Elon Musk delivers the first Teslas made in Texas. The deliveries took place at a fete, dubbed the “Cyber Rodeo,” that marked the public unveiling of Tesla’s new Austin-area auto-assembly plant. The affair was a homecoming for the company, which moved its headquarters to the Austin area last year from Palo Alto, Calif. The billionaire entrepreneur also gave a glimpse of the Cybertruck, robotaxi, and a new Roadster.
Bank of America downgrades transport stocks, citing deteriorating demand. The call comes as worries grow of an imminent recession, as the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates to tamp down on inflation. Freight market signals have turned increasingly softer and suggest demand is waning. Pricing is declining rapidly, capacity is available, and these shifts could signal a downturn in the economy and lower demand.
Shell warns of up to $5 billion loss from Russia exit. The London-based oil major provided the guidance Thursday ahead of quarterly earnings scheduled for May 5. The disclosure gives investors additional clues about the impact Western companies face as a result of moves to divorce themselves from Russia. Impacts include the possibility of unpaid contracts and other credit losses because of the exit. Read more here.
Robinhood rolled out crypto wallets to its users. The company announced at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami that every eligible person on its waitlist for the product now has one. Their goal is to make Robinhood the most trusted and easiest to use crypto platform. The move from Robinhood may connect its users to the digital asset ecosystem, but it’s unclear how much it would change the company’s bottom line.
The New York luxury real estate market remains a juggernaut in Q1. The first quarter of 2022 saw an increase in Manhattan’s luxury threshold from $3.5 million during Q1 2021 to $4.4 million in Q1 2022. The demand in the luxury sector had managed to grow during a period of rising interest rates and inflation due to luxury buyers’ frequent status as all-cash buyers and desire to invest in real estate as a hedge against inflation. Read more here.
Strike partners with Shopify for Bitcoin Lightning payments. The application allows any individual or business to send any currency (USD, EUR, JPY, BTC, etc.) to anyone else in the world instantaneously and nearly for free. The bitcoin payment rails serve as the payment network. It auto-magically gets turned into bitcoin to go across the Lightning Network. That bitcoin conversion occurs behind the scenes. Read more here.
Mutual funds are in trouble. In 10 years, ETFs will pass mutual funds, says Eric Balchunas. ETFs are too simple to understand and implement and they work really well. Direct indexing and ETFs are big challenges for mutual funds because they cost typically lower. ETFs are largely cheaper to own than mutual funds and more liquid. Source(39:02)
WHAT TO WATCH
Production of Tesla’s Optimus humanoid robot could start next year. Musk claimed that Optimus will eventually be able to do anything that humans don’t want to do. Tesla has yet to reveal a working prototype of the robot, however, and it’s unclear how sophisticated Optimus is at this stage. He claims it has the potential to be more life-changing than Tesla cars.
Banks weigh using Zelle to challenge Visa, Mastercard. Banks are debating a plan to bring Zelle to the checkout at big retailers. The money-transfer service boomed during the pandemic when people avoided ATMs and replaced cash and checks with digital money transfers. Wells Fargo and Bank of America are in favor of expanding the service to retail payment eyeing the popularity of such offerings in Asia. Source.
Homebuyer sentiment hits record low. Only 24% of consumers think now is a good time to buy a home. The lowest reading ever recorded in a monthly survey conducted by Fannie Mae since 2010. Chief Economist Mark Palim warned that if consumer pessimism persists, the impacts could ripple through housing markets and dent sales more severely than previously forecast. Read more here.