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Where Silicon Valley meets Wall Street, TechCheck dives deep into stocks, trades, trends and opportunities focused on new technologies while highlighting news from mega-cap heavyweights, social media darlings, streaming giants, growth software and red-hot disruptors. Everyday TechCheck delivers investors what they need to know with compelling in-depth reporting and analysis from investors, analysts and leaders in the industry.
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Gen AI startups are growing up -- through both the underlying tech as we saw with OpenAI’s demo of GPT-4o and Google’s showcase of Gemini and Project Astra, but also the composition of the companies themselves. Recent executive moves and hires are showing how AI startups are now focusing more on products, monetization and commercialization. 
AI has moved into a new era – from chatbots to AI agents capable of having instantaneous, real-time conversations as showcased by Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s GPT-4o and Google’s Project Astra. The news -- bullish for Nvidia and over chipmakers, but Meta, Amazon, Apple and other megacap tech names will have to step up to the plate soon. We break down what’s behind the big leap forward, the risks involved, and sit down with Google CEO Sundar Pichai exclusively on the news 
Shares of Walmart continue to be one of the top S&P performers today, rallying after beating quarterly earnings and revenue estimates while also posting big gains in e-commerce. Could its online shopping gains now threaten the e-commerce king, Amazon? Plus, OpenAI’s debut of its more conversational, real-time GPT-4o model have investors now asking whether it will disrupt sectors from education technology, advertising technology, white-collar jobs and more. 
Google is now fully integrating generative AI into search, overhauling the 10 blue links we’ve known for decades. Deirdre Bosa spoke to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Google’s head of search Liz Reid on what this change will mean for advertisers, publishers, and consumers. 
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai joins CNBC’s Deirdre Bosa at Google I/O developer conference to talk its new AI rollout, project Astra, its response to OpenAI’s search competitor and more.
OpenAI unveiled its new flagship AI model GPT-4o today that it says brings GPT-level intelligence to everyone, including free users. The event now raises the stakes for Google’s all-important developers’ event tomorrow, Google I/O, where the tech giant is set to outline its latest advancements in AI.  Google has in the past been relatively slow to roll out its AI features to its wide base of users, so the question hanging over the event tomorrow is whether it will go all-in on gen AI, potentially at the expense of search. 
Google has been consolidating its AI efforts and power around one man: Demis Hassabis. As one of the most respected leaders in the space, the DeepMind co-founder has a track record of critical AI breakthroughs. But can an academic also pave the way for Google's genAI commercialization and monetization? Hassabis is the key to Google's lead in AI but his biggest challenge lies ahead. This week on TechCheck, the real test. Can Google and Hassabis show Wall Street, investors, and the public that it can turn AI into actual products?
Money is continuing to flow into AI startups in the private market, with new reports of funding deals for Elon Musk’s xAI at a $18 billion valuation and the French AI startup Mistral’s valuation tripling to $6 billion. It signals that companies that can raise money in the private markets will continue to do so, especially as the kind of scrutiny that goes along with being a public company is exactly what some startups and founders want to avoid.
Stanley Druckenmiller says rate cuts should be entirely off the table and that the Fed fumbled the football on the 5-yard line with the game on the line. We’ll look at the path forward for the Fed. Plus, Disney nearly broke even on streaming, but missed revenue estimates for a fourth consecutive quarter. We’ll ask Oscar-winner Brian Grazer about the future of Hollywood. And Apple unveiling its first iPads since 2022, but today’s news is only an appetizer for next month’s big event.
Uber had a banner year in 2023 – profitability turned a corner, S&P inclusion, and it became free cash flow positive. But what’s next for the stock, especially as it has underperformed other gig names in the last three months? Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb are all set to report quarterly results this week for a check on the gig economy. We take you through what to expect and what’s next. 
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was the world’s best-performing major stock market in April and has continued to move up another 5% this week. It may be part of a broader market theme, the unwinding of the “long AI, long Japan, short China” trade, but China is a world leader in AI research too, according to a new study from Georgetown University.  
Full Self-Driving, or FSD, is one of the most controversial parts of Elon Musk’s Tesla strategy, with regulators calling the branding misleading and dangerous. But love it or hate it, Tesla has unleashed FSD, with a free trial for millions of U.S. drivers. That means more data -- an essential component to any company trying to develop autonomous driving. Tesla's approach to gathering all that data could prove all of Musk’s naysayers wrong, or leave it continuing to play catch up with more advanced self-driving tech. This week on TechCheck, Tesla’s big FSD gamble.
Closing arguments began today in the landmark antitrust case between the DOJ and Google. But what may ultimately matter more than the ruling is the damage already done to Google's market position, especially around generative AI vulnerabilities and progress. The fear is that under the pressure of regulators, Google has been hesitating or second-guessing itself. And the abundance of chatbots now available to consumers also makes the case, while Google’s Search Generative Experience, or SGE, remains in Beta mode.  
Capital spending among the megacaps is now surging as Microsoft, Google and Meta all outline plans for tens of billions of dollars a quarter in AI investments. We dig into what’s in store for Amazon as it gets set to report tonight. 
The IPO market is "back," according to Colin Stewart, a top Morgan Stanley banker who led the Reddit and Astera Labs debuts. He expects 10-15 more tech IPOs to come this year, and an even better 2025, especially as the market gets more comfortable with paying for growth again. We chat with him about startup valuations, how the presidential election might impact IPO timing, and more. 
Over the past year, Mark Zuckerberg has transformed Meta - and himself. He has gone from a brash young CEO to trained MMA fighter, and a trendsetter with his fur jackets and chains. And thanks to his year of efficiency and stellar stock performance, he's now a Wall Street darling, with Meta outperforming Apple and Alphabet, trailing only Nvidia among the Mag 7. But Meta's latest earnings report has shown it's continuing to bleed cash, and Zuckerberg is now facing a moment of truth. Can he deliver on generative AI, the most important platform shift in decades? This week on TechCheck, the reinvention of Zuck and the arrival of his "show me" moment.
Shares of the software maker Rubrik are up about 20% since its debut on the NYSE yesterday. That success is being cheered in Silicon Valley as the latest sign the public market waters are safe to wade into. Plus, Alphabet and Microsoft shares are both popping after the companies beat on the top and bottom lines. The tech giants emphasized the growth of their respective AI businesses, but that also comes at a big cost. 
At the heart of the battle over TikTok is its algorithm - one that overhauled social media, captivated Gen Z, and continues to engage them more than copycats like YouTube Shorts or Instagram Reels. But without it, a sale of TikTok would be a very different proposition, and interested buyers like Steve Mnuchin have said that he would rebuild the app if there’s no technology transfer. 
Two Google alumni are among those now turning up the pressure on their former employer. Aravind Srinivas of Perplexity and Dario Amodei of Anthropic are both leading upstart gen AI native companies. This time around, they have less to lose and are unafraid of taking on the giants. Plus, Softbank is reportedly now sinking nearly a billion dollars into developing a new generative AI model -- but is it too little, too late? 
This earnings season, could we see Amazon and Alphabet follow Meta’s lead and issue a dividend or boost buybacks? Free cash flow has jumped across the six megacaps in the last two years, with Nvidia and Amazon seeing the biggest increases. In Amazon’s case, it was hard to imagine the tech giant doing so under Jeff Bezos. But CEO Andy Jassy is friendlier to Wall Street and has talked about focusing on profits and efficiency. 
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Jan 16th
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