Tesla jolts Wall St, Amazon’s rejection calls, Macron paradox


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“These questions are so dry. They’re killing me.” Elon Musk may have been unhappy with analysts’ questions during Tesla’s earnings update, but investors were equally uneasy with the electric carmaker’s future. Mr Musk’s fractious call with Wall Street analysts on Wednesday prompted a sell off in Tesla’s shares — even though the company exceeded revenue and earnings forecasts in the period.

The stock price dip came despite renewed promises from the Tesla chief executive that the company was on track to overcome the difficult production ramp-up of its Model 3 mass-market car, and that it would become cash flow positive in the third quarter. Nevertheless, Tesla burnt through slightly more cash than most analysts had been expecting.

“I’m not here to convince you to buy our stock,” said Mr Musk during the call. Lex’s take? Fair enough, but if he is refusing to sell the stock he had better produce the cars. Bloomberg generously collected the most dumbfounding moments from the earnings call. (FT, Bloomberg)

In the news

Customs partnership goes down like a lead balloon
Theresa May’s “customs partnership” plan did not please Eurosceptic ministers. Our reporters have an explainer on why ministers including Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox were unhappy with the idea. At any rate, it’s unlikely to fly in its current incarnation. Faced with a barrage of cabinet criticism and a threat of rebellion from Conservative MPs, Mrs May was forced to go back to the drawing board on a central part of her Brexit strategy. (FT)

Eurozone expansion slows
New signs of European economic weakness emerged on Wednesday as the eurozone recorded its slowest growth in 18 months, heightening fears that the currency union’s post-crisis recovery was petering out. The US Federal Reserve suggested it was getting more confident in the inflation outlook as it prepares for further increases in short-term interest rates in the coming months. (FT)

‘Hi, it’s Amazon calling. Here’s what we don’t like about your city’
Amazon has made about 200 phone calls to cities that the retail giant rejected for its second headquarters. The postmortem calls have prompted some cities to start making changes. Meanwhile, 20 finalists are still battling it out. (WSJ)

Cambridge Analytica shuts its doors
Cambridge Analytica says it has been unfairly portrayed as a “Bond villain” and is shutting down due to a “media siege”. The UK-based data analytics firm that worked with the Trump campaign was hit by revelations it benefited from a massive leak of Facebook data and lost many of its largest clients. (FT)

Trump’s lawyer-doctor drama
The lawyer handling Donald Trump’s response to the Russia probe stepped down, bringing more upheaval to the US president’s legal team. The drama unfolded as the president’s longtime doctor now says that Mr Trump dictated the contents of his medical report during the presidential campaign. Capping the day off, Mr Trump apparently reimbursed his lawyer for the hush money paid to Stormy Daniels — you know, the payment the president said he was not aware of. (FT, CNN, WaPo)

Xiaomi prepares launch
The world’s biggest IPO globally since Alibaba’s $25bn float in 2014 has launched. Xiaomi has filed its prospectus and wants to raise up to $10bn that gives investors their first look at the Chinese smartphone maker’s financial details. It is due to list in Hong Kong in early July. (FT)

Sorry, here’s $1
Two black men arrested for sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks without ordering anything settled with the city for a symbolic $1 each and a promise from officials to set up a $200,000 programme for young entrepreneurs. However, the men also reached a confidential financial settlement with the coffee chain. (Guardian)

The day ahead

Italy showdown
Italy’s Democratic party (PD) meets to discuss whether to hold talks with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement on potentially forming a coalition, two months after inconclusive elections. But will Matteo Renzi, Italy’s former prime minister who has lunged back into the limelight this week, put a stop to the configuration? (Reuters, FT)

Beijing trade talks
Donald Trump’s top trade advisers are in Beijing discussing ways that China and the US can avoid a trade war. Here are four things to keep in mind about the world’s two largest economies. (FT)

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s Week Ahead.

What we’re reading

The Macron paradox
Anne-Sylvaine Chassany, the FT’s Paris bureau chief, goes behind the youthful technocrat with a gap-toothed smile and examines the French president’s first year. “Rarely in the history of the French republic have decisions lain in the hands of so few — or so young.” But can one man — even one targeting so much reform on so little sleep — really change France? (FT)

‘Pimping us out’
The New York Times has been doing some great investigative writing after interviews with dozens of current and former NFL cheerleaders. They revealed a common perspective: they enjoyed performing at games but are disturbed by extracurricular requirements. The paper’s latest report describes Redskins cheerleaders as posing for topless photo shoots while sponsors looked on and then having to later escort the male sponsors to nightclubs. (NYT)

The most mobile eyes in the animal kingdom
Experiments at Bristol university are uncovering the secrets of the most mobile eyes among animals. The mantis shrimp keeps swivelling its stalk-like eyes even when the world is whirling around it — avoiding the disorientation that would floor any human being. Its vision system could be developed for robots that need to travel fast through rapidly moving environments. (FT)

9-5 is out. Try the 1-6 instead
Is the 40-hour work week a construct we’ve all just accepted as necessary? A Forbes opinion writer switched up her work schedule to see if working fewer hours each day boosted her productivity. (Forbes)

Private island trade boom
The numbers are so opaque that most information about the market comes anecdotally, but experts believe the desire for privacy has resulted in a private island buying spree. More than 800 islands are listed for sale or rent on one website — but the rise is matched by mounting concerns over the ecological impact. (FT)

Video of the day

The first $1bn art sale? Rockefeller collection up for auction
The FT’s Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson looks inside the collection, with paintings by Picasso and Matisse among the 1,500 works going under the hammer in the “sale of the century”. (FT)


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Tesla jolts Wall St, Amazon’s rejection calls, Macron paradox

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