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The Bot Brief

POSTED 12/25/2022

"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

It was a lackluster Santa Claus rally that carried the S & P 500 down a mere 20 basis points in the final week of Christmas spending. However, it was even worse for the technology sector, including the robotic stocks. The Bot Brief fell 1.51% due to a couple of double-digit decliners. Tesla continued to disappoint investors with its 18.03% slide last week. The stock has experienced a plethora of difficulties of recent that has taken the stock from over $300 in mid-September to close at $123 (and NO, there was not another stock split!). The shares of the other EV holding within the Bot Index (NIO Inc.) fared little better with a 5.43% decrease.

The other double-digit decliner was 3D Systems, who continually has had difficulties exceeding into double digits per share. The stock has fallen from $10.18 to $7.41 in the past month.

The only two stocks that noted any strength whatsoever were AeroVironment who added 3.49% and Oceaneering International gained 16.09%. OII’s increase followed the prior week’s 7.83% jump. The stock was upgraded by Citigroup with a price target of $19. The stock closed at $16.81.

2020's Decade of Bot Index Performance

I’ll Have a Big Mac and a Coke:

In a test market in Fort Worth, Texas, McDonalds introduced a semi-automated burger joint. The new venture is a smaller version of its traditional diners only with a skeleton crew of employees. With a ‘stated’ objective of making the customer experience more accurate and rapid, the byproduct is fewer employees. The facility has an ordering kiosk and a conveyor belt for the pick-up of the customer’s selection. With current issues associated with finding sufficient employees and rising hourly costs mandated by state governmental bodies, the concept makes perfect sense. While the actual cooking of the menu is conducted by human staff, McDonalds has a habit of ‘testing the waters’ regarding robotic advancements. First, the adoption of ordering kiosks has been inserted into most diners with success. Eventually it is likely that future McDonalds’ facilities may be fully automated and diners will enjoy accuracy and speed and the company’s profitability will be enhanced.










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.