Pre-market Actions: Why Tesla’s Battery Day is a Big Event for Investors


A version of this story first appeared in CNN Business’s Before the Bell newsletter. Not a subscriber? You can register here.

But for Tesla (TSLA) to maintain its lead in the increasingly competitive world of electric vehicle production, it will have to continue to innovate. Enter the battery day.

What’s happening: CEO Elon Musk has made major announcements that could be unveiled at the company’s battery summit on Tuesday.

Any change in battery efficiency, cost of production, or Tesla’s supply chain could be extremely important to the company, given the importance of batteries in the manufacturing and performance of electric vehicles.

“Batteries are the heart and lungs of Tesla’s story,” Daniel Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities, told me.

Ives said Wall Street is looking for Tesla to start producing more proprietary battery technology so they can “own more of their ecosystem.”Watch this space: Musk tried to squeeze expectations on Monday, tweeting that “what we are announcing will not reach serious high-volume production until 2022”.

He added that the company would not cut back on battery purchases from suppliers like Panasonic and LG, given that there could be “significant” battery shortages even with partners at full capacity. Tesla shares fell 4% in pre-market trading.

But the anticipation is still high. Tesla is the world’s most valuable automotive company, even though it produces a fraction of the vehicles produced by other automakers. (In a recent email to employees, Musk said the company was on the verge of a record quarter for car sales. Its record was 112,000 cars delivered to customers in the fourth quarter of last year. )

As the competition heats up, Tesla is benefiting from having had a head start, according to Gene Munster of Loup Ventures. In the first half of 2020, Tesla held around 80% of the U.S. electric vehicle market, as well as a 15% market share in Europe and 20% in China.

But he has a target on his back. GM, which has pledged to spend more than $ 3 billion a year through 2025 to fund research and development for electric vehicles, unveiled a competitive battery in March, as companies like Volkswagen prepare to flood the EV model market.

Xi Jinping has a message for Chinese private companies

President Xi Jinping sent a message to Chinese private companies: You can make money, but only if you follow my rules, reports my CNN Business colleague Laura He.

The ruling Chinese Communist Party this month released an unusually straightforward set of guidelines calling on its members to “educate private businessmen to arm their minds with [Xi’s] ideology of socialism. ”

The private sector needs “politically sane people”, the directive said, who “will firmly listen to the party and follow the party”.

Why it matters: The message comes as the world’s second-largest economy continues its fragile recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and clashes with the United States over trade and the future of technology. Bringing in line with independent Chinese private companies could help accelerate this recovery, while expanding control of the most powerful leader the country has known in decades.

The practical effects of the directive are not yet completely clear. But this order could push private companies to take a public stand on major political or foreign policy issues, such as territorial disputes.

Watch this space: the consequences of going out of line can be serious. On Tuesday, retired real estate mogul Ren Zhiqiang was jailed for 18 years for corruption.

He had previously criticized Xi’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic – and his sentence seemed designed to send a message that public criticism or contempt for Xi will not be tolerated.

Prospects for US recovery darken

Much has improved since the darker days of the coronavirus pandemic. But according to the Back to Normal Index created by CNN Business and Moody’s Analytics, the recovery appears to be going in the wrong direction.

At its lowest point in April, the Back to Normal Index, which includes 37 economic indicators, estimated the U.S. economy was operating at about 59% of what it was before the pandemic accelerated to start. March.

It slowly improved in May and June as coronavirus cases began to moderate, jobless claims began to decline and some states began to lift restrictions on businesses, according to my CNN Business colleague Annalyn Kurtz. .

But after that, the momentum stopped. As coronavirus cases increased in some places, states have backed down on plans to reopen. Over the past three months, the index shows that the economy has largely moved sideways. And after hitting a post-pandemic high of 80% over the Labor Day weekend, it’s now back to 76%.

“The Return to Normal Index indicates that this is not a V-shaped recovery,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “Six months later, we’re still a long way from getting back to normal.


Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell begins three days of testimony before Congress at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Today also:

  • Tesla kicks off its Annual Meeting and Battery Day, where CEO Elon Musk is expected to disclose the electric car maker’s latest technological advancements, at 4:30 p.m. ET.
  • Nike (OF) and Point correction (SFIX) declare your income.


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