- Google search to include Chat AI. Advances in AI would supercharge Google’s ability to answer an array of search queries, Mr. Pichai said in an interview. Google ($GOOG) has pushed forward with its AI efforts despite the cost cuts, accelerating work on new products* following the breakout success of ChatGPT. He also dismissed the notion that chatbots posed a threat to Google’s search business.
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- Job growth totals 236,000 in March. The headline monthly jobs number was close to expectations; however, employment for the previous two months was revised down by 17,000, combined. The headline unemployment rate decreased to 3.5%. Overall, this was a solid employment report, says Bill McBride.
- Samsung Electronics to make ‘meaningful’ cut to chip production. Samsung Electronics said on Friday it would make a “meaningful” cut to chip production, following the lead of smaller rivals, as it grapples with a sharp global downturn in semiconductor demand that has sent prices plummeting. It came after it flagged a worse-than-expected 96% plunge in first-quarter profit.
- Microsoft to pay $3 million over Russia sanctions. The tech giant has agreed to pay more than $3 million in fines for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions on Russia and other countries after its software and services ended up in the hands of blacklisted companies* and persons in the Crimea region of Ukraine.
- Uniqlo’s parent company bets big on tiny RFID chips. Shoppers can checkout simply by placing their goods in gleaming bins of automated stations. Unlike the self-checkout process at many stores, customers of the casual apparel retailer don’t need to scan individual items or look up prices on a screen—they can simply drop their items in a bin and pay.*
What to Watch
- A ‘Big Short’ investor sees financial disaster brewing in housing markets. Dave Burt, CEO of investment research firm DeltaTerra Capital, was one of the few skeptics who recognized the housing market was on the brink of collapse in 2007. Now, he believes an overlooked and unpriced climate risk could see history repeating itself.
- Paramount explores sale of majority stake in Noggin streaming service. Much of Noggin’s content, including “PAW Patrol” and “Peppa Pig,” is created by Nickelodeon, a cable channel also owned by Paramount. Paramount sees an opportunity to develop Noggin into more of an interactive learning platform* and is seeking an investor to help it do that.
- BlackRock to sell $114 billion of failed banks’ securities. The firm will conduct sales of $27 billion in securities from Signature and $87 billion from SVB Financial Group’s Silicon Valley Bank.* The holdings are mostly agency mortgage-backed securities, collateralized mortgage obligations and commercial MBS that remained after the government sold the rest of the firms in March, the FDIC said.
- The Fed is close to caving in, says Andreas Steno Larson. The Fed is likely to cave into the demands of the market, as confirmed by the current market pricing. Top investors have also expressed their views to the Fed, increasing the likelihood of a pivot from the Fed Reserve in the second half of the year. The curve indicates that cuts are needed, and it is the safest sign from the system that cuts will be delivered. Source(15:26)
- The U.S. is heading into a three-headed crisis. The U.S. is facing three main components: unrealized losses on long-dated bonds affecting banks, commercial real estate problems leading to a banking crisis, and high-interest rates on government debt refinancing of $16 trillion. This is likely to double interest costs, and by 2030, interest expense owed could exceed a trillion dollars annually, which is more than a quarter of the federal budget. Source(27:25)
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