Trump Slams Bitcoin
Another day, another market milestone!
Thursday was the Dow’s turn to grab the spotlight, topping 27,000 just one day after the S&P 500 crossed the 3,000 threshold.
The Dow led the averages higher with a gain just shy of 1% yesterday as the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite made a brief trip into negative territory. The bulls are enjoying some constructive action as stocks push to new highs. There’s just not that much to complain about when it comes to the market these days…
But Trump found a way.
The president took to Twitter last night to launch an attack against cryptocurrencies, calling out bitcoin and Facebook’s Libra project for undermining his beloved U.S. Dollar:
Despite the harsh criticism, we haven’t witnessed a major reaction in the crypto market. Bitcoin was already retreating from its highs before Trump’s twitter rant. The flagship cryptocurrency bounced off its late-night lows near $11,000 and continues to climb this morning. It’s resting just above $11,700 as I type.
While bitcoin has experienced increased volatility since tagging $14,000 last month, it has been much more resistant to negative news than it was before its April breakout. In fact, a breakout move this weekend on the heels of the president’s controversial remarks wouldn’t surprise me at all…
Next up: Let’s dig a little deeper into the “robots are stealing our jobs” narrative.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ve seen how big corporations are increasingly turning to automation and artificial intelligence to help complete tasks smarter, faster, and cheaper than ever before.
Just this year, we’ve witnessed some big names make meaningful strides when it comes to their high-tech workers.
McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) purchased tech platformer Dynamic Yield for around $300 million to upgrade its digital menus and self-serve kiosks. The artificial intelligence platform will speed up the ordering process for customers, as well as provide valuable info about exactly what customers are buying.
Of course, better self-serve ordering means fewer humans are needed to work behind the counter of any given restaurant.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is also deploying several hundred robot workers dubbed “smart assistants” in a few test stores this year. Per CNN, Walmart will have autonomous floor scrubbers in 1,860 of its more than 4,700 US stores by early next year to work alongside its inventory scanning robots at an additional 350 locations.
So far, Walmart has deflected criticism about using its robot workforce as a means to dodge the rising minimum wage across the country, claiming the move toward automation instead will allow custodians and shelf stockers to focus on other jobs, mainly interacting with customers.
Then there’s Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and its infamous drone delivery force.
No, Amazon hasn’t officially taken over the skies with a fully autonomous package delivery force. But Jeff Bezos & Co. have stayed a step ahead of the competition when it comes to automated workers in warehouses and distribution hubs across the country.
At a glance, it appears no human worker is safe at Amazon HQ.
But in this case, the robots might give humans new jobs — instead of sending them to the unemployment office.
Amazon announced it will retrain almost a third of its staff (around 100,000 workers) who would otherwise be displaced by the upcoming robot apocalypse as the company moves to automate its shipping and sorting operations, reports Bloomberg.
While there is an undoubtedly sinister ulterior motive, Amazon says that training its existing workforce will allow workers to move up in the company. In fact, trainees won’t even need a college degree. The new training will focus on tech jobs such as robotics and IT. Amazon seems serious about the endeavor, earmarking $700 million for the training program.
Of course, Amazon’s ultimate motivation will always be profit and market share — and according to investors, management (human and robotic) is doing a bang-up job.
After giving up ground during the May pullback, Amazon shares are once again outpacing the averages. AMZN is now up more than 33% year-to-date, compared to a gain of 23% in the Nasdaq Composite.
Next stop: all-time highs.