OK, I admit I’m a tech guy.
And hey, what’s wrong with that?
In the 21st century, being a tech guy is a necessity. It keeps me connected (figuratively and literally) to the latest trends in one of the world’s most-powerful investable sectors.
Perhaps more importantly, knowing and using the latest tech devices keeps me in touch with my young children. They already know a lot more about the latest and greatest must-have electronic gadgets than most people double and triple their ages.
Today marks the beginning of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This annual event draws thousands from around the globe to Sin City in search of the new "must-haves" on the technology front.
CES also gathers a cadre of financial media and Wall Street analysts. That’s because what tech companies of all sizes reveal at this show often determines their investable outlook for years to come.
So, what are the hottest trends at this year’s CES?
Well, traditional electronic gadgets such as phones, wearable technologies, etc. are not the buzz at this year’s show.
Rather, it’s cars that have taken the stage as the next big technology driver.
Here I am talking specifically about driverless auto technology, or what some are calling "very smart cars."
A CNBC article on CES pegged this trend as one of the top areas of interest at this year’s show:
Alongside phone-makers like Huawei and Samsung, car companies like Toyota, Hyundai and Nissan are expected to announce major news.
Competition from the likes of Alphabet and Uber has made CES as crucial as the Frankfurt Motor Show for companies show their chops around artificial intelligence and autonomous driving.
The article even went on to cite phone maker BlackBerry’s (BBRY) expected reveal of more auto technology as a way to revive its standing in the marketplace.
Another big trend this year at CES is the so-called "Internet of Things." That’s the explosion of connected devices from all sorts of companies, including appliance makers and a host of other seemingly non-internet-related devices.
Then you have smart devices such as Amazon.com’s (AMZN) Alexa and Alphabet’s (GOOG) Home. These are examples of smart interface devices that connect a variety of gadgets and services together.
|Amazon may be absent from CES, but its Alexa technology is representing the company at some of its hardware partners’ booths.|
Another notable trend this year at CES is virtual reality, or VR, devices.
Now, this trend really isn’t new, as VR devices have been around for some years now. Still, the industry is betting that VR will soon take off. That’s because the improved technology, increased accessibility and affordability has made devices such as Facebook’s (FB) Oculus Rift, HTC’s Vive and Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation VR well within most customers’ reach.
Here are a few other gadgets I found interesting while reading about this year’s show.
Kuri the robot nanny: A mobile security camera with smart-home control capabilities. The device can roam around your home and check on pets, children, babysitters, etc. when you’re not home.
LeEco smart bikes: The bicycle integrates a 4-inch Android touchscreen into the handle bars that supplies navigation, music playback and walkie-talkie functions. This could be a bicyclist’s dream.
Faraday Future FF91 car: Move over Tesla (TSLA). Electric car startup Faraday Future unveiled a self-parking, autonomous driving vehicle capable of going 378-miles on a single charge. It also features digital screens all around the cabin interior.
Acer’s $9,000 laptop: The computer maker’s Predator 21 X is the first notebook computer with a curved screen. But you better really like curves, as the device retails for $8,999. Ouch!
Those are a few of my personal, as well as many of Wall Street’s, key highlights from CES. Do you invest in the promise of new technology? Or, are you skeptical of its often-fleeting appeal? I am curious to find out what you think, so please share your thoughts with me by leaving me a comment on our website or sending me an e-mail.
The Nasdaq notched a new closing high today, rising 0.2% to 5,487.94, as tech fever spread from its epicenter in Las Vegas. Amazon (AMZN) was a big contributor with its 3.1% gain.
• Amazon is not at CES, but its Alexa voice-assistant technology is integrated into LG’s smart home appliances. Alexa also made an appearance last year thanks to a partnership with Ford (F).
• Elsewhere in Nevada, Elon Musk’s Gigafactory in Reno began mass-producing lithium-ion battery cells for the Tesla Model 3.
• New jobless claims came in near their 1973 low at 235,000.
• The private sector created 153,000 new jobs in December, according to ADP. However, analysts expected 170,000.
• WTI crude oil gained 0.9% on news that the Saudis have cut production per the OPEC agreement that went into effect this month.
• Buyer’s remorse: You know there are plenty of designated holiday shopping days (Black Friday, Super Saturday, etc.). As the yang to their yin, today is "National Returns Day." That’s when the most UPS returns packages are sent back to retailers. UPS expects more than 1.3 million returns will be made today (and more than 5.8 million this week), compared to last year’s 1 million on this day.
• Gold rose to a one-month high (+1.4%) while the U.S. dollar sank to a one-month low on concerns about the U.S. economy under the next administration.
Good luck and happy investing,
Uncommon Wisdom Daily