Tesla Refutes Report of Model 3 Delays: LIVE MARKETS BLOG

 | Jan 25, 2018 | 4:09 PM EST
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Tesla Responds to CNBC Model 3 Delay Reports

Tesla (TSLA) is refuting a story from CNBC Thursday saying that the company has had to hire scores of outside help to produce batteries for the Model 3 by hand, delaying production of the vehicle. 

"This is an extremely misinformed article. We are on track with previous projections for achieving increased Model 3 production rates. The implication that Tesla would deliver a car with a hazardous battery is absolutely inaccurate," Tesla said, according to NBC.

Tesla shares fell sharply following the afternoon report, closing the day down 2.4%. 

Closing Bell

Wall Street's up-and-down week continued Thursday with the Nasdaq closing trading in the red after spending most of the day in positive territory.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average led the way higher, climbing 0.54% and setting a new record high at 26,393. The S&P 500 also closed at a record high after climbing 0.06% to 2,839. The Nasdaq declined 0.05% to 7,411.

More Model 3 Delays on the Horizon for Tesla

Tesla (TSLA) shares took a dip Thursday afternoon following a report from CNBC saying that more Model 3 delays are on the way. 

Current and former employees told the news organization that Tesla has had to construct some batteries by hand and that the company is borrowing scores of employees from one of its suppliers to help with this manual assembly.

The Model 3, which begins retailing at about $35,000, has been seen as the key to the company meeting Wall Street's delivery goals. However, the budget model has faced numerous delays in production since it began assembly last year. 

American Airlines CEO Predicts Higher Fees

Airline investors don't need to worry about a pricing war, according to American Airlines (AAL) CEO Doug Parker. 

Parker said that higher ticket prices are more likely than a pricing war in the near future. "Fares are too low for oil prices this high, and over time you'll see that adjust, but it takes time,'' Parker said on the company's earnings call. 

The specter of a price war shook airline stocks yesterday after United Airlines (UAL) announced that they would increase capacity in each of the next three years. 

Philip Morris Stock Falls After FDA Refutes Safer Smoking Claim

The Food and Drug Administration refuted a claim by cigarette-maker Philip Morris (PM) that its IQOS smokeless tobacco pen reduced the risk of tobacco-related diseases. 

An advisory committee voted 8-0 with one abstention, sending the company's stock tumbling nearly 2% Thursday afternoon. The committee also voted 8-1 in favor of Philip Morris' claim that iQOS reduces the body's exposure to harmful chemicals. 

The device heats tobacco instead of burning it, reducing the number of toxins released by the stimulant. 

Newell Drops 20% After Announcing Asset Sale

Shares of Rubbermaid-maker Newell Brands (NWL) were down 23% Thursday afternoon after the company announced that it was accelerating its turnaround plan by selling assets and closing factories. 

The company said that it is exploring strategic options for its smaller consumer business including Rawlings, Goody, Rubbermaid Outdoor, Closet, Refuse and Garage and U.S. Playing Cards.

"Today's announcement is a step toward a significant acceleration in our transformation plan. We believe that exiting non-strategic assets, reducing complexity and focusing on our key consumer-focused brands will make us more effective at unlocking value and responding to the fast-changing retail environment," said Newell CEO Michael Polk.

NTSB to Investigate Tesla Crash

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is gathering information about an accident involving a Tesla Inc. (TSLA) vehicle using the vehicle's autopilot feature and a firetruck Monday near Los Angeles.

The vehicle crashed into the firetruck at 65 miles per hour, but there were no reported injuries. 

The driver, who was the only person in the vehicle, said that the Autopilot driver-assist system was on during the time of the crash, though that fact has not been confirmed by authorities "Autopilot is intended for use only with a fully attentive driver," a Tesla spokesperson told The Verge.

Theresa May Takes Fight Against WhatsApp to Davos

British Prime Minister Theresa May will implore the business community at the World Economic Forum in Davos to join her in the fight against encrypted messaging apps that terrorists and pedophiles use for nefarious purposes.

"No-one wants to be known as 'the terrorists' platform' or the first choice app for pedophiles... Technology companies still need to go further in stepping up their responsibilities for dealing with harmful and illegal online activity," the U.K. leader is expected to say, according to The Inquirer.

Fiat Chrysler Had a profit of $4.3 Billion Last Year

Fiat Chrysler's (FCAU) shares are up 1.28% Thursday after the company reported earnings 3.5 billion euros last year, nearly double the 1.8 billion in earned a year ago. 

Thanks to the strong year, Fiat Chrysler announced it would increase profit-sharing to 40,000 union workers on an hourly wage to $5,500 each. 

Fiat Chrysler delivered 4.7 million vehicles globally, though U.S. sales fell 8% to 2.1 million vehicles due to a decline in fleet sales. 

Net revenues were 111 billion euros for the year, just short of a revenue target of 115 million euros to 120 million euros. 

Initial Jobless Claims Rise but not as Much as Expected

U.S. initial weekly jobless claims totaled 233,000 last week, rising 17,000 from last week but coming in short of Wall Street's expectations of 240,000. 

Last week marked the 151st consecutive week that claims were below the 300,000 threshold that is associated with a strong labor market. The labor market is near full employment and the jobless rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1%. 

Home Depot Gives Employees Tax-based Bonus

Home Depot Inc. (HD) is the latest corporation to reward its employees with a one-time bonus or added benefits thanks to the $1.25 trillion GOP tax reform bill that was passed late last year.

Home Depot's hourly employees in the U.S. will receive up to $1,000 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. Home Depot said that the bonuses, in addition to a net tax expense of about $150 million, will negatively impact its full-year diluted EPS by 19 cents.

Boeing Delivered Record Number of Aircraft to China Last Year

Boeing (BA) delivered a record high of 202 aircraft to China last year, marking the sixth consecutive year the company has delivered more than 140 aircraft to the country. 

Overall, the American planemaker delivered 763 planes around the globe, with Chinese deliveries accounting for 26% of that total. 

"The record-setting deliveries and evolving full-scale co-operation demonstrate that Boeing is deeply rooted in China and supporting the sustainable development of China's aviation industry in aspects of security, capacity, and efficiency," said John Bruns, president of Boeing China.


U.S. futures were climbing ahead of the opening bell Thursday indicating a strong opening for markets that closed Wednesday's session with mixed levels of success. 

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures contracts were up 0.2%, or 52 points, while Nasdaq futures climbed 0.54%, or 38 points, and S&P 500 futures rose 0.27%, or 8 points. 

Markets in Asia had a dismal day of trading, with the Nikkei leading the selloff, falling 1.13% followed by the Hang Seng which declined 0.92% and the Shanghai Composite which fell 0.31%. 

European markets were faring well with the CAC 40 leading the way higher, rising 0.47% with about four hours left in trading. 

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