Today in the Market (12/14/2023)

Good Evening! On Thursday, US equity markets were up as interest rate sensitive sectors surged in response to the Federal Reserve signaling rate cuts in 2024.

Another day with all greens across the board, with the S&P 500 climbing by 0.26%, the Dow Jones rising by 0.43%, and the NASDAQ increasing by 0.19%.

A NEW DEAL

Rivian (RIVN) and AT&T (T) announced a partnership in which AT&T would acquire Rivian vans and R1 cars to expand its commercial fleet. AT&T said that the cars would be acquired under a trial program to reduce emissions from transportation vehicles.

But wait, there’s more! With the acquisition of the fleet, Rivan and AT&T have declared that AT&T will serve as the only supplier of internet access for all Rivian commercial vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. Rivian has announced its intention to use the AT&T wireless network for the purpose of providing over-the-air upgrades to its cars that are now in operation.

Why is this great for RIVN? In its Q3 financial report last month, Rivian said that it is no longer obligated to sell its electric delivery van solely to Amazon, a stakeholder in Rivian. So having a deal like this lets the company expand. Of course, Rivian intends to fulfill its previous commitment with Amazon to manufacture 100,000 delivery vans and has already supplied 10,000 vehicles to the e-commerce giant.

MASSIVE RECALL

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Tesla (TSLA) announced a recall for about 2 million vehicles, which encompasses almost all Tesla cars sold in the U.S. The recall follows the conclusion of a two-year investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into accidents using Tesla’s Autopilot function.

So what will the update do and why is it needed? The update will include more cautionary alerts for drivers to maintain awareness when using the function. Despite its name, “Autopilot,” drivers are still required to be attentive to the road and maintain physical contact with the steering wheel. However, the NHTSA investigated many Tesla accidents that used the Autopilot feature, which revealed that insufficient safety measures allowed drivers to use the Autopilot feature in situations where it was dangerous, such as instances when they were intoxicated or occupying the backseat.

Will it be enough? The NHTSA cautions that the addition of a few extra blinking lights would not effectively resolve significant concerns with Autopilot because the system struggles with tasks such as accurately identifying things, particularly emergency vehicles, located ahead of it. The Washington Post conducted a thorough analysis that found that since 2019, there have been at least 17 fatalities as a result of accidents involving Tesla vehicles using the Autopilot feature.

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