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Tesla deliveries, Vision Pro production targets – what’s moving markets

2023.07.03 05:45

© Reuters. — Tesla unveils bumper second-quarter vehicle deliveries following a move by the electric carmaking giant to lower prices. Meanwhile, Apple is reportedly slashing its production targets for its Vision Pro headset and a major decision in San Francisco hangs over the future of Microsoft’s megamerger with Activision Blizzard.

1. Tesla deliveries trounce expectations

Tesla (NASDAQ:) announced that deliveries in the second quarter jumped to a record 466,140, in a sign that a decision by the electric carmaker’s boss Elon Musk to slash vehicle prices may be boosting demand.

The figure — which is seen by shareholders as the closest proxy for sales that Tesla makes available — was 83% higher than the same period last year. It also beat Bloomberg consensus expectations for shipments of 448,350.

Earlier this year, the company unveiled discounts to help lift volumes, with Musk arguing that hefty price tags have dissuaded a “vast number” of potential buyers from purchasing a Tesla car.

Austin, Texas-based Tesla is also pursuing new technology that it hopes will make its cars more affordable and help fend off increased competition in the market for clean energy-friendly automobiles.

The stock zoomed higher by more than 6% in premarket trading on Monday.

2. Futures mixed as second half of 2023 begins

U.S. stock futures were muted on Monday ahead of a shortened trading week, with investors looking ahead to the second half of a year that has already been marked by strong gains on Wall Street.

At 05:11 ET (09:11 GMT), the contract dipped by 36 points or 0.10%, inched up 2 points or 0.06%, and added 42 points or 0.27%.

The main indices all posted increases in the opening six months of 2023. The standout performer was the , which soared to its best first half since 1983 thanks in part to a surge in excitement over developments in artificial intelligence.

The and also climbed during the period.

U.S. stock markets are set to shutter early at 13:00 ET on Monday for the Independence Day holiday. They will also be closed tomorrow.

3. Apple scaling back Vision Pro production targets – FT

Apple (NASDAQ:) is cutting its output goals for its mixed reality Vision Pro headset, according to the Financial Times, citing multiple people with knowledge of the situation.

The product’s complexity has already forced the tech giant to lower its production targets and push back plans for a more affordable version of the device, the paper said.

Apple declined to comment to the FT, while Luxshare (SZ:) — the Chinese firm contracted to assemble the Vision Pro — did not respond to a request for comment.

The Vision Pro was first unveiled on June 5 to great fanfare, with some observers arguing that the device has the potential to become as key to the company’s success as its megapopular iPhone. Apple’s valuation has since topped $3 trillion.

But questions remain over how its hefty $3,500 price tag will impact demand. Apple has also said the Vision Pro will not be available for sale until early next year, a delay that some analysts have chalked up to supply chain issues.

4. Major decision over Microsoft-Activision megamerger looms

The fate of Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:) planned $75 billion deal to acquire “Call of Duty” maker Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:) could be decided this week if a San Francisco court delivers an expected ruling on a Federal Trade Commission request to temporarily block the tie-up.

The FTC is seeking a preliminary injunction that will prevent Microsoft from completing the merger until its own in-house administrative court can make a judgment on the agreement.

Microsoft’s lawyers and the FTC both presented their final arguments to a judge in a closely-watched hearing last week. The regulator has argued that the merger would hurt competition in the gaming market, a claim that Microsoft has refuted.

According to legal experts cited by multiple news sources, the judge’s ruling, which could come as soon as Monday, may decide the future of the deal.

5. Oil choppy amid interest rate concerns, supply forecasts

Oil prices were volatile on Monday as traders eyed the possibility for more Federal Reserve hikes and the outlook for supply.

According to analysts cited by Reuters, further increases in borrowing costs by the Fed, which is keen to bring inflation back down to its 2% target, could weigh on global economic activity and hit oil demand. The dollar may also be strengthened, which would in turn make commodities more expensive to buy for holders of other currencies.

However, other analysts have argued that supplies will likely tighten later this year following a promise by key exporter Saudi Arabia to slash output in July.

By 05:12 ET, futures traded 1.46% higher at $71.67 a barrel, while the contract climbed by 1.52% to $76.56 per barrel.

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