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March 31: Tesla in Trouble? Eclipse Conspiracies, California Drinking Water From Sewage (Recap ep271)

Stay up-to-date with Marcello’s weekly recap! This time, we’re exploring the latest developments surrounding Tesla’s challenges, eclipse conspiracies, and a controversial water related decision in California. Morgan Stanley’s adjusted forecast for Tesla’s vehicle deliveries is causing a stir, while Xiaomi’s bold entry into the electric car market sparks intense competition in China. As the April 8th eclipse draws near, travel restrictions and safety concerns mount, with NASA and CERN preparing for scientific investigations. Meanwhile, California’s approval of Bill Gates’ sewage-to-drinking-water plan is causing people to debate.

Cocoa futures surged above an unprecedented $10K a metric ton this week an all time high with prices of the key chocolate ingredient doubling this year. Cocoa has more than tripled in cost over the past year. The market is being hit by poor crops in key West African growers, putting the world on course for a 3rd straight annual supply deficit. The world is facing the largest cocoa supply deficit in +60 years & chocolate consumers will see the effects w/higher prices soon. The International Cocoa Organization forecasts a supply deficit of 374K tons for 2023-24 season, a 405% increase from a deficit of 74K tons in the previous season.

Investment banker Morgan Stanley’s head of global auto & shared mobility research Adam Jonas, cut his forecast for Tesla vehicle deliveries saying he expects the electric vehicle behemoth to raise prices to compensate. He now expects Q1 deliveries of 425,400, a 9% decrease from his previous forecast of 469,400. Jonas’ new forecast still implies +0.6% y/y delivery growth. He also lowered his full-year delivery estimate to 1.95M, down from 1.99M, or 8% year-over-year growth.
Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi stated on Thursday it will sell its 1st car for far less than Tesla’s Model 3, as price wars heat up in China’s hotly competitive electric car market. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said the standard version of the SU7 will sell for 215,900 yuan ($30,408) in the country, a price he acknowledges will mean the firm was selling each car at a loss. Tesla’s Model 3 starts at 245,900 yuan in China. Lei claimed the standard version of the SU7, beats the Model 3 on over 90% of its specifications, except on 2 aspects that he said it might take Xiaomi at least 3 to 5 years to catch up with Tesla on.

The disgraced cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried was convicted last fall in the Southern District of New York on federal fraud & conspiracy charges related to his role in the collapse of his crypto exchange firm FTX in November 2022. On Thursday he was sentenced to 25 years in prison, after A jury found Bankman-Fried illegally used FTX depositor funds to bankroll a lavish lifestyle, purchasing luxury properties & private planes as well as making huge political donations.

Krispy Kreme shares surged +39.36% on Tuesday at $17.35, its best day on record for the stock. McDonald’s plans to sell the company’s doughnuts at its restaurants nationwide by the end of 2026, with the initial roll-out beginning later this year. McDonald’s shares were little changed during the session. Krispy Kreme stock is higher by +14.98% in 2024 & 11.58% year on year, with a market cap of $2.1B.

A report from the U.S. Labor Department on Thursday showed initial claims for unemployment benefits fell 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 210K for the week ended March 23. Initial filings for unemployment were slightly lower than the 211K that economists had predicted.

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