You're probably on Instagram right now, but for those of you who enjoy 140-character literature, Twitter (NYSE: TWTR ) made two major announcements that sent the stock up nearly 3% in after-hours trading on Tuesday.
It was a #OneTwoPunch in the Twittersphere. First, the company unveiled a "Buy Now" button that would add an e-commerce element, allowing you the purchase those kinky Miley Cyrus booty shorts right after she describes them to her nation of followers. The button doesn't officially work yet, but Wall Street expects it to play a major role in the company's plan to become profitable (it isn't yet).
And then Twitter made some serious HR moves. Investors were pumped to see that Anthony Noto, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, will receive 1.5 million shares of Twitter stock and $250,000 in annual salary to become the new CFO. Now-former CFO Mike Gupta is moving over to the "Strategic Investments" division. Awkward.
The takeaway is that while you've been busy slacking off before the July 4 holiday, Twitter has been getting after it like it's heading to an NFL preseason camp. Earlier in the week, Twitter introduced a new ad unit that will let you download third-party apps directly from Twitter's mobile app, and it bought up TapCommerce, a start-up that will better target ads to users.
Americans don't care about public twerking, and they apparently don't care about recalls, either. Despite embarrassingly recalling millions of faulty cars recently, the national Motor Vehicle Sales Report for June showed that General Motors (NYSE: GM ) boasted sales gains last month. Clearly, the connection between broken cars and quality isn't happening in the minds of American consumers, who snatched up over 267,000 GM vehicles in June, up 1% from a year earlier.
The Debbie-downer award goes to Ford. The company's sales slipped by 6% after deciding to discount its powerhouse F-series pickup truck line. Ford's (NYSE: F ) putting its truck-makin' plants on pause later this year to prepare for the next generation of F-150 trucks. That hurts sales in the short term (though idle plant workers get some vacay time), but since the F-150 is the highest-selling vehicle in Amurica, it's worth it the investment.
The takeaway is that analysts were expecting overall motor vehicle sales to fall, but they ended up pretty much flat last month. May was a hot sales month after all those winter polar vortexes stopped scaring away consumers, so this was a major confidence boost for investors with exposure to the U.S. auto industry.
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A major technological shift is happening in the automotive industry. Most people are skeptical about its impact. Warren Buffett isn't one of them. He recently called it a "real threat" to one of his favorite businesses. An executive at Ford called the technology "fantastic." The beauty for investors is that there is an easy way to invest in this megatrend. Click here to access our exclusive report on this stock.