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The Bot Brief

POSTED 10/29/2023

"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

In a carbon copy of the prior week, both the S & P 500 and the Bot Index declined around two and a half percent and three and a quarter percent respectively. Within the Bot Index eight components fell in excess of 5% and only two companies recorded any worthwhile gains.

With its 3% yield and a major supplier to Israel’s ‘iron dome’, shares of Raytheon Technologies were the leading gainer with the stock bid up 9.11%. Zachs Research published an analysis of the company that featured the headline, “Are You a Value Investor? This 1 Stock Could Be the Perfect Pick.”

Amazon’s quarterly earnings beat of $9.88 billion over a projected $6.05 billion, prompted the Motley Fool to author “Amazon and NVIDIA Have Been Among This Year’s Best Performers, And They Still Have Plenty of Room to Run.”

An extremely disappointing revenue and earnings report forced 3D Systems shares down nearly 20%. Having increased over 14% in the prior week after announcing a medical breakthrough, investors turned sour on the near-term outlook for the company.

Google (Alphabet) was the second worst stock in the Bot Index. Shares retreated 9.77% following a plethora of articles lambasting the company’s payment of $26 billion to Apple and others to become their ‘default’ search engine. This will not sit well with the ongoing antitrust suit that is currently pending. Nor did reports that Microsoft is eating into Google’s cloud business and is likely ahead in the AI race.

The remainders of the negative 5% club included: iRobot (-7.30%), Oceaneering International (-7.02%), OMERON (-6.88), Azenta (-6.53%), Accuray (-6.11%) and Cognex Corp. (-5.10%).

2020's Decade of Bot Index Performance


Flying High, AND Alone:

Concurrent articles caught our attention in the past week. The first involved the FAA’s MOSAIC rulemaking regarding the Light Sport category within the safety continuum. The Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certification’s (MOSAIC) new assessment of the Light Sport category is to now include tilt rotors and eVTOL’s. Furthermore, to promote new entrants into the category, the FAA is scrapping its weight limitation while expanding its allowable speed. These necessary steps in the ultimate application of personal aircraft transportation.

The MOSAIC rules may have implications of the second article of note. The Chinese firm Ehang announced it had received an airworthiness certificate for an autonomous air taxi. The company’s eVTOL’s are powered by 16 electric rotors and can carry two passengers or 600 pounds of material. With speeds of 80 mph and a distance of 18 miles before recharging, the novel air-taxis present a unique answer to human transportation. While the FAA’s recent MOSAIC changes signal a more robust regulatory advance, it is likely a long journey before the autonomous aircraft are likely to become a U.S. commuter’s dream.





Member: American Economic Association, Society of Professional Journalists, United States Press Association. Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts, Robotic Industries Association (now A3 Automation), 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 the material presented.