All New Tesla Vehicles Will Come Equipped With Fully Self-Driving Hardware
“I went to the bathroom and took a drink of some hand sanitizer” — A Wells Fargo employee, who was so stressed having to sell customers accounts they didn’t need that she resorted to, well, drinking hand sanitizer to reduce her anxiety. The Wells Fargo hits keep on coming, each one stranger than the last.
- S. stocks finished mildly lower, with oil leading the way down (as it often does) and weakness from telecom stocks. Mixed economic data didn’t help matters much either
- Investors also had their eyes set on Europe: the European Central Bank met up yesterday and, as expected, kept its beefed-up stimulus status quo going while holding interest rates steady—European markets shrugged
We Just Want to Talk
…AT&T and Time Warner have “discussions” in the boardroom. Merger time? AT&T (-1.85%) may be on the prowl yet again, hot off its acquisition of satellite TV service DirecTV in June of 2015. With the increasingly popular trend of “cord-cutting,” it’s been unite or die for telecom companies, which have been scrambling to grab all the valuable content they can in anticipation of the online shift. Time Warner(+4.73% after hours) might just be AT&T’s next victim. Up for grabs: some seriously attractive assets, such as HBO, CNN, Turner and Warner Bros. Sounds right up content-hungry AT&T’s alley. That said, this is far from a done deal. Back in 2014, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes rejected an $80 billion offer from Twenty-First Century Fox. Well, Mr. Bewkes, we may just have to Rethink Possible.
Tesla Drops the Mic
…With its new product reveal that all new Tesla (-2.2%) vehicles will come equipped with fully self-driving hardware. What’s going on? Are we ready for this? Does this mean we’re at the fully autonomous stage now? Relax, we’re not quite there yet. While the hardware will be in place, the software behind the self-driving technology won’t be fully operational until the end of 2017, according to notoriously ambitious Elon Musk. Sounds great, but how much will it cost? Tesla’s pegged the price of the full software at about $8,000, setting a benchmark for autonomous prices in the future. The announcement also included a confirmation of Tesla’s plan to debut a ride-sharing network powered by consumer-owned Tesla vehicles. The so-called “Tesla Network” would allow car owners to effectively share their cars when they’re not in use to offset or cover the monthly lease of a car.
…Look out Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo (-6.55%) is back…or so it hopes.With the unveiling its all-new, next-gen gaming console, named Switch, Nintendo has created a hybrid gaming system that allows you to play at home or on the go. Releasing in March 2017, Switch is hip with the on-the-go trend—it’s portable, with a docking station for when you’re gaming at home.
But Microsoft’s Not Sweating
…As the Surface catapults Microsoft (+6% after hours) to an all-time high after its latest earnings. Don’t tell Bill Belichick, but the tech giant’s revenues from its world-beating Surface line jumped 38% last quarter. Apple’s iPad line is still much bigger ($4.9 billion of revenue vs. $926 million for the Surface), but momentum is on Microsoft’s side. The other piece of Microsoft’s turnaround strategy is also progressing on schedule: its cloud computing business, which grew 8% and continues to give Amazon a run for its money in the battle for cloud supremacy. Is Microsoft’s PC business, which still accounts for half the company’s sales, still struggling? You betcha, but investors are busy looking at the cloud in the sky.
PayPal’s On a Heater
…After doubling down on mobile. The global payments giant (+4.64% after hours) reported an 18% increase in revenue thanks to rapid growth in fan favorite Venmo. But don’t sleep on lesser known Braintree. The darkhorse app powers the payment transactions for Uber, AirBnB and Pinterest. Ever heard of them? PayPal also announced an agreement with Alibaba, integration with Xoom to facilitate international transfers, as well as an increased three-year revenue growth target. It’s not all dollar signs, however. Total payment volume, an industry benchmark for total transactions, came out to $87 billion vs. analyst estimates of $88.3 billion, a big no-no for some investors.
- Snoopy has been firedas the mascot of MetLife insurance
- Slack’s rapid growth slowsas it hits 1.25 million paying work chatters
- NBCUniversal doubling its bet on BuzzFeed by investing another $200 million
- California launches criminal probeinto Wells Fargo account scandal
- Monday: Netflix (+), Bank of America (+), IBM (+/-), United (-), Hasbro (+)Earnings; Industrial Production (+)
- Tuesday: Johnson & Johnson (+/-), Intel (-), Goldman Sachs (+), Philip Morris (+), BlackRock (+), UnitedHealth (+), Domino’s (+), Harley-Davidson (+/-)Earnings; Consumer Price Index (+); Housing Market Index (-)
- Wednesday: Morgan Stanley (+), American Express (+), Halliburton (+),eBay (-); Housing Starts (-)
- Thursday: Microsoft (+), Verizon (-), Walgreens (+/-), Schlumberger (+/-),PayPal (+), American Airlines (+), Dunkin’ Brands (-), Skechers (-)Earnings;Weekly Jobless Claims (-); Existing Home Sales (+)
- Friday:General Electric, McDonald’s, Honeywell Earnings
Google Can Still Hang
…Just ask its latest pop-up shop. If you didn’t know, know you know: the showcase stores for limited edition fashion (we see you, Kanye), art and music (looking at you, Frank Ocean), and digital products are the hippest thing around. Google is joining the club with its first pop-up shop in New York City:
- Here’s the catch: you can’t actually buy any products at the store. But you can experience them first-hand in a chic, Google-y setting. That way, you’llreally want to buy them when they hit the market.
- Google Daydream (the company’s virtual reality headset), Google Home (its smart home Google Assistant) and the Pixel (Google’s new smartphone) will all be available to demo. Techies, start your mouth-watering.
- Google’s not the only one taking advantage of this creative marketing scheme. Even traditional retailerslike Nordstrom, Best Buy,and J.Crew are opening their own. Looking for the address? Google it.
Interview Question of the Day
How many prime numbers that are less than 75 will leave an odd remainder when divided by five? (Answer)
Business Person of the Day
Jess Lee has been hired as Sequoia Capital’s first female investing partner in the U.S. The prestigious Silicon Valley venture capital firm’s move comes amid many complaints about a lack of female presence among Silicon Valley VC firms. Lee previously served as CEO of fashion shopping site Polyvore.
Food for Thought
LeBron and Steph are coming to your living room. It’s finally here: the NBA will broadcast one game in virtual reality every week this season. The catch? You need to have a full-season NBA League Pass subscription and a Samsung Gear VR. We see you, NBA execs.