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Tesla Motors, Inc. Doesn't Pull Punches Against the White House

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is flat-lining today, unaffected by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's comments that small-cap, social-media, and biotech stocks appear to be richly valued.

According to Reuters, Fred Dickson, chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co, commented:

It's very unusual for the Fed chairman to take a micro view of a specific industry group. Usually the comments are very top level. So I think the Fed is a little more in tune with what has been bothering the market. My thought is it's late, but not too late in terms of recognition.

This illustrates why having some blue-chip, dividend-paying companies in your portfolio can be a good idea to help minimize market volatility; Yellen's comments contributed to the Russell 2000 small-cap index's decline of about 1% today.

With that in mind, here are two major industrial companies making headlines in the markets today.

Outside the Dow, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) is showing again that it doesn't believe in pulling punches -- not even against the White House. A little more than a year ago Tesla fans and consumers initiated a petition on Tesla's behalf asking that the electric-car maker be allowed to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states.

Though it took roughly a month's time to gather the 100,000 signatures to require a response from the White House, the latter took its time to respond. Its eventual response basically said it would require an act of Congress to change current state laws on direct-to-consumer auto sales. Tesla was quick to express its disappointment. Here is a response from Tesla's vice president of corporate and business development, Diarmuid O'Connell:

Rather than seize an opportunity to promote innovation and support the first successful American car company to be started in more than a century, the White House issued a response that was even more timid than its rejection of a petition to begin construction of a Death Star. Instead of showing the sort of leadership exhibited by senior officials at the Federal Trade Commission who declared their support for consumer freedom of choice, the White House merely passed the buck to Congress and trumpeted its advances in promoting vehicle efficiency. Given the economic and environmental principles at stake, we would have hoped for stronger leadership and more action.

Despite the lack of action from the White House, it really doesn't matter for Tesla -- at least not yet. Tesla remains supply-constrained, and even without direct-to-consumer auto sales allowed in every state, if a car buyer wants a Tesla Model S, he or she will get one, period. Investors would be wise to keep an eye on the direct-to-consumer sales development as Tesla approaches the launch of its more affordable generation-three vehicle; that's when state restrictive laws could have an adverse impact on sales.

Boeing, Intrepid Aviation Announce First 777-300ER Order. Source: Boeing

Inside the Dow, Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) continues to bring in commercial aircraft orders at the Farnborough Airshow this week. Today Boeing announced an order from Intrepid Aviation for six 777-300ERs, valued at $1.9 billion at current list prices. The order's value could balloon to $3.2 billion at list prices if Intrepid exercises its options for an additional four 777s.

Boeing also announced an order from Air Lease Corporation (NYSE: AL  ) for 26 airplanes, 20 of which will be 737 MAX 8 valued at more than $2 billion together at current list prices. The remaining six airplane orders are for Boeing's 777-300ER, which is valued at $1.9 billion at current list prices.

Yet another order at the airshow today for Boeing comes from CIT Aerospace, which has placed an order for 10 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at $2.5 billion at current list prices.

Ultimately, after this airshow is wrapped up and orders are totaled, investors would be wise to see how Boeing's and rival Airbus' orders compare. It will be the latest indication in how sales momentum is shifting between the two aviation juggernauts.

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Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2014, at 4:41 PM, pondee619 wrote:

    Re Tesla:

    Lack of leadership, yes, but correct; The United States Congress shall have the power "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes. (United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 3.)

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2014, at 4:42 PM, muhammedatta wrote:

    Successful car company? If success is losing money, and accelerating in this regard over 10 years, then yes, they have done a bang up, no pun intended, job. If conducting massive accounting fraud to continue operations, they have knocked it out of the park. They will no longer exist in less than 2 years time.

  • Report this Comment On July 16, 2014, at 12:37 PM, F2JP wrote:

    There is no excuse to ignore the blatant collusion and anti-trust violations being perpetrated on Tesla by the auto dealers and the states. It is illegal.

    I would send the petition right back to the White House.

    It's not too late to send the petition to Congress, though it will likely take them years to do nothing about it.

    The Supreme Court would not know what anti-trust means. Like they don’t understand that corporations are not people and that there is indeed racism in this country.

    So that leaves Tesla to come up with a plan that will work.

    Fortunately, I already have.

    Diarmuid O'Connell, find me and listen to my plans.

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Daniel Miller

As a Motley Fool Industrial Specialist, I use my marketing and business background in the automotive industry to evaluate major automakers and other large industrial corporations. Follow me on twitter for tweets about stocks, cars, sports, and anything I find amusing.

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