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The Bot Brief

POSTED 05/08/2022

"There is no force on earth more powerful than an idea whose time has come."     

- Victor Hugo


Bots In the News:Bot Index vs. S & P 500

A ‘mini’ rally following the Fed’s move to increase basis points 50 basis points failed to follow through, leaving the past week disappointing for investors. The S & P 500 declined only 21 basis points, but the NASDAQ faired much worse, falling 173 points on Friday. The Bot Index slid 2.57% as four components experienced declines of double digits. Three of the four’s extraordinary retracements were due to first quarter earnings reports that were either below expectations or as management suggested weaker future guidance. The fourth was the Chinese firm NIO Ltd. whose 10.66% reduction was a result of continuing concerns over U.S. delisting. Cognex Inc. fell 19.65% as it reported good earnings but forecast impending weakness due to supply chain constraints. Rockwell did report extremely disappointing results and declined 15.10% and, despite the publicity of having a horse in the Kentucky Derby named after its primary product – Cyberknife – Accuray Inc. slid 13.53%. The owner of the Derby entrant had experience successful cancer surgery utilizing the Accuray’s Cyberknife. Unfortunately, the horse finished second to last in this year’s Run for the Roses.

Virtually all the gainers within the index during the week were the defense manufacturers. The only non-weaponry company riser was Oceaneering International whose shares were boosted by soaring gasoline prices. Northrup Grumman led the performers with a solid 6.67% increase, while Lockheed Martin rose 4%, Raytheon Technologies jumped 3.65% and AeroVironment improved 1.16%.

2020's Decade of Bot Index Performance

And Speaking of AeroVironment:

The use of drones is on the advent of progress providing a variety of functions that will assist in human endeavors. Like AeroVironment whose weaponry applications in the recent Ukrainian/Russia conflict have helped to assist in the Ukrainian forces inflict a heavy toll upon Russian tanks, other drones are delivering food, medicine and ultimately people to destinations without utilizing traditional transportation. The IEEE Spectrum ran a feature on drone taxis which carry commuting individuals without the use of professional pilots. According to the feature, an estimated 250 companies worldwide have raised over $5 billion in venture capital to create workable passenger carrying drones. The feature, entitled “What’s Behind the Air-Taxi Craze, A Wave of eVTOL Startups Aim to Revolutionize Transportation”. While the article ended with the quote, “Similarly, the way we move people and goods in the future could be very, very different from the way we do it today,” it is likely that there will be many years before there is any reasonable traction on drone taxis. Given the long delays in the production and regulatory approvals for driverless cars, there is a myriad more complications for driverless aerodrones. With $5 billion at stake in this early a period of development, there is certainly both the technology, entrepreneurial enthusiasm and the recognized need for such services in the DISTANT future.


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.