Today we are watching…
1. Chevron (#chvrn)
The Kurdistan region of Iraq has become home to the likes of Chevron, Shell, Exxon, and BP over recent years, all vying to help the Middle Eastern country develop its oil fields. These winter months provide a valuable window to play in the sand and get vital maintenance and repair work done on facilities. However, soaring tensions between Iran and the United States have led Chevron to pull workers away for the time being. Oil producers in the gulf are some of the biggest in OPEC, so investors are also making bets on Brent as risks to its supply grow. The world is hoping the war of words between the US and Iran fizzles out soon so that Chevron employees can resume business as usual. However, investment portfolios are rotating into aerospace and defense stocks just in case.
2. Amazon (#amzn)
Alexa is becoming a bigger and bigger character in our lives, recommending restaurants, switching off the lights at home, and now helping us pay for gas! At CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Exxon is partnering up with Amazon to help drivers of Alexa-enabled cars pay for fuel on-the-go. It’s a worrying development for over 11,500 service stations involved in current trials, but Nandeth Sheth, head of FinTech giant Finserv, believes it will benefit “millennials expecting a more modern experience, and mothers with kids in the car where temperatures are low.” Crooks frequently target gas stations to steal debit card information with hidden skimming devices, so voice-activated payments could quickly catch on. We’ll see!