Tesla’s Self-Driving Cars Are Now A Real Thing And That Is Equal Parts Awesome And F’n TERRIFYING

morning-brew

“#justpray” — A tweet by NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, former teammate of Lamar Odom. Odom, who won two championships in the NBA and is known more recently for his highly-publicized marriage (and divorce) to Khloe Kardashian, remains on life support after being found unconscious at a Las Vegas brothel earlier this week.

MARKET SNAPSHOT 

Rate Rise Less Likely

  • U.S. stocks hit eight week highs on Thursday, with the financial sector leading the pack as Goldman Sachs and Citigroup released strong earnings reports. The rally was also attributed to poor inflation data, supporting the case for a delay in raising interest rates. The S&P and Dow both finished well above their key psychological levels of 2,000 and 17,000, respectively.
  • Oil prices dropped for the fourth day straight as the U.S. government reported a bigger oil stockpile than initially anticipated. Since Monday, U.S. crude and Brent have managed to fall roughly 7 percent as investors fear record OPEC production.
  • Luckily, Europe was able to shake off the lousy oil data and stay positive across the boards They too were aided by the inflation data discouraging a rate hike—after all, if U.S. rates rise, so will commodity prices.
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U.S. MACRO 

An Emotionally Confusing Day Indeed

Again with the magic number of 42. The number of Americans filing for unemployment this week dropped by another 7,000, throwing us back to another 42-year low (as we saw last week). Implications: the labor market is still strong despite slow job growth over the past few months. Elsewhere, the consumer price index, an inflationary measure, dropped 0.2 percent in September, marking the biggest fall in eight months. Not looking too good for an interest rate hike, Madam Chairwoman.

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CORPORATE PRIMER

Polar Opposites

Third quarter earnings were released yesterday for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, but only one bank will be celebrating this weekend. Citigroup’s profits skyrocketed 51 percent while Goldman’s plummeted 36 percent (we’ll let you guess which one is celebrating). Citigroup slashed expenses and spending in multiple branches this year, leading to a very efficient quarter. Goldman, on the other hand, has investors skeptical of its weakening growth, leading to the bank’s poor performance this past quarter. In a time of economic volatility, Goldman Sachs has the most blood on the street.

Reality Sets In

The daily fantasy sports scene has been in the spotlight of late, and for good reason. After DraftKings and FanDuel employees cheated to win big bucks last week, the fantasy sports industry is now under the watchful eye of the FBI and Justice Department. The new investigation delves into whether daily fantasy sports should be categorized as a form of legalized gambling, and it may lead to a game-changing decision for the industry as profit-squeezing gambling taxes could be implemented. In fact, it’s already begun: yesterday night, Nevada classified daily fantasy sports as gambling, meaning the home to Las Vegas will now require sites to obtain a typical gambling license to continue operations. Enjoy your money while you can, sports lovers.

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TODAY IN TECH

Tesla Pulls Ahead

In the race to bring self-driving cars to market, Tesla’s in the lead. Yesterday, Tesla’s Autopilot software went live. What does it mean? The Model S can now drive itself up to 70 miles per hour, not to mention steer, change lanes and adjust speeds autonomously. While automakers such as Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have semi-autonomous vehicles on the market, none of them can work at speeds as high as Autopilot allows, putting Tesla ahead of the pack as usual.

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OTHER STORIES

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ECONOMIC CALENDAR

  • Monday: Columbus Day (Markets Open, Banks Closed)
  • Tuesday: JPMorgan, Johnson & Johnson, Kinder Morgan, Las Vegas Sands Earnings
  • Wednesday: Netflix, Bank of America, Delta, Wells Fargo Earnings; Retail Sales
  • Thursday: Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Philip Morris Earnings; Weekly Jobless Claims; Consumer Price Index
  • Friday: General Electric Earnings; Industrial Production

WINTER IS COMING

El Niño is on its way, and it looks like a doozy. El Niño is a weather phenomenon caused by natural heating of the Pacific Ocean that impacts the U.S. during the winter, and according to a new forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this year’s El Niño is predicted to be one of the strongest on record for the U.S. What does this mean? It depends on where you live:

  • California is in for a wet winter. Currently, 97 percent of the state is in a drought, but it may see some relief thanks to El Niño’s high rain and snow forecasts.
  • Northernmost regions of the U.S. are predicted to have a mild winter, meaning Alaska, the Great Lakes, the northern Rockies and the northern Plains will all presumably get less snow and higher temperatures than normal.
  • The southern half of the country will face a worse winter than usual, experiencing more precipitation and unusually cold weather (and probably more snow days).

INTERVIEW QUESTION OF THE DAY

What does this message say?
G T Y O R J O T E O U I A B G T (Answer)

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BUSINESS TERM OF THE DAY

Compound Annual Growth Rate — The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is the mean annual growth rate of an investment over a specified period of time longer than one year.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT
23,005: the estimated number of emergency room visits due to dietary supplements, according to a recent survey.

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