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The Bot Brief

POSTED 12/17/2023

"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
Making up for a couple of weeks of relatively benign performances, the Bot Index jumped 3.575% during the second period of December.
Anticipation for a more dovish Federal Reserve Monetary Policy and good news on the inflation front provided a much-needed shot in the arm for technology investors. The bot’s gain was nearly a full percentage point above the return noted by the S & P 500. 
While no stock in the 30 company Bot Index moved by double digits in either direction during the week, there were several notable gainers. The best performance was turned in by Cognex Corporation whose stock rose 9.90%. The company has been a laggard throughout 2023, starting the year at $49.87 and through December 15, the stock closed at $41.84. While the company’s earnings have had three consecutive quarterly earnings beats, it wasn’t until December that analysts began to notice. Consequently, the number of ‘buy’ recommendations rose from only one all year to four in December.
Rockwell Automation jumped 9.28% following the company announcement regarding its Otto Motion Co., a leading provider of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), today noted that their autonomous forklift, OTTO Lifter, has been recognized as Product of the Year in the Mobile Robotics category by Material Handling 24/7 and Material Handling Product News 
Faro Technologies gained 8.92% probably as a result of insider buying. Several independent Directors reported recent additions to their personal portfolios. 
3D Systems rose 8.23% following Zacks’ raising their assessment of the stock. The stock was added to the research company’s top buy categories during the week.
Azenta Corp. gained 7.64% following an increased price target by Argus Research.
Finally, NIO Corp. rose 8.13% following a Zacks’ notice that the stock had “Recently, broke through the 50-day moving average, which suggests a short-term bullish trend.”
Deutsche Bank downgraded Northrop Grumman (NOC) to Hold from Buy with a price target of $473, down from $541. The firm says its previous investment thesis is "increasingly untenable" in the face of incremental cost challenges on the Sentinel program. The stock led the (only 5) losers in the Index with a 3.19% slide. The downgrade may have been the rationale behind slight declines in other defense manufacturers – Lockheed Martin (-1.395) and Raytheon Technologies  (-1.28%).
2020's Decade of Bot Index Performance
Member: American Economic Association, Society of Professional Journalists, U.S. 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.