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Stocks rally. Trump says ‘very close’ to China deal. But Tesla truck bombs

Written By | Nov 22, 2019
stocks rally, China deal, Tesla truck

President Trump talks about latest potential China deal with Fox & Friends morning crew. Screen capture from Fox News video, 112219.

WASHINGTON – After looking pretty sick for much of this week, we watched stocks rally Friday after a briefly weak opening trade. The reason, as usual, was the latest manic episode of the China deal rumor mill, as Fox Business reports. Meanwhile, business news sites also breathlessly provided live video coverage of an Elon Musk product demo during which his costly new Tesla truck bombs spectacularly.

Also read: Impeachment circus imperils US-China trade deal. Democrats don’t care

Another US-China trade rumor. (Yawn.)

“Stocks opened higher Friday after President Trump told ‘FOX and Friends’ on Friday morning that the U.S. and China are ‘very close’ to an agreement on trade.

“The president’s comments come after Chinese President Xi Jinping said his government wants to ‘work for a phase one agreement on the basis of mutual respect and equality.’

“All three of the major averages opened higher by about 0.2 percent and extended their gains following the better-than-expected University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading. The report came in at 96.8, ahead of the 95.7 that was expected.”

As network pundits watched stocks rally, Fox followed the China deal rumor with a useful chart, which we helpfully updated here as of 1:30 p.m. ET.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
SP500 S&P 500 3109.11 +5.57 +0.18%
DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 27860.93 +94.44 +0.34%
COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 8513.82 +7.61 +0.09%
Meanwhile, new Tesla truck bombs in initial demo rollout

Even as CNBC and Fox viewers watched stocks rally, Fox, and other outlets, also reported on the latest YUGE gaffe by Tesla (trading symbol: TSLA) and its flamboyant but shady Fearless Leader, Elon Musk. But let’s first excerpt the Tylers’ more colorful ZeroHedge take on this fake company’s hilarious, epic fail of a new product demo, including a terrific, but accurate, headline. (Clever crossouts below via ZH.)

“Oh My F*cking God”: Elon Musk’s Bizarre Cybertruck Unveiling Goes Horribly Wrong

“Elon Musk took to the stage on Thursday night to peddle his latest desperate cash grab pile of shit introduce the first Tesla truck model at yet another sycophant-sell-out unveiling ‘party.’ In our wildest dreams, we couldn’t imagine a more ridiculous revealing of Tesla’s new ‘Cybertruck’ than what took place.

“As the old saying goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’

“And here’s that picture: a truck with two shattered windows that looks like it rolled out of a dumpster heap at a metal scrapyard, being offered for the low low price of just $39,900.”

In the previously cited China deal on trade piece, Fox Business gets down to the particulars of what happened, with a pair of editorial insertions by yours truly.

“Tesla [stock] was under pressure [as in down by $20 per share pressure] after the unveiling of its electric pickup truck CyberTruck was marred by the failure of its ‘armour glass.” CEO Elon Musk asked the electric-car maker’s chief designer to throw a metal ball at the vehicle’s window in order to show it was shatterproof, but instead of withstanding the force, the window shattered. The designer made a second attempt on another window and the ball again went through it. Rivals Ford and General Motors were trading higher.”

Love that snarky final sentence.

More on Musk’s latest, ugliest taxpayer subsidized boondoggle

So, as stocks rally Friday on the wings of the latest China trade deal rumor, Tesla shares look increasingly grim. As I punch out today’s column, these shares have bombed spectacularly, off some $20 per share at the moment. It’s schadenfreude time.

Since we’ve been long-time skeptics of Musk and his taxpayer-subsidized car designed for wealthy, virtue-signaling globalists and commies, here’s a Fox News video highlighting Musk’s demo-disaster, followed by some suitably snarky tweets and reporter digs.

BTW, note how the video bleeps out Musk as he actually voices ZH’s headline quote, which I’ve helpfully provided (family PG-13 version) above.

Did either Musk or his engineering lackeys ever do a few practice demos on this “bulletproof glass” in advance? Every tech-weenie in existence who’s done a trade show totally knows that a big, showy, pre-publicized new product demo will faithfully fail before the audience due to the heavy influence of Murphy’s Law on such demos. That’s why they test their new stuff to death before taking it on the road. Likely, they didn’t do that for this one, since everything about Tesla has to do with the last-minute.

Tesla truck, stocks rally, China deal

DeLorean DMC-12 Head on photo with doors open Photographed by Kevin Abato, GNU 1.2 license, via Wikipedia entry on DeLorean.

What failure does “cybertruck” remind us of?

Making matters worse, the “truck” itself looks like a badly re-designed Hummer. Or maybe a strange homage to another stainless steel motor vehicle fail: the “Back to the Future” DeLorean. Without the gull-wing doors, no less. Or maybe, just maybe, even with its phony Hummer riffs, Musk’s “cybertruck” looks way more like a discarded prototype for  one of GM’s worst-ever bombs. Namely, GM’s now legendary (and long defunct) Pontiac Aztek.

Who the hell would really pay $40K for this vehicular loser aside from a few of those “Save the Planet” private-jet owning Hollywood types?

Tesla truck, China deal, stocks rally

Pontiac Aztek in California, 2018. Photo by Alexander Migli, via Wikipedia entry on the Aztek. CC 4.0 license.

Pre-holiday trading next week could get weird

‘Nuff said. I’m still awaiting the glorious day when Tesla shorts reap their long-awaited and well-deserved “big short” fortune after Musk, at last, files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Returning to our main headline event, we note, as we conclude this article around 2 p.m. ET that the market’s positive US-China “trade deal” jolt, augmented by positive consumer confidence numbers, has already slipped slightly, although all three averages remain in the green at this time. It’s clear investors are very nervous at this juncture about nearly everything. And many of them no longer want to hang around in risky positions as yet another wildly unpredictable (and largely un-trade-able) weekend looms.

And a pre-Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, no less. Very tricky right now.

Stay tuned.

– Headline image:  President Trump talks about latest potential China deal with Fox & Friends morning crew.
Screen capture from Fox News video, 112219.


Terry Ponick

Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Senior Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17