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The Bot Brief

POSTED 10/01/2023

"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 500The final week of the third quarter was nothing like the turbulence experienced by the market for much of the month. The Bot Index gained 73 basis points while the S & P 500’s had a decline of 75 basis points. With the recently reported extremely weak Philadelphia Fed PMI, this week’s further weakness in the Chicago PMI reinforced the overall softness of the manufacturing sector. However, the surprising personal consumption figures, together with an astonishing net export number provide a really mixed picture of the economy.

Looks like the legislators finally approved an extension of the budget fight, allowing the government to trudge along until a final judgement can be reached in November.

A $10.8 million contract award from the U.S. Airforce for advanced metal printing allowed shares of 3D Systems to lead the Bot Index. The stock gained 8.7%.

Oceaneering International rose 6.19%. According to Zachs Research “Wall Street will be looking for positivity from Oceaneering International as it approaches its next earnings report date. On that day, Oceaneering International is projected to report earnings of $0.26 per share, which would represent year-over-year growth of 13.04%. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $638.09 million, up 14.01% from the year-ago period.”

Long-suffering NIO Inc. bounced 6% during the week as Wall Street anticipates some positives in the upcoming earning report. Just in was the management’s announced delivery of 15,641 vehicles in September 2023, increasing by 43.8% year-over-year. The deliveries consisted of 11,504 premium smart electric SUVs, and 4,137 premium smart electric sedans. NIO delivered 55,432 vehicles in the third quarter of 2023, representing an increase of 75.4% year-over-year. Cumulative deliveries of NIO vehicles reached 399,549 as of September 30, 2023.ncement of September vehicle deliveries.

On the negative end of the performance spectrum were shares of the Japanese manufacturer Yaskawa Electric who dropped 3.45%.

Apple’s introduction of its new ‘titanium’ iPhone 15 didn’t help the stock price last week. The shares were the second weakest within the Index, posting a decline of 2.05%.

2020's Decade of Bot Index PerformanceGlad I Don’t Have to Do This Anymore:

As a college student this author used to work for UPS every morning at 6:00 am. According to union rules such part-time help was allowed three hours of effort in unloading semitrailers and loading packages into the ubiquitous brown transfer vans. It was hard, dirty work, just the type of effort perfect for robotic application.  Unfortunately, the sorting and hoisting skills required by the job have only recently been developed which will allow robots to carry out this task.

Unveiled just this week, Fed Ex has created a robot to help it sort and transfer 15 million packages for delivery each day. According to Wired Magazine, “The robot uses cameras and lidar sensors to perceive the packages and must then plan how to configure the available boxes to make a neat wall, place them snugly without crushing anything and react appropriately if any packages slip.”

The robot is named DexR and is expected to be joined by many more robots should the trials be successful. The use of robots in the industrial world are typically repetitive tasks designed without Artificial Intelligence. DexR has to conform to a wide variety of shapes and sizes to effectively utilize space. This represents a significant advance that will likely find future application in other venues. The use of DexR by Fed Ex represents an advancement in the speed that a major function of their business requires. And, in the growing use of ecommerce, speed is everything.





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.