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Tesla job openings for Semi truck production lines in Nevada

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk shows off the Tesla Semi as he unveils the company’s new electric semi truck during a presentation in Hawthorne, California, U.S., November 16, 2017.

Alexandria Sage | Reuters

Recent job listings show that Tesla is moving ahead with its long-delayed plans for its electric Semi truck, an initiative it first unveiled in 2017.

Three current job listings call for employees to work on “Semi-Truck production lines” in Sparks, Nevada. That’s where Tesla already makes batteries for its electric vehicles, in partnership with Panasonic.

Tesla announced the Semi in November 2017, and said at the time that it would deliver the trucks to customers in about two years. At that time, the company said it would sell a 300-mile range version of the Semi for $150,000, and a 500-mile range version for $180,000, and that the trucks would go from 0-60 miles per hour in 5 seconds without cargo, or 0-60 in 20 seconds with an 80,000 pound load.

After taking reservations for the trucks from companies such as Anheuser-Busch, DHL Group, PepsiCo, Pride Group and Walmart, Tesla announced Semi production delays during a third-quarter earnings call in 2019, and again in April 2020.

In June 2020, Musk sent an e-mail to all employees at Tesla that called for “volume production” of the Semi.

“It’s time to go all out and bring the Tesla Semi to volume production. It’s been in limited production so far, which has allowed us to improve many aspects of the design.” Musk also said in that memo, “Production of the battery and powertrain would take place at Giga Nevada, with most of the other work probably occurring in other states.”

But in the company’s third-quarter 2020 financial filing, Tesla only mentioned its Semi initiative twice, saying it was “in development,” and noting U.S. locations for Semi production were yet to be determined.

More recently, in an interview at the European Conference on Batteries November 24, 2020, Musk boasted that Tesla was aiming for a Semi that could go even further on a single charge than originally promised, saying “You could take the range, for long-range trucking, easily up to 800 kilometers and we see a path over time to get to 1,000 kilometer range with a heavy duty truck.”

The company has a few prototype Semi trucks that have been in operation for over a year. But Musk has not disclosed when full-fledged production of the Semi, or longer range batteries for it, could begin.

Today, Tesla is taking $20,000 refundable reservations to order a Semi. (It initially required $5,000 per reservation.) The base price for a 300-mile range version is listed at $150,000, and for a 500-mile range at $180,000. Prospective customers can also order a “Founders Series” Semi for $200,000.

Meanwhile, Daimler is in small-scale production with its heavy duty eCascadia electric trucks in the U.S., and Quebec-based Lion Electric has plans for a SPAC, a new U.S. factory, and has inked a deal to deliver up to 2,500 battery-powered electric trucks to Amazon over the next five years.

Investors will likely press Tesla for details on the status of its Semi program on its Q4 2020 earnings call on Jan. 27.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Nvidia (NVDA) earnings Q4 2021

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Nvidia founder, President and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang

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Nvidia stock went from a 3% gain to a 2% loss in extended trading on Wednesday, after CEO Jensen Huang told analysts on an earnings call that he does not expect the company’s business of selling processors to cryptocurrency miners to “grow extremely large.”

Nvidia beat elevated analyst expectations for both earnings and revenue for the fourth quarter of its fiscal year, which ended in December.

Here’s how Nvidia did:

  • Earnings: $3.10 per share, adjusted, vs. $2.81 per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $5.00 billion, versus $4.82 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.

Earlier this week, Nvidia announced new graphics cards designed for mining cryptocurrencies like ethereum, which the company said would allow it to boost stock for gamers who want the same cards to run graphically intense games.

Nvidia said that it planned to sell cryptocurrency-geared cards to industrial miners starting in March, but Huang said on the earnings call that he did not think it would be a huge part of the company’s business. “We expect that to be a small part of our business as we go forward,” he said.

Ultimately, Nvidia sales were up 61% year-over-year.

Investors had been expecting revenue growth over 55% from last year and Nvidia beat those expectations, even during a worldwide semiconductor shortage.

Nvidia also suggested that its hot streak would continue by forecasting $5.3 billion in revenue for the current quarter, ahead of investor expectations of $4.51 billion.

Nvidia stock has had a lot of momentum in recent months, with the stock rising over 106% in the past year. Investors see the Santa Clara, California chipmaker as a key supplier to several new technology trends. It sells semiconductor components for gaming, artificial intelligence, data centers, and automobiles.

Nvidia has two primary segments: Graphics, which is primarily its graphics cards for consumers and professionals, and Compute and Networking, which includes chips for data centers, automobiles, and robots.

Both had impressive quarters, which the company attributed in part to impact from the Covid-19 pandemic. Graphics reported $3.06 billion in revenue, which was up 47% from the same period last year. Compute and networking, the data center division, was up 91% year-over-year to $1.95 billion.

PC gaming has been a hot market during the pandemic, and Nvidia is perhaps best known for its graphics cards that enable high-performance gaming. Nvidia said that its gaming performance was driven by sales of its newest graphics cards.

However, Nvidia has had issues keeping its newest graphics cards in stock. On Wednesday, it said that the company was increasing supply but inventory will likely remain low through the end of the current quarter.

Nvidia’s automotive business did not perform well during this quarter. It was down 11% to $145 million, Nvidia said, and it ended up down 23% for the entire year.

Last September, Nvidia said it planned to buy ARM from Softbank for $40 billion in a transaction with deep implications for the semiconductor industry. ARM develops low-level technology widely used across the industry to develop low-power chips for mobile devices — and it supplies technology to most of Nvidia’s competitors. Companies are already lining up to object to the deal through regulatory channels.

“We are making good progress toward acquiring Arm, which will create enormous new opportunities for the entire ecosystem,” Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said in a statement.

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Biden signs executive order to address chip shortage through a supply chain review

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President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday meant to address a global chip shortage impacting industries ranging from medical supplies to electric vehicles.

The order includes a 100-day review of key products including semiconductors and advanced batteries used in electric vehicles, followed by a broader, long-term review of six sectors of the economy. The long-term review will allow for policy recommendations to strengthen supply chains, with the goal of quickly implementing the suggestions, Biden said at a press event Wednesday before he signed the order.

The action follows calls from bipartisan members of Congress and industry leaders warning about the potential consequences of the shortage. Commonly known as chips, semiconductors are used to power electronics including phones, electric vehicles and even some medical supplies. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that “semiconductor manufacturing is a dangerous weak spot in our economy and in our national security.”

Biden met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers Wednesday to discuss the shortage and said it was “very productive.” He praised the cooperative nature of the meeting, saying, “it’s like the old days, people actually were on the same page.”

The semiconductor supply chain had taken a hit early in the Covid pandemic since much of the world’s chips are manufactured in places like China and Taiwan. The health crisis has underscored issues with U.S. reliance on supply chains abroad in many areas, and the semiconductor industry is no different. According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, a coalition backed by several chipmakers, the U.S. only accounts for about 12.5% of semiconductor manufacturing.

The shortage has already impacted several companies. Ford said earlier this month that reduced estimates from suppliers could mean losing up to a 20% of its expected first-quarter production. General Motors said earlier this month that it would extend downtime at several production plants due to the shortage and would “reassess in mid-March.” On Wednesday, ahead of the executive order announcement, however, GM CFO Paul Jacobson said the worst of the chip shortage may actually be over already.

In a letter to Biden last week, several industry associations including SIA, the Advanced Medical Technology Association and the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association wrote that the U.S. should incentivize new semiconductor manufacturing plants to be established in the country to compete effectively with other nations that have invested in chip production.

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Dow soars to a record close overnight, Standard Chartered earnings ahead

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SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific rose in Thursday morning trade after the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to a record closing high overnight.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.53% in early trading as shares of conglomerate Softbank Group surged more than 3%. The Topix index also gained 1.21%.

South Korea’s Kospi rose 1.61% as shares of chipmaker SK Hynix soared more than 3%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia gained 0.94%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.5% higher.

On the earnings front, Standard Chartered is expected to report its 2020 earnings around 12:15 p.m. HK/SIN on Thursday. On Tuesday, HSBC reported full-year earnings that beat expectations and announced a dividend payout for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Overnight stateside, the Dow jumped 424.51 points to a record closing high of 31,961.86. The S&P 500 gained 1.1% to finish its trading day at 3,925.40 while the Nasdaq Composite closed about 1% higher at 13,597.97.

The moves on Wall Street came as U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell continued to downplay the threat of inflation, saying it could take three years to reach the central bank’s target consistently.

In Wednesday’s testimony in front of the House Financial Services Committee, Powell said inflation could be volatile as the economy reopens and there’s increased demand. Still, the Fed chair does not expect inflation to run hot and said the central bank has tools to combat it if it should.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.176— still weaker than levels above 90.8 seen last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.92 per dollar, having weakened from levels below 105.6 yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7972, stronger then levels below $0.784 seen last week.

— CNBC’s Yun Li contributed to this report.

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