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The Bot Brief

POSTED 12/11/2022

"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

The Bot Index fell in line with the S & P 500’s 3.37% decline for the first full week of December trading. Looking for a ‘Santa Claus’ rally seems somewhat remote as the PPI’s surprise jump signals inflation is not dead yet. In fact, the CPI in the coming week will likely reflect a similar increase unless the weakness in oil prices carry a greater impact to the consumer. About the consumer, both Amazon and Google were among the worst performing components of the Bot Index. Amazon fell 5.35% while Google slid 7.69%. Likewise, the Roomba vacuum maker, iRobot also reflected the consumer mood with a 6.22% decline and 3D Systems who dropped 9.03%.

The weakest stock in the Index was Oceaneering International who fell a bit over 13%. The slide in oil prices was the likely culprit, breaking the string of a month of relatively strong performance by the energy production company.

AeroVironment was the only other double-digit decliner with its 11.38% drop. The earnings for the second quarter were at breakeven versus last year’s $.78 and expectations of $.22.

Finally, the fortunes of Tesla reversed following its 6.5% jump of the prior week, to reflect the weakness in the Chinese economy. The company announced it would be cutting production by one-half in the latter weeks of December.

2020's Decade of Bot Index PerformanceThe Spirit of Ecstasy is Now Hydrogen:

The emblem of Rolls Royce is a figurine of a flowing lady that sits tauntingly on the bonnet of their fabled vehicles. It is unlikely, however, that the Spirit will adorn Rolls Royce’s latest achievement. Announced last week, RR confirmed it had successfully tested a hydrogen powered jet engine. Using the wind and tides at the Marine Energy Center in the Orkney Islands, the power is used to produce green hydrogen. Considered a net zero carbon emission power source, the use of hydrogen fusion has generally been a sought-after alternative to fossil fuels but with economics that prohibit its widespread application. The breakthrough that Rolls Royce has created is optimal for aerospace engines where energy costs are significant.

Despite the production and storage obstacles, there is a growing interest in hydrogen as a future alternative to a growing energy crisis. The Rolls Royce effort is another piece in the puzzle that may help in the fuel needs of the Robotic Revolution.



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.