The Bot Brief
"There is no force on earth more powerful than an idea whose time has come."
- Victor Hugo
Bots In the News:
A bit of easement in interest rate fears and a backing off of gasoline prices helped the markets stage a significant rally in last week’s trading. Likewise, there was optimism regarding President Biden’s impending conversation with Chinese Premier Xi and an aid package heading toward Ukraine which could have tempted investors back into tech stocks. The Bot Index gained 7.76% for the week and led the S & P 500’s 6.16% increase. The Bot Index held seven stocks that experienced double digit increases and only three stocks that disappointed their holders.
The two electric vehicle manufacturers within the Bot Index produced strong results during the week. NIO Inc. has been under increasing pressure in recent weeks that had pulled the stock down from the $50’s last July to $16 as the prior week ended. Buoyed by Chinese support and what appears as accounting concessions by the government which would aid arguments to retain the U.S. listing, the stock gained almost 30%. Trailing a bit behind its counterpart, Tesla jumped nearly 14% when Elon Musk tweeted that Master Plan Part 3 was close to fruition. This business strategy iteration is expected include the integration of solar panels on Tesla vehicles to extended battery life. Also, within in the plan is an expectation of increasing exposure to autonomous driving and an expansion of production to the annual delivery rate of 20 million vehicles.
Also, in the double-digit category was the 23% jump by AeroVironment. The drone manufacturer’s prospects were significantly expanded by the distribution of one thousand of AVAV’s Switchblade drones to the Ukraine as a part of a $800 million aid package. Costing only $6000 each and with a range of six miles, a speed of 100 mph and are launched from a 19 inch tube, these ‘kamikaze’ drones will be useful in the type of urban warfare in Ukraine. Weighing only 5.5 pounds it is expected to be a ‘game-changer’ as it has multiple advantages over most other types of ordinance.
NVIDIA Corp. rose 19.69% following the announcement that its GTC Conference will occur next week. Speculation is that more positive news will accompany the Conference.
3D Systems gained 12.60%, OMRON Corp. added 10.15% and Azenta rose 11.81% (on significantly increase volume) to round out the double-digit returners.
Deep Blue Sea:
Wired Magazine ran a story this week regarding the use of an amazing robot titled Sabertooth to successfully discover the sunken ship Endurance involved in the Earnest Shackleton Antarctic exploration. The ship sunk in 10,000 feet of water, crushed by the Antarctic ice shelf in 1914. The story of Shackleton’s heroic rescue of his crew is legendary and the intact ship remains an important feature of the story.
Scientists used the sled-like Sabertooth to map the regions where the records had attempted to place the wreck. Using fiber optic guidance systems and sonar, the ship was found and photos of the wreck are amazingly well preserved.
Member: American Economic Association, Society of Professional Journalists, United States Press Association. Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts, Robotic Industries Association, Member IEEE.
The Bot Brief is a weekly newsletter designed for economists, investment specialists, journalists, and academicians. It receives no remuneration from any companies that may from time to time be featured in the brief and its commentaries, analysis, opinions, and research represent the subjective view of Balcones Investment Research, LLC. Due to the complex and rapidly changing nature of the subject matter, the company makes no assurances as to the absolute accuracy of material presented.