- Google merges DeepMind, Brain Research Units as AI race intensifies. The company’s latest move to keep from falling behind in the AI race. Pichai said that combining all this talent into one focused team, backed by the computational resources of Google ($GOOG), will significantly accelerate their progress in AI.*
- Tesla increases price of Model S, X in the US after shares slump. After steep markdowns early this year took a toll on profitability* and the carmaker’s shares, Tesla bumped up each variant of its high-end models by $2,500, raising the cost of the sedan and sport utility vehicle by 2% to 3%, according to the company’s website.
- Procter & Gamble beats earnings estimates. P&G reported fiscal third-quarter net income of $3.4 billion, or $1.37 per share, up from $3.36 billion, or $1.33 per share, a year earlier. The company, which owns household brands like Febreze, Charmin, and Tide, also raised its forecast for organic sales growth for fiscal 2023 to 6%, up from its prior range of 4% to 5%.
- Home prices in March posted the biggest annual decline in 11 years. March marked the 13th time in the previous 14 months that sales have slowed. The housing market had a surprisingly strong February when sales rose a revised 13.75% from the previous month. But after mortgage rates ticked higher*, March sales resumed the extended period of declines.
- Starship's explosion was not really a failure. The rocket performed well for its first test flight, making it through Max Q, one of the most challenging moments of liftoff when spacecraft are most at risk of getting ripped apart by pressure. Once operational, the stainless steel Starship will be integral to future moon missions and satellite launches.
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What to Watch
- U.S. begins planning for 6G wireless communications. The White House on Friday will meet with corporate, government, and academic experts to begin developing goals and strategies* for the new 6G communications technology, which would have the ability to take cloud computing and the mobile internet to true global ubiquity, among other improvements.
- Mark Zuckerberg says Meta will slow hiring. He announced to employees that he won’t rule out future layoffs and said he doesn’t expect the social-media company to hire as quickly as it did before the layoffs that began late last year. In terms of net growth, Mr. Zuckerberg told employees that they shouldn’t expect more than 1% to 2% year over year* from this point forward.
- Apple plans iPhone journaling app in an expansion of health initiatives. The software will compete in a category of so-called journaling apps, such as Day One, which lets users track and record their activities and thoughts. The new Apple product underscores the company’s growing interest in mental health.* Apple said journaling is shown to improve mental and physical well-being.
- Biden aims to unveil China investment curbs with G-7 backing. President Joe Biden aims to sign an executive order in the coming weeks that will limit investment in key parts of China’s economy by American businesses. The administration, which has been debating the measure for almost two years, plans to take action around the time of the G7 summit on May 19 in Japan.*
- Goldman strategists double down on rosy outlook for US credit. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is standing firm on its bullish outlook for US credit, saying companies can withstand tighter lending standards* triggered by banking failures in March. The US is less reliant than elsewhere on banks for capital, meaning that a tightening of lending conditions may have a smaller impact for issuers.
- 2023 building boom will be huge in China. The rebound in construction activity will resemble the rebound scene after 2008 and the 2012 debt crisis in Europe. A very severe move from a contraction to an expansion that spills over to asset prices. Industrial metals like copper, nickel, and tin will obviously benefit. Inflation could also resurface in Europe and the US with the time lag to this construction boom in China. Source(13:31)
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