Tesla’s results, although positive, also proved disappointing. Its shares were down 3% in pre-market trading. Japan reported Thursday that it logged a trade surplus in June for the first time in nearly two years as imports sank nearly 13%, largely due to lower oil prices and a weak Japanese yen. Exports rose only 1.5% from a year earlier despite sharp increases in shipments of vehicles as supply chain problems eased. Economists say they anticipate weaker exports in coming months as demand in other major economies slows. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 declined 1.2% to 32,490.52. Australia's S &P/ASX 200 added less than 0.1% to 7,325.00. South Korea's Kospi edged down 0.3% to 2,600.23. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.1% to 18,928.02, while the Shanghai Composite shed 0.9% to 3,169.52. The tepid results for Netflix and Tesla may have made Asian investors cautious, Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, said in a commentary. “But with inflation easing and odds for a soft landing rising, investors may adopt an ‘it could have been worse mood,’ ” Innes added. In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude added 11 cents to $75.40 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 9 cents to $79.55 a barrel. The U.S. dollar fell to 139.53 Japanese yen from 139.68 yen. The euro cost $1.1213, up from $1.1204.

Tesla income jumps 20%, but shares fall after hours amid profit concerns

2023-07-20 - Elon Musk’s big bet that Tesla price cuts can boost sales and profits amid increasing competition and poor economic sentiment appears to be yielding mixed results SAN FRANCISCO -- Elon Musk's big bet that Tesla price cuts could boost sales and profits amid increasing competition and poor economic sentiment appears to be yielding mixed results. Sales jumped and the company beat analyst expectations for net income in the April-June quarter, although the company's profit margins declined. Tesla shares followed suit in after-hours trading. The Austin, Texas, maker of electric vehicles, solar panels and batteries reported net income of $2.7 billion in the quarter, a 20% increase from a year ago. Earnings per share also rose 20% to 78 cents when measured via generally accepted accounting principles. Total revenue rose 47% to $24.93 billion. Analysts, however, tend to focus on Tesla's own measurement of profit, which excludes stock-based compensation expense. By that measure, Tesla's net income zoomed to $3.15 billion, or 91 cents a share, sharply exceeding average analyst estimates of 80 cents per share according to FactSet. Some analysts had expected profits to fall because of the price cuts. Tesla shares, however, initially stayed flat at roughly $292 in after-hours trading immediately following the earnings report, up a smidgeon from their close at $291.26. As Tesla executives spoke to analysts in a conference call, shares slipped more than 4%. Tesla reported strong vehicle delivery numbers on July 2, saying they rose 83% compared to the year-earlier quarter after the company cut prices several times on its four electric vehicle models. Tesla sold a record 466,140 vehicles worldwide from April through June, nearly double the 254,695 it sold during the same period a year earlier. The vast majority of those sales involved Tesla’s popular Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossover SUVs. But the earnings report provided mixed messages on one of the larger questions facing Tesla: whether the automaker’s discounting strategy can boost sales while preserving its profit margins. Tesla's operating margin, which represents how efficiently sales are turned into pretax profits, fell to 9.6% in the April-June quarter, down significantly from 14.6% a year earlier. The measure had also declined sharply in the January-March quarter. While pressures on profitability and pricing continue to weigh on Tesla, Jeff Windau, an analyst with Edward Jones, said he took heart from some management comments about cost control and said the company’s overall trajectory remains sound. “The long term drivers for growth remain in place and there are just going to be some near-term headwinds in the current environment we’re in,” he said. In the company's conference call with analysts, Musk praised the company's performance despite high interest rates and what he called significant economic uncertainty, then quickly changed the subject to Tesla's advanced projects such as its so-called “full self driving” software. Despite the name, Tesla cars with the software enabled cannot drive themselves, and the company warns drivers that they have to be ready to intervene at all times. Musk extolled Tesla's work on a new machine-learning system it calls Dojo that the company plans to use for improving its self-driving software. Musk also said that Tesla should deliver its long promised Cybertruck — an unusual looking pickup with an angular design that might not look out of place in a “Mad Max” movie — by the end of the year. Tesla announced Saturday that the first Cybertruck had rolled off the assembly line. But analysts aren't convinced that the vehicle will be widely available any time soon, not least because other automakers have already unveiled more conventional looking electric pickups such as the Ford F-150 Lightning. “I don't think we'll see any meaningful volumes, certainly not this year,” said Seth Goldstein, an analyst with Morningstar Research. “Not even next year. Maybe we're looking more into 2025, 26, 27 until we see them.”

Elon Musk Can Be 'Destructive,' Says Biographer Who Shadowed The Billionaire For 3 Years - Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)

2023-07-18 - Elon Musk's biographer says the world's richest person lacks empathy and even has what he referred to as a "demon mode." What To Know: Walter Isaacson has followed Musk closely over the last three years, writing the Tesla Inc TSLA CEO's biography. One of his biggest takeaways during that time is that the eccentric billionaire lacks empathy and has a fierce side that he called "demon mode." "I'm more impressed with him as an engineer. I think that he does not have a fingertip feel for, you know, empathy, emotions," Isaacson said Monday on CNBC's "Squawk Box." Isaacson's comments don't come as a complete surprise. It's been reported that Musk has a direct communication style and that you don't always know what to expect from the billionaire. Related Link: Elon Musk Poses 'Top Risk' To Tesla, Says EV Expert: 'Such An Unpredictable Person' In an Insider report from the beginning of the year, one of the founding employees of SpaceX Jim Cantrell recalled his time spent working alongside Musk. "Working with Elon was like working with two different people: the good Elon and the bad Elon, and you never knew which you were going to get," Cantrell said. Isaacson told CNBC that a lot of Musk's faults make him who he is. He is a driven individual and it's not just about money for him. He's also impulsive and he will tweet anything that's in his head, he added. "When you get up very close to a person, as I have for the past three years with him, you understand that person, you understand the motivations. And there are a lot of faults and he has a demon mode that is destructive," Isaacson said. "The question when you write a biography though, is how do you take the dark threads and realize that you can't just pull them out? He wouldn't be who he is without both demon mode and his drive." Isaacson's biography on Musk is set to be released in September. Read Next: Marc Andreessen Calls Elon Musk And Mark Zuckerberg 'Role Models' for Children, Defending Controversial Support For MMA This illustration was generated using artificial intelligence via MidJourney.

Tesla factory produces Cybertruck nearly 4 years after Elon Musk unveiled it

2023-07-18 - Tesla has manufactured its first Cybertruck nearly four years after founder and CEO Elon Musk touted the automaker's first electric pickup. Tesla workers at the company's so-called Gigafactory near Austin, Texas, tweeted a photo of the completed vehicle on Saturday with the caption "First Cybertruck built in Giga Texas." The feat comes four years after CEO Elon Musk introduced the silver, futuristic-looking vehicle. Musk originally unveiled the Cybertruck in 2019 with the goal of starting production in late 2021. First Cybertruck built at Giga Texas! 🤠 pic.twitter.com/ODRhHVsd0t — Tesla (@Tesla) July 15, 2023 The Cybertruck's stainless steel alloy body is strong enough to withstand certain types of small arms fire, Musk has said. He has also estimated the truck will be capable of towing 14,000 pounds. It's unclear when Cybertrucks will be available for purchase from a dealership lot or at what price. Musk said in April that the company expects to deliver the first truck sometime between July and September. Tesla didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. When it does hit dealer floors, the Cybertruck will be entering an increasingly competitive electric vehicle market, including for pickups. Rival company Rivian sells its R1T, with a starting price of $73,000, according to Kelley Blue Book; General Motors offers the Hummer EV pickup; and Ford makes the F-150 Lightning. Ford on Monday dropped the price on seven models of the Lightning by between $6,000 and $10,000, citing easier access to the truck's battery material. The cuts partially reverse repeated price hikes in 2022 and early 2023, which the car maker blamed on higher material costs. Another factor motivating Ford to cut prices could be that company officials "hear the footsteps of the Cybertruck and others such as Rivian coming," Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said in a research note. Tesla originally said it would make three versions of the Cybertruck, with prices ranging from about $40,000 to $70,000. Later the company removed prices from the webpage where customers could pre-order the vehicle. —The Associated Press contributed to this report.

How the NASDAQ 100 Special Rebalancing Will Hurt Performance

2023-07-18 - Key Points The Nasdaq 100 will have a special rebalancing after the close on July 21, 2023, to reduce the overconcentration in the most heavily weighted stocks in the index. The rebalancing will likely drag down the Nasdaq 100 year-to-date (YTD) performance of 43.33%. The Nasdaq 100 index is up 43.33% year-to-date (YTD), while the Equal-Weighted Nasdaq 100 index is up 24.17% YTD. The S&P 500 index, which hasn’t triggered rebalancing, is up 17.98% YTD. Index funds and ETFs that track the Nasdaq 100 will have to adjust their weightings accordingly by downsizing the heaviest market cap stocks and upsizing smaller market cap stocks as outlined by the Nasdaq. Critics argue that this is rewarding underperforming companies while punishing strong performers. 5 stocks we like better than Invesco QQQ On July 7, 2023, the Nasdaq announced it would implement a special rebalancing for the Nasdaq 100 index, tracked by the Invesco QQQ ETF NASDAQ: QQQ effective after hours on July 21, 2023, and pre-market on July 24, 2023. It will be based on the index securities closing prices and outstanding shares as of July 3, 2023. The spotlight has been drawn on the index's seven heaviest-weighted stocks, dubbed the Magnificent Seven. They account for 55% of the Nasdaq 100 index. The Nasdaq will adjust the weightings, not add or remove stocks from the index. What does this mean for the indexes? Special Rebalancing Parameters The Nasdaq regularly rebalances the index every quarter. The rally in Tesla Co. NASDAQ: TSLA triggered the special rebalancing, pushing the aggregate weighting of the largest stocks over 48%. Of course, Tesla can't be completely blamed as the other company stocks have all risen, contributing towards the 48% threshold break. The Nasdaq can conduct a special rebalancing when the aggregate weight of its index stocks with more than a 4.5% index weighting exceeds 48%. The rebalancing aims to drop the market cap weighting to 40% while no other stock weightings can exceed 4.4%. The five heaviest-weighted stocks were Microsoft Co. NASDAQ: MSFT, Apple Inc. NASDAQ: AAPL, Nvidia Co. (NASDAQ NVDA), Amazon.com NASDAQ: AMZN) and Tesla. Alphabet Inc. NASDAQ: GOOGL and Meta Platforms Inc. NASDAQ: META round out the Magnificent Seven. What Does it Mean? The aggregate weight of the subset of issuers whose weights exceed 4.5% will be set to 40% using a reference date of the end of day July 3rd, 2023.. Weightings will increase on smaller market cap stocks. It's spreading the investments to improve the breadth and not be concentrated in the heaviest-weighted stocks. Nasdaq will release the changes to the Nasdaq 100 index weightings, including which stocks will be downsized and which will be upsized. What’s the Impact on Returns? The weighting adjustments will have an impact on the Nasdaq 100 performance. The initial result will likely be a pullback in performance as it sheds some of the best-performing stocks to date. The question is whether the effects from the upsized stocks will offset the effects on the downsized stocks in the final calculation of the index on the close of July 24, 2023. Expect Nasdaq 100 Performance to Adjust Lower In other words, the 43.33% year-to-date (YTD) returns on the QQQ will likely be lower when the smoke clears after the rebalance. Compare the current Nasdaq 100 QQQ ETF gains of 43.33% as of July 16, 2023, with the First Trust Equal Weighted Nasdaq 100 Index Fund NASDAQ: QQEW gains of just 24.17%. The rebalancing will not result in an equal-weighted Nasdaq 100, but it will likely dilute some YTD performance to fall between the 43.33% and 24.17% performance range. Is the S&P 500 Next? All this leads to whether the S&P 500 index, tracked by the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust NYSEARCA: SPY, will follow along with its special rebalancing. Under current weightings, the heaviest market cap-weighted stocks in the index have yet to cross the threshold. The S&P 500 index rebalancing occurs when stocks heavier than 4.8% weight cumulatively exceed the 50% threshold of the total index. Only AAPL at 7.47% and MSFT at 6.76% weighting exceed the 4.8% threshold to qualify for the aggregate total surpassing 50%. The third heaviest market cap is AMZN, with a 3.18% weighting. Technically, there would be no need to rebalance the S&P 500 index, up 17.98% YTD. This overconcentration is a Nasdaq 100 issue, not an S&P 500 problem. However, that may not be the case when compared to the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF NYSEARCA: RSP YTD performance of just 7.75%, less than half of the S&P 500 index gains. Weekly Cup Formation Pattern The weekly QQQ (Nasdaq 100 ETF) chart illustrates an impressive recovery to complete the cup formation. The cup started after peaking a rally attempt at $368.97 in March 2022. The QQQ sank to a low of $252.91 in October 2022. It formed a rounding bottom, gradually accelerating higher to retest the $368.97 cup line and breakout to a high of $382.86 in July 2023. The all-time high sits at $404.02, achieved in November 2021. The relative strength index (RSI) oscillator is overbought at the 75-band. In fact, it's been overbought since breaking through the 70-band in May 2023 when it was priced in the $330-$340 range. A reversion back under the cup lip line would form a handle, followed by a breakout through the cup line again would complete a cup and handle formation. Before you consider Invesco QQQ, you'll want to hear this. MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and Invesco QQQ wasn't on the list. While Invesco QQQ currently has a "hold" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys. View The Five Stocks Here

Wall St Week Ahead Investors brace for earnings from ‘Magnificent Seven’ US growth giants

2023-07-14 - [1/5] Logo of an Apple store is seen as Apple Inc. reports fourth quarter earnings in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo NEW YORK, July 14 (Reuters) - A handful of massive growth and technology names that have dominated the U.S. stock market in 2023 are set to report earnings in coming weeks, potentially determining the path for this year’s equity rally. Lately dubbed the “Magnificent Seven” by investors, shares of the U.S. companies with the biggest market values soared between 40% and over 200% so far this year. Those moves have accounted for a lion's share of the S&P 500's 17% year-to-date rise and propelled the index to its highest level since April 2022. The outsized gains have come with big earnings expectations for the seven companies: Apple (AAPL.O), Microsoft (MSFT.O), Alphabet (GOOGL.O), Amazon (AMZN.O), Nvidia (NVDA.O), Tesla (TSLA.O) and Meta Platforms (META.O). BofA Global Research projects they will increase earnings by an average of 19% over the next 12 months, more than double the an 8% estimated rise for the rest of the S&P 500. They will need strong results to justify premium valuations. Those companies trade at an overall trailing price-to-earnings ratio of about 40 times, versus 15 times for the S&P 500 excluding those companies, according to BofA. Their results may be crucial to the market as a whole. Fueled by their recent gains, megacap stocks have climbed to dominate benchmark indexes, causing headaches for some managers of active funds. In the S&P 500, the seven stocks comprise 27.9% of the index's weight. Investors will look beyond second quarter results, said Bill Callahan, an investment strategist at Schroders. “It’s also how do these big companies, which are carrying the market ... guide for the rest of the year and into 2024,” he said. Overall, the seven companies account for 14.3% of overall S&P 500 estimated earnings for the second quarter, and 9.3% of estimated revenue, according to Tajinder Dhillon, senior research analyst at Refinitiv. Among the reports in the previous quarter, Nvidia was one of the standouts. The semiconductor company's revenue forecast blew past estimates as it said it was boosting supply to meet surging demand for its artificial-intelligence chips, further fanning the market's excitement over AI. Nvidia shares are up well over 200% this year Reuters Graphics Tesla is the first of the growth giants to report, with earnings expected on Wednesday. The Elon Musk-led company this month said it delivered a record number of vehicles in the second quarter. Microsoft and Meta are among the companies due to report the following week, and investors are expected to focus on how companies are seeking to harness AI. While AI benefits may not immediately materialize for every company, investors are eager to learn "more about how they are going to convert that into money, essentially," said Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments. "It’s going to take some time for that to work its way through and to show up," said Martin, who is overweight some of the megacap stocks. "Along the way, people are going to want to see some sort of progress." There are signs market gains are broadening beyond the megacaps. The equal-weight S&P 500 (.SPXEW), a proxy for the average stock, is modestly beating the S&P 500 over the past month -- up 3.6% versus about 3% for its counterpart. The equal-weight version trailed badly for most of 2023. Strong U.S. data have driven confidence the economy can avoid a long-feared recession. A so-called "soft-landing" could lift cyclical stocks such as industrials and small-caps that are trading at cheaper valuations. But many investors say the corporate giants are nevertheless here to stay as critical holdings. Yung-Yu Ma, chief investment officer at BMO Wealth Management said that while “there is a lot priced in” to megacaps’ valuations, that did not mean they are overvalued. "If you think about the megacaps broadly ... they have gone from a core holding of a portfolio to an almost absolute necessary major component of the portfolio once you factor in trends such as AI," he said. Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Ira Iosebashvili and David Gregorio Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Elon Musk and 'jacked' Mark Zuckerberg are great role models, Marc Andreessen says — and kids should learn to fight like the MMA-loving CEOs

2023-07-14 - Marc Andreessen wrote that Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, who have embraced physical fighting, are good role models. The VC billionaire, who is trained in martial arts, argued that MMA teaches kids self respect. Earlier this week, Andreessen said he supports the Tesla and Meta CEOs facing off in a cage match. Morning Brew Insider recommends waking up with, a daily newsletter. Loading Something is loading. Thanks for signing up! Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go. download the app Email address By clicking “Sign Up,” you also agree to marketing emails from both Insider and Morning Brew; and you accept Insider’s Terms and Privacy Policy Click here for Morning Brew’s privacy policy. Tech moguls Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg may not just be inspiring to wannabe tech bros and billionaires. In a Substack post titled "FIGHTING," Marc Andreessen, the legendary venture capital investor who poured hundreds of millions of dollars into companies like Facebook and Twitter during their early days, shared his thoughts on the highly anticipated cage fight between Musk and Zuckerberg. The post expanded on a panel discussion at the Sun Valley conference, where he was asked if the CEOs of Tesla and Meta can be seen as role models for kids given "their embrace of fighting." "I said, enthusiastically, yes," Andreessen wrote in his blog post. Andreessen said that mixed martial arts, in which both he and his wife are trained, teaches children how to fight; he also believes the sport helps kids learn values like "discipline, emotional control, respect, and a deep sense of responsibility." "The message to kids is not, this is how you beat people up," he wrote. "The message is, this is how you protect yourself – and as important, this is how you protect your family, your friends, your community." Learning how to defend yourself and your loved ones is especially important now, Andreessen wrote, adding that "the world is evolving" in a way that requires people to protect themselves because "cities in the United States have decided they don't need law enforcement" and "street level violence is on the rise." In reality, the number of police and sheriff patrol officers in the US dropped from 665,380 workers as of May 2021 to 655,890 as of May 2022 – a 1.4% decrease, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there has been no recent increase in violent crimes. Regardless of the actual need for self defense, Andreessen also said that MMA is a great form of exercise. Andreessen's thoughts on mixed martial arts comes after Musk challenged Zuckerberg, a jiu-jitsu enthusiast, to a cage match after a nearly seven-year feud between the two CEOs. While curious observers predict the fight won't happen, Musk seems to be taking the cage match pretty seriously. Georges St-Pierre, a Canadian wrestler and UFC fighter, tweeted earlier this month that he had a "great training session" with Musk, along with martial artist John Danaher. "I think it's great that MMA is the rising American national sport, that Mark is training so hard in it (and getting jacked), that Elon, a past martial arts aficionado in his own right, is challenging Mark to a fight," Andreessen wrote. "Both Mark and Elon are top-end role models for children in our society, including my own – whether they end up fighting in the Colosseum or not!" During the same Sun Valley conversation, Andreessen had some other thoughts on how to raise children, urging the attendees to homeschool their kids.

Musk asks federal court to scotch FTC settlement with Twitter

2023-07-13 - Twitter on Thursday asked a federal court to end a settlement it struck with the Federal Trade Commission last year over alleged privacy violations, claiming it was subjected to a “burdensome and vexatious enforcement investigation.” The requested followed a clash between House Republicans and FTC Chair Lina Khan at a hearing over the FTC’s investigation of Twitter and what her critics say is an antibusiness agenda.The FTC is examining whether Twitter under Tesla Inc. TSLA, +2.17% Chief Executive Elon Musk, who also owns Twitter, is protecting users’ privacy. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and other Republicans on the panel allege Democrats are targeting Musk for reinstating banned conservative accounts, including that of former President Donald Trump.

Nasdaq is making a big change to its most popular index. Here’s how it might impact your portfolio.

2023-07-12 - Big Tech has gotten too big for Nasdaq’s liking. So the exchange has decided to make some changes to the Nasdaq 100 index, its most popular index, according to company representatives, ostensibly to diminish the concentration risk that accompanies having an index that derives more than half of its value from just seven companies. Nasdaq announced late last week that the Nasdaq 100 NDX, +1.24% will undergo a special rebalancing that will take effect prior to the market open on July 24. It’s only the third time that Nasdaq has announced such an impromptu rejiggering of how much individual stocks contribute to the index. Although Nasdaq can also reconstitute the index regularly every December, and there’s also a mechanism to rebalance every quarter as well. In a statement announcing the move, the exchange alluded to the fact that the largest companies in the technology sector have too much sway over the index’s price. Nasdaq said special rebalancing can be implemented “to address overconcentration in the index by redistributing the weights.” The rebalancing comes at a critical time. The Nasdaq 100 has risen 40% since the start of 2023, largely thanks to the “Magnificent Seven,” a handful of megacap technology names that have powered much of the U.S. stock market’s rally this year. These gains have pushed the index to its highest level since mid-January 2022, meaning that Big Tech has now retraced nearly all of last year’s losses, and might soon be headed for the all-time highs from November 2021. As of Thursday, the Magnificent Seven stocks — Nvidia Corp. NVDA, +3.53% , Apple Inc. AAPL, +0.90% , Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +1.42% , Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, +1.57% , Tesla Inc. TSLA, +0.82% , Meta Platforms Inc. META, +3.70% and Alphabet Inc.’s Class A GOOGL, +1.53% and Class C GOOG, +1.62% shares — accounted for 55% of the Nasdaq 100’s market capitalization, while the top five names account for more than 45%. According to Nasdaq’s official methodology, the goal is to keep the aggregate weighting of the biggest stocks below 40%. In fact, it’s possible that Tesla Inc. surpassing 4.5% of the index earlier this month triggered the Nasdaq’s rebalancing announcement, according to analysts from UBS Group AG UBS, +1.87% . Exactly how it plans to accomplish this isn’t yet known. Nasdaq said the new weighting scheme will be unveiled on Friday, likely after the U.S. market close. But the UBS team has an educated guess. “The quarterly reviews would dictate that the aggregate weight to securities exceeding 4.5% be set to 40%. If that’s the approach Nasdaq takes, then we’d expect the weights of Microsoft, Apple, Nvidia, Alphabet, Amazon, and Tesla to be reduced,” the team said in a note shared with MarketWatch. For investors trying to anticipate how this might impact their portfolios, here the answers to a few key questions. Could the rebalancing kill the U.S. stock market rally? Not likely. Or rather: if the rally in Big Tech does falter, history suggests it won’t be because of the rebalancing. Here’s more on that from Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, who discussed the topic in commentary emailed to MarketWatch on Wednesday. “…[T]here is the natural inclination to think that the upcoming special reweighting is a sign that large cap disruptive tech is set to roll over because a handful of names have so handily outpaced the rest of its notional peers,” Colas said. “History suggests otherwise. The last 2 one-off reweights were in 2011 and 1998. Neither proved to be the end of a Nasdaq 100/tech stock bull market. Not even close, really.” More immediately, ETF experts expect trading around the rebalancing will be relatively muted. “While it sounds scary, Investors are well positioned — this has been well bantered about,” said David Lutz, head of ETF Trading at Jones Trading, in comments emailed to MarketWatch. How could this benefit investors? Since megacap technology stocks don’t pay much, if anything, in dividends, the rebalancing could increase the amount of dividends that ETF investors receive each year, according to a team of analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Since the largest constituents pay a dividend yield well below the index average, the redistribution of weight from them to the rest of the index will result in a “meaningful boost” to the regular payouts received by investors, which will boost the total return of Nasdaq 100-tracking ETFs and mutual funds. Will there be any short-term costs associated with the rebalancing? There might be. Since the new index weightings will be announced in advance, investors will have plenty of time to front-run the rebalancing trade. Still, there are plenty of hedge funds and proprietary trading firms that run strategies explicitly designed to profit from rebalancing. These firms profits have to come from somewhere, and the logical place would be the fund managers of the Invesco QQQ exchange-traded fund QQQ, +1.26% QQQM, +1.27% . “There are prop traders and hedge funds that run the strategy of providing liquidity to indexes with the expectation that they’ll earn profits,” said Roni Israelov, president and CIO at Wealth Manager NDVR, during a phone interview with MarketWatch. “if they are earning profits by providing that liquidity, the expectation is those profits are being paid by investors in those funds.” So far at least, markets appear to have taken news of the rebalancing in stride. Megacap technology names tumbled earlier this week, but they’ve since recouped those losses and then some.

Date Open High Low Close Volume
2023-12-01 00:00:00-05:00 233.13999938964844 240.19000244140625 231.89999389648438 238.8300018310547 121173500