Tesla Motors (TSLA) Begins Manufacturing Expansion at Old Daimler-Chrysler Facility Apr 22, 2014 11:33AM

Tesla Motors (Nasdaq: TSLA) is planning to expand a manufacturing facility in Lathrop, California.

According to InsideEVs, citing the Manteca Bulletin on the information, Tesla has taken permits to expand a vacant Daimler-Chrysler 431,000-square-foot facility in California, potentially adding up to 125,000-square-feet of additional space.

City Manager Steve Salvatore said the permits were to allow for extra manufacturing modifications. Work on overhauling the facility has already begun.

Shares of Tesla are up 5.5 percent.

Apple (AAPL) Could Suffer as Carriers Move Away from Smartphone Subsidies Apr 22, 2014 10:15AM

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) is lower early amid bearish commentary on the company with respect to lower subsidies.

The WSJ noted on Tuesday that more and more U.S. carriers are moving to a model which has consumers shouldering most of the cost to upgrade a device. That means, subsidies are evaporating.

Names like AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) are making the switch to a model which is similar to that of T-Mobile (NYSE: TMUS), which consumers take on the full cost of their phones. Those payments are typically spread out in installments, but its a far cry from carriers putting a couple hundred into the cost of the device with hopes of making it back on two-year contracts.

AT&T recently said about 15 percent of its smartphones sold in Q4 were done without a subsidy.

Apple's iPhone has been one of the biggest subsidized smartphones.

While it might seem like constant upgrades are a foregone conclusion, thre are still alternatives which consumers might find attractive. One plan, for instance, allows consumers to trade in a device after just a year for an upgrade.

It wasn't made clear what the new system would entail for most carriers. Many consumers would feel a little sticker shock given the already-high $80+-per-month subscription plans and additional $15 to $20 being added ontop of that to pay for a new smartphone (carriers generally put $200 to $400 toward the cost of a smartphone, with consumers chipping in the other $100 to $300 (depending on the model)).

With a lion's share of AT&T's smartphne base being the Apple iPhone, it's one shift investors are likely to keep on eye on in the coming months. Apple is down 0.5 percent on Tuesday.

Broadcasters on Watch Ahead of Aereo Hearing (CBS) (SBGI) (LIN) (GTN)(NXST) (FOXA) Apr 22, 2014 09:37AM

Investors are watching broadcaster stocks ahead of a Supreme Court hearing on Aereo. The hearing is set for 11am today.

Analyst David W. Miller of Topeka said, "This is a very important day for all broadcasters; taking place today at the Supreme Court will be initial arguments between CBS and its broadcasting brethren, and Aereo, the upstart web-based subscription service backed by Barry Diller's IAC Interactive Corp. (Nasdaq: IACI). The Supreme Court will hear the case at 11am EDT. Both sides have 30 minutes to voice their arguments. We want to emphasize that today will be hearings only. A verdict is not expected to take place until mid-late June."

Investors are watching CBS (NYSE: CBS), Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SBGI), LIN Media (NYSE: LIN), Gray Television, Inc. (NYSE: GTN) Nexstar Broadcasting Group, (NASDAQ: NXST) Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA), and others.

Finance blogger Felix Salmon leaving Reuters Apr 21, 2014 04:41PM

Finance blogger Felix Salmon leaving Reuters

Netflix (NFLX): AT&T's (T) Fiber Network is Slow as Molasses (CMCSA) (FTR) (WIN) Apr 21, 2014 04:26PM

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is firing some salvo at AT&T (NYSE: T) on Monday, calling its fiber network slower than DSL from the competition:

Our long-term ISP performance index shows some positive data, and some surprising data, particularly in the U.S. The positive is that Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is providing a much improved Netflix experience to their broadband subscribers, and now nearly all cable Internet households receive great quality Internet video. The surprising news is that AT&T fiber-based U-verse has lower performance than many DSL ISPs, such as Frontier (Nasdaq: FTR), CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) & Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN). This reinforces our view that connectivity to the broader Internet is critical to the quality of experience consumers receive. The 249 customer comments on AT&T’s anti-Netflix blog post indicate that AT&T customers expect a good quality Netflix experience given how much they pay AT&T for their Internet service. It is free and easy for AT&T to interconnect directly with Netflix and quickly improve their customers’ experience, should AT&T so desire.

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