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Weekly Bot Brief Newsletter on Robotics 1/24/2020

POSTED 01/26/2020

"There is no force on earth more powerful than an idea whose time has come."  -Victor Hugo

The Bot Index:Bot Index vs. S & P 500

The 2020 bull market of the bots experienced a slight setback this week as investors retreated over uncertainty of the implications of the coronavirus. China has undertaken drastic steps to quarantine its citizens in the hopes of containing the rapidly spreading respiratory ailment. Traditionally, epidemics of flu, SARS and Ebola have driven down equity values as investors weigh implications of potential dislocations within the world economy. The research firm, MarketWatch, however provided a historical view of 12 prior epidemics and found that, in only one case, was the S & P 500 in negative territory in the ensuing six months of trading.

Highlights of the Bot Index:

The Bot Index experienced a slight drop during the week and bested the S & P 500 by over half a percentage point. The bots were assisted by international constituents (OMRON Corp., Hiwin Technologies and Keyence) and a sparkling surge by Accuray Inc. Accuray tacked on another 19.80% for the week, following the prior week’s 25.19% improvement. The company recently presented at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference and is due to report earnings on January 28th. Evidently, the conference inspired investors and, perhaps the upcoming earnings announcement may carry an upside surprise. Shares of Lockheed Martin gained 2.19% following a Zach’s article entitled, “Why Lockheed is Poised to Beat Earnings Estimates Again”.

On the downside, the losers were led by near four percent declines by Faro Technologies, Lincoln Electric, Teledyne Corp. and AeroVironment. Textron dropped 3.08% as analysts expect the company to report a decline in earnings on January 29th. Expectations are for a 5.2% drop to an EPS of $1.09.

2020 Bot Index vs. S & P 500, 1-26-2020


Here Comes the Xenobots!:

Two scientists from the University of Vermont and Tufts University have worked collaboratively to develop cellular organic robots from the stem cells of frogs. These artificial organisms have been altered such that they can perform uniform tasks such as pushing pellets within a Petri dish. Using something termed ‘evolutionary algorithms’ the scientists found that the cells could be subject to microsurgery and altered to perform certain mechanical functions. By utilizing one’s own cells, the scientists are hopeful that one day these xenobots could be altered to remove plaque from artery walls or to identify certain forms of cancers.

Member: American Economic Association, Society of Professional Journalists, United States Press Association. Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts, Robotic Industries Association.

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 and its commentaries, analysis, opinions and research represent the subjective views 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