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Vested Shorts: Distinguishing humans from AI, Airline industry’s Recovery, new update from TikTok, and stock market in 2023

by Parth Parikh
July 29, 2023
3 min read
Vested Shorts: Distinguishing humans from AI, Airline industry’s Recovery, new update from TikTok, and stock market in 2023

In today’s edition

  • Distinguishing humans from AI
  • United Airlines soars in Q2 2023
  • TikTok expands to text-based content
  • S&P 500 nears record high

Market Snapshot

U.S. stock indexes, including the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq, and Russell 2000, saw overall gains at the end of the week, largely thanks to an easing in inflation and a strong performance by tech companies. The Commerce Department revealed that the rate of growth in its Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index had slowed in June. This is seen as a good sign that the economy is cooling enough for the Federal Reserve to potentially relax its aggressive interest rate hikes. Tech companies such as Intel, KLA, Alphabet, Amazon, Meta Platforms, Microsoft, and Tesla also reported strong earnings, contributing to the positive performance of the stock market.

Data as of market close 28 Jul 2023

Week ended on 28 Jul 2023. Source: AlphaScreener

News Summaries

Worldcoin, a new cryptocurrency project led by OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman, announced its official launch this week. The distinctive feature of Worldcoin is a “digital passport” called a World ID, which verifies that its holder is a human being, not a computer bot. To obtain a World ID, individuals have to undergo an eye scan using a special device called an ‘orb’. When individuals enroll in certain countries, they receive $50 worth of the Worldcoin cryptocurrency, WLD. The value of WLD surged on the first day of trading and market cap reached $20 billion. In the future, the World IDs could help distinguish between human and bot activity online, and could also be utilized in programs that provide income to everyone, like universal basic income.

United Airlines has had a successful second quarter this year, despite challenges, including flight cancellations and a pay dispute with its union. The company’s revenues and profits have increased due to the return of international travel after the pandemic. United is now the second-largest US airline based on passenger volume (second only to American Airlines). United reported that its revenue for the quarter was $14.2 billion, significantly higher than the $11.4 billion the company earned in the same period in 2019. Profits also surged to $1.1 billion, which is more than triple the amount of the same period last year. These results demonstrate that United Airlines has overcome the difficulties caused by the pandemic and is well-positioned to continue growing in the future.

TikTok has introduced a new feature for sharing written posts, aiming to engage users who prefer text-based content. This development comes amidst the rising competition among social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram’s new app, Threads. Similar to Instagram’s ‘Create’ function in Stories, TikTok’s text-sharing feature allows users to post text with various backgrounds, stickers, and music. This addition follows TikTok’s previous expansion into image sharing, demonstrating the platform’s continuous reinvention to stay competitive in the evolving social media landscape.

The stock market is on the brink of a record high, with the S&P 500 having risen 19% this year, now being less than 5% away from its previous high reached in January 2022. If the market surpasses this threshold, it will confirm the presence of a bull market, meaning stock prices are expected to rise. While stock market trends can be unpredictable and factors like potential rate hikes from the Federal Reserve could influence the market’s trajectory, the current strong job market, improved consumer sentiment, and decreasing inflation suggest a promising environment for further market growth.

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