Remote-Controlled Forklifts to "Confront" Labor Shortages

• 2 min read
Remote-Controlled Forklifts to "Confront" Labor Shortages

MARKET MOVERS

  • The selloff in U.S. tech stocks has been driven by software and internet companies that have yet to make any money. A Morgan Stanley basket of profitless tech firms plunged 4.2% yesterday, extending its loss from a November peak to more than 40%.

  • Housing starts beat expectations. Much of December’s rise in starts came from multifamily construction. The seasonally-adjusted annual rate of housing starts in December was about 1.7 million, beating consensus estimates that called for 1.65 million, according to FactSet. The data comes as home builders grapple with headwinds. Builder confidence remained relatively high in December. But those results didn’t fully factor in a recent rise in mortgage rates. Read more here.

  • 5G network launch makes years of hype a reality. Verizon and AT&T turned on a major new part of their 5G networks to cover a large part of the country. Verizon says 90 million people will get access to the new 5G service this month in major cities including New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. AT&T said it plans to cover as many as 75 million people with its C-band network by the end of the year.

  • Gemini buys Omniex Platform in their prime services push for institutional investors. Omniex’s technology is used for price discovery on more than 35 exchanges and over-the-counter trading desks. The platform is going to be folded into Gemini Prime, a suite of institutional services ranging from lending and borrowing to clearing and custody on Q2. Read more here.

  • More than 50% of top crypto companies call the U.S. home, despite intensifying regulation. A total of 28 of the top 50 crypto companies, based on valuations, are domiciled in the U.S., according to a recent report by research firm Crypto Head. Some industry participants warn that harsh regulatory scrutiny will spur some companies to abandon the U.S. for greener pastures.

WHAT TO WATCH

  • 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10 year Treasury yields close at their highest levels since the start of the pandemic. The rate hikes are coming, says Charlie Bilello.

  • Oil demand will exceed pre-Covid levels in 2022, says the IEA. This is because of the growing Covid-19 immunization rates and as recent virus waves haven’t proved severe enough to warrant a return to strict lockdown measures, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday. The IEA hiked its oil demand growth forecast for the coming year by 200,000 barrels a day, to 3.3 million barrels a day. Read more here.

  • Many homebuyers will be priced out of the market in 2022. Fannie Mae forecasts rising mortgage rates and home prices will dent existing home sales by 3.2%. Rising mortgage rates and last year’s record-breaking runup in home prices are expected to price many would-be homebuyers out of the market this year, denting sales of existing homes but bringing home price appreciation back down to more sustainable levels.

  • Freight operators are betting on remote-controlled technology to confront persistent labor shortages. Trucking company ArcBest Corp. and logistics provider NFI Industries Inc. led a $42 million investment to back startup Phantom Auto Inc.’s remote vehicle operation software and plan to deploy thousands of remote-enabled forklifts over the next several years.

  • Self-powered electric freight train cars are being designed by three former SpaceX engineers. They are launching a company called Parallel Systems. The autonomous rail car pods open up the possibility for micro-terminals, which have the potential to make railroad transportation more targeted in delivery goods. The pre-revenue start-up is revealing itself publicly this week and announcing a $50 million Series A funding raise led by Anthos Capital. Read more here.
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