Market Morning: Intel Goes Smart, Amazon Keeps Climbing, Coronavirus Delays Trade Deal

Market Morning

Intel Goes Smart on Office Buildings

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Beginning the day off with something other than coronavirus or Iowa caucus developments, Intel (NYSE:INTC) is reportedly putting significant money into smart buildings in Petach Tikva in order to better compete for employees in Israel. Intel will be sinking $11 billion into a new manufacturing facility in Israel, home to some of Intel’s most advanced technologies. Intel faces competition for brain power from Apple, Google, and others, while Tech companies in Israel have been able to fill 17,000 vacancies since 2018. The new smart buildings will feature perks for workers and environmentally friendly energy systems, smart gyms, massage parlors and other fun stuff.

Amazon Shrugs Off Coronavirus While Other Retailers Suffer

As for coronavirus, US stocks aren’t reacting too negatively to the recent Chinese market crash due to the panic. Retail stocks did get hammered a bit initially, but Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has not been negatively affected at all. In fact, the stock keeps hitting new highs, with speculation running that fear of the virus as well as heightened awareness of an active flu season in the US is keeping people shopping at home rather than shopping at brick and mortar stores. The new sedentary wave could be having a positive effect on Amazon sales. Additionally, Amazon gave up on pursuing a major market presence in China back in April of 2019 when it conceded defeat to Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and (NASDAQ:JD).

For as long as coronavirus fear continues, online shopping volumes are likely to outpace usual trends by this logic, and by extension, revenues for drivers of traffic are likely to increase as well, giving a bump to those firms like Rakuten and their affiliates who monetize traffic to online retailers.

Sanders Maybe Wins Popular Vote, But Buttigieg Maybe Wins the Caucus

If anyone still think the technical winner of botched Iowa caucuses is still consequential, then let it be known that maybe Pete Buttigieg won the most caucuses, while socialist Bernie Sanders won the popular vote, each bagging maybe 2 delegates for the convention, along with Elizabeth Warren, who came in third. Former Vice President Joe Biden came in fourth, a poor showing, though he still leads in most national polls for the Democratic nomination. So far, 71% of precincts have reported. Meanwhile, all the major candidates have since shuttled over to New Hampshire, where primaries take place in less than a week. Bernie Sanders is ahead in the latest polls there, too.

China Trade Deal to Be Delayed Due to Novel Coronavirus

Back to the coronavirus, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has said that an expected export boom to China that was due thanks to the biggest trade deal ever signed (according to President Trump), will now be delayed because of the novel coronavirus that has infected 11 people in the United States so far. Total infections including at the China epicenter, if we are to rely on China’s communist party numbers, is now 20,600, up from 17,000 yesterday. Meanwhile, Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) has sustained a bump it got at the beginning of the week from reports that it was working on a possible coronavirus treatment. Trials could begin next week. Antiviral compound Remdesivir that is known to be effective against some coronaviruses, is being tested in two trials in China with moderate to severe symptoms of the disease, according to Gilead CMO Merdad Parsey.

Tesla Blasts Through Stratosphere, Passes Moon; Heads to Suspected Planet 9

Tesla (NASDSAQ:TSLA) is up just a tad, trading more like Bitcoin (BTC-USD) back in late 2017 despite the fact that it is still a money-losing company, China being in precarious shape, and pretty much the entire structure of the global passenger car industry being existentially dependent on zero interest rates. What may to be going on is a giant short squeeze, with those short the stock forced to cover at higher and higher prices as the price goes higher and higher, generating a positive feedback loop as the stock climbs beyond anyone’s wildest expectations, except for perhaps Elon Musk who is probably laughing quite a bit these days. If it is a short squeeze, the rally could exhaust itself at any time. However, the short percent of shares outstanding as of January 14 prior to the absolute rocket, was only 13.82%, so it is not entirely clear what in fact is going on. In any case, Tesla shareholders are quite happy, and the shorts are being shaken down to their undergarments and will probably suffer serious migraines in the meantime.

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