Technology Conquers Stock Market


#1

Bloomberg:

Technology Conquers Stock Market

Notch another milestone for the technology industry.
As of the close of U.S. stock trading on Monday, the five biggest companies in the world by market value were all U.S. tech companies, according to Bloomberg data. This tech sweep of the market’s top rungs didn’t happen during the heights of the dot-com bubble in 2000 and hasn’t happened since. (Tech companies have previously taken the top four spots, briefly.)

The market value rankings over the last couple of decades offer a glimpse at the world’s changing economy. At the peak of the dot-com bubble in March 2000, tech companies including Microsoft, Intel and Cisco were among the biggest companies in the world – and they are still giants. Ten years ago, big banks, Chinese industrial and financial companies and global commodities firms crowded the market cap big leagues. Five years ago, Apple became the biggest company in the world by stock value, a position it has occupied with some interruptions since then.

In addition to Apple, the growing might of Google, Amazon and Facebook have lifted those companies to new heights and Microsoft’s market value has rebounded under a new CEO. Non-tech titans like Exxon and GE have slipped a bit. Stock investors are now willing to pay more for a dollar of future earnings for the tech superpowers than they are for most other corporations. Of course, technology’s Fab Five may not last in their lofty perch. The streak could end after one day. Good times never last. But for the moment, technology is on top of the world.

I saw a blog about this story basically asking what is a tech company? The definitions seems to be anything vaguely connected to computing. So that includes making physical PCs, writing software & apps and mixes like Amazon which sells stuff but also is getting big in cloud services.


#2

I thought that health care and pharmaceuticals were running strong.


#3

Maybe time to get out…:slight_smile:


#4

It could be, but unlike 1999, these five companies are already making money—lots of it. They also have tons of cash on hand, instead of debt. Many of today’s tech companies could buy a General Motors with cash on hand. That was unthinkable not too long ago.


#5

Isnt Google planning on getting into the car industry here in a few years?

Seems like I recall this from an interview with execs from the big 3 automakers, they were talking about the roll out of self driving cars coming in 2018 and they were somewhat worried Google may end up taking alot of their business in the coming years.


#6

Google is definitely working on the software for self-driving cars and has prototypes on the road now. Apple is rumored to be looking at it, but is more secretive. Both companies have enough cash to buy GM and Ford if the government would allow it. All the car manufacturers are thinking about doing it themselves or partnering with a tech company to do it.

It reminds me of a joke from years ago. Bill Gates said that if car companies improved like tech companies, you could buy a car for $1000 and it would get 100 miles per gallon. GM replied that if cars worked like computers, they would crash three times a day and no one would know why.


#7

Who is working on the liability for accidents in the case of a self driving car? Will they put the software designers in jail or otherwise hold them liable in the case of a serious accident resulting in the deaths of innocent people?


#8

Well one thing is for sure, if you or I are not actually doing the driving, there is no reason why the auto insurance companies could justify more coverage than is needed, like protection from falling tree limbs, floods, etc. We will all still need that level of coverage, but I think auto insurance, in its current form will become a thing of the past pretty soon.

I know Mercedes has addressed this already, they claim they will take responsibility for any error/ accident, so if the other automakers follow suit, its probable there will not be many if any, accidents, they have working on this much longer than most people think.


#9

Lawyers will have a field day with self driving cars. Rather than suing some 18 year old with no assets and minimal insurance, they will be able to sue companies with really deep pockets.

Another unknown is about maintenance of very complicated cars. These cars will have lots of sensors and they had better all be working at the same time. These cars will spend a lot of time driving themselves to the few shops that can fix them, probably more time than they will take you to work for early adopters.


#10

Im sure the legal system will deal with this as the time gets closer for them to go online, but Im betting they will put something in place so the tech companies are not liable to be sued whenever someone has an accident, that would bankrupt them quickly and defeat the purpose, this whole self driving car thing is a very big production and has been the pipelines for years, they would never set this up to fail, they are likely working with lawmakers and state/fed govt.

Regarding the repair, there is not much an average owner can repair in his driveway anymore, its getting to the point where they MUST be taken to the dealer or someone with the right computer equipment, this is just the next step in the same direction, make them so complex and hard to repair by the DIY’er, there simply will not be anymore small repair shops or doing it yourself, kinda like how there used to be lots of appliance and TV repair shops, hard to find any nowadays, I think the same future is right around the corner for auto repairs too.

Really for the whole SDC thing to work right, eventually it will have to become mandatory, but this likely wont be for a long time, they will definitely not just impose it right away, they will give enough time for new cars to ‘age out’, and who knows, maybe the aftermarket will eventually come up with conversion kits, but Im talking about 40-50 years in the future though.


#11

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