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February 25: Nvidia Crushes, Elon Musk Neuralink 1st Successful patient, Trump Gold Sneakers (Recap ep266)

In this week’s recap, Marcello talks about the recent success NVidia is having thanks to its essential participation into the rising AI race; Elon Musk’s Neuralink has succesfully implanted a chip into a human patient; Trump announced the launch of his own sneakers line.

In Q4 of fiscal 2024, NVIDIA data center segment, where its high end AI chips are manufactured saw revenue rally $18.4B. In the same quarter, a year ago, the entire company’s revenue came in at $6.1B. Net income for Q4 2023 was $12.8B. Annual profits in fiscal 2024 have reached $32.3B. In fiscal 2024, NVIDIA revenue grew 126% from the prior year with the 4th Quarter revenue up +265% from the prior year period.
NVIDIA is replacing Tesla as Wall Street’s most traded stock, adding to its prominence after becoming the 3rd-most valuable U.S. company & providing more evidence of how central AI-related bets have become to investors. About $30B worth of NVIDIA shares changed hands daily on average over the past 30 sessions, pulling ahead of Elon Musk’s electric car maker, which averaged $22B per day over the same period. Tesla since 2020 had dominated daily U.S. stock trading, with turnover, a stock’s share price multiplied by the number of shares exchanged, peaking above $35B several times in recent years.
Central banks have been solid gold buyers for over a decade; however, their appetite has become insatiable in the last 2 years as global reserves have risen by over 1,000 tonnes in both 2022 & 2023. Commodity analysts note that in the last 2 years central bank gold purchases as its share in global demand has tripled, representing between 25% & 30%.
Mexico’s outgoing president has taken steps to promote a smooth hand-off for national oil firm Pemex, but the latest moves will likely postpone a day of reckoning for the world’s most heavily-indebted oil firm. Last week, President Lopez Obrador rolled out new support for Pemex, part of his goal to make Mexico self-sufficient in the production of motor fuels, unveiling a new tax break worth about $6.4B. It follows a huge $90B in gov’t support given to Pemex since Lopez Obrador took office in 2018, spanning tax cuts & capital injections, most of it to service a debt load of $106B. The firm’s distressed finances may fall to former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, Lopez Obrador’s anointed successor & current front runner.
The European Union seems set to fine Apple about 500M Euros ($539M) over alleged breaches of EU competition law, it has been reported. The fine is expected to be announced early next month. Last year, the European Commission accused Apple of distorting competition in the music streaming market via App Store rules that prevent developers from informing users of other purchasing options.
The 1st human patient implanted with a brain-chip from Neuralink appears to have fully recovered & is able to control a computer mouse using their thoughts, the startup’s founder Elon Musk has stated. “Progress is good, & the patient seems to have made a full recovery, with no ill effects that we are aware of. Patient is able to move a mouse around the screen by just thinking,” Musk said in a Spaces event on social media platform X. Neuralink has said, that the initial goal is to enable people to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts. Neuralink, which was valued at about $5B last year, has faced repeated calls for scrutiny regarding its safety protocols.

Israel intensified its bombardment of Rafah in Gaza’s south ; Greek farmers were expected to drive into Athens with tractors to protest outside parliament over the impact of rising energy costs; NVIDIA last week’s market capitalization eclipsed Amazon’s & Alphabet’s to make it the 3rd-most valuable company, behind Microsoft & Apple.

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