This is an amalgamation of the “best bits” of the daily weekday newsletter/blog woven together to form a concise and coherent view on the things that matter in the commercial and economic news of the week.
The day in brackets refers to the edition where the story appeared. Clicking on the day will take you to the appropriate edition of Watson’s Daily.
IT WAS ANOTHER EVENTFUL WEEK ON THE MACRO FRONT...
- Trump kicked off the week with threats of $200bn in extra tariffs (Monday), although he let Apple off (Tuesday) despite virtually all of their gadgetry being made in China. China retaliated (Wednesday) and it now looks like it will be cutting tariffs to non-US countries (Friday) although we don’t know the details yet. Alibaba founder Jack Ma doesn’t like what he’s seeing and said that Alibaba would not follow through on its promise to create one million American jobs (Thursday) because of the recent deterioration in US-China relations.
THERE WAS ALSO A LOT OF VEHICLE-RELATED NEWS THIS WEEK...
- There was talk of the DoJ opening a criminal investigation into Tesla (Wednesday) re that whole I’m-taking-my-company-private thing and the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) sovereign wealth fund put $1bn into Tesla rival Lucid Motors (Tuesday) although it does sound some way behind Tesla (Wednesday).
- Ferrari made a big fanfare about the electrification of its future models (Wednesday) but stopped short of making anything that was purely electric. Meanwhile, Aston Martin is aiming for a top end valuation (Friday) for its forthcoming Initial Public Offering. Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover had to go to a three-day week (Tuesday) due to sluggish sales.
- Korea’s Hyundai Motor announced plans to produce the world’s first commercially available hydrogen powered truck (Friday) next year. It said it would begin the rollout of 1,000 fuel cell trucks in Switzerland as part of a five-year agreement with Swiss hydrogen company H2 energy. Supporters of this technology believe that it is better suited to heavy vehicles travelling long distances versus 100% electric vehicles that face shorter ranges, long refuelling times and battery degradation.
AMAZON HAD A BIT OF A MIXED WEEK...
- The week started off with Amazon employees being investigated for data-leaks-for-bribes (Monday) involving staff selling data to companies wanting to get ahead of the competition. Then news came out that the EU was doing a preliminary investigation looking at the way Amazon uses its data (Thursday) and there was some discussion as to whether the company should split itself into two divisions (Wednesday) – namely retail and cloud businesses – in order to head off any enforced regulatory burdens further down the line. On the plus side, it’s still ploughing ahead with new things (Friday) like a rollout of 3,000 of its cashless stores (an unconfirmed rumour at present), investment in India and a new Alexa-enabled chip that can be put into everyday household devices.
...AND THERE WERE A COUPLE OF INTERESTING TALKING POINTS...
- Cannabis-related news featured a lot this week ahead of legalisation in Canada. Coca-Cola was rumoured to be looking at making cannabis-infused beverages (Tuesday) as part of its diversification away from the fizzy black stuff and then Tilray, a cannabis producer that floated at $17 per share only two months ago, hit $300 (Thursday) on news that it had received approval from the US Drug Enforcement Administration to import one of its products in capsule form to use in a clinical trial to treat a neurological disorder called essential tremor.
- The week ended with some interesting news that Uber is considering the acquisition of Deliveroo (Friday) – but talks appear to be in the early stages. Further consolidation is bound to happen whether this deal goes ahead or not.
TBH it all seemed a bit tame for my liking this week in terms of “bants”, but if I had to choose, the stories I liked most were Uranus Examiner promises to get to the bottom of stories (Metro, Kate Buck https://tinyurl.com/ycwcd6ez) and This is officially Britain’s best lawn (and it took 273 hours to mow) (Metro, Jen Mills https://tinyurl.com/y7dal969)
Have a great weekend!