Forbes Daily: Tesla Stock Keeps Rallying, Reversing Earlier Declines

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Robots may not be human, but they still need brains, and one startup is taking a novel approach to building them.

Skild AI has raised $300 million to build a “general purpose brain” that can be plugged into various robots, like bipedal humanoids handling basic factory tasks or four-legged military “robot dogs” intended for urban combat. The funding round values the company at $1.5 billion, with backers like Lightspeed Ventures, SoftBank, Coatue and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

One factor that impressed investors: Robots using Skild AI’s models demonstrated new abilities they weren’t taught, such as rotating or catching an object. “A GPT-3 moment is coming to the world of robotics,” one Sequoia Capital partner and Skild AI investor told Forbes.

Let’s get into the headlines,


The FTC released a critical report detailing how pharmacy benefit managers—like CVS Health’s Caremark, Cigna’s Express Scripts and UnitedHealth’s Group OptumRx—could be driving up the costs of some medications and favoring their own pharmacies. Pharmacy benefit managers are responsible for negotiating the terms and conditions for access to prescription drugs for hundreds of millions of Americans, but the FTC says the market has become highly concentrated, giving them significant power over access and pricing.

Shares of Tesla rose as much as 4.8% Tuesday, hitting their highest level since late December. The stock is up by about 33% in July alone, despite a 20% decline over the first six months of 2024. Helping drive the rally are last month’s vote to reinstate a historic pay package for billionaire CEO Elon Musk and last week’s positive announcement on second-quarter deliveries.


Shares of legacy Silicon Valley giant Intel rallied Tuesday to their highest level in months, despite years of underperformance as investors had favored Intel’s rivals amid the artificial intelligence bonanza. An analyst predicted Monday the stock may be in line for a “seasonal bounce” as part of a broader “catch-up trade” for some underperforming AI stocks with lower expectations.

Boeing delivered more commercial planes last month than at any other point this year, though it still trails European competitor Airbus. Production has slowed as the aerospace company faces scrutiny over safety incidents like the metal door plug that flew off one of Alaska Airlines’ 737 Max planes in January.


The billionaire Sackler family that controlled Purdue Pharma stands to face fresh lawsuits after the Supreme Court thwarted the OxyContin maker’s multibillion-dollar bankruptcy settlement. The Supreme Court struck down a provision in the deal that would have allowed the Sacklers to pay $6 billion to avoid additional civil lawsuits, now a committee of creditors said if a new settlement isn’t reached, “the only path that remains is litigation.”


The Justice Department identified hundreds of AI-enhanced Russian bots posing as Americans and spreading false claims in support of the Kremlin’s line on Ukraine on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Russia intended to use this bot farm to disseminate AI-generated foreign disinformation,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in the statement.

Microsoft has relinquished its seat on OpenAI’s board and Apple will no longer assume an equivalent role, according to news reports Wednesday, an unexpected move as the tech titans jostle for AI supremacy amid increasing scrutiny from regulators over their AI investments. While Big Tech thrived under minimal antitrust scrutiny for a decade, Silicon Valley’s giants have found their immense influence and size under pressure from global competition regulators in recent years.


The annual NATO Summit began Tuesday, and all eyes will be on how President Joe Biden is able to handle dinners, meetings, public events and a rare news conference scheduled for Thursday that will give him the chance to rebound from a damaging debate performance late last month. Biden has said the week of packed events will allow voters and lawmakers to judge if he’s up for the job of president for another four years. Biden opened the summit with a highly-anticipated speech, emphasizing NATO’s unity behind Ukraine in its war with Russia.


Complaints against domestic airlines jumped by nearly 29% in 2023, hitting a new record, a recent report from a consumer advocacy group shows. Frontier Airlines had the highest number of complaints per 100,000 passengers, more than twice as many as the next-worst airline, Spirit Airlines.


Why The Next President Might Be The Worst-Paid In U.S. History

TOPLINE Inflation isn’t just hurting Joe Biden in a political sense—it’s affecting him personally. The purchasing power of Biden’s $400,000 annual salary is now 18% less than it was when he took office.

If inflation continues at its current pace, whoever is in office by 2028 will, according to Forbes’ estimates, be the worst-paid president in American history.

To fully understand how this happened, it helps to start in the late 1700s, when the United States had no chief executive at all. Freshly liberated from King George III, the founding fathers crafted a Constitution that would not put a president on a permanent throne, but would still leave him very comfortable.

Thus, George Washington took office in 1789 with an annual salary of $25,000, equivalent to roughly $600,000 today. It stayed at that level for nearly 100 years, a period where deflation was almost as common as inflation, leaving the president generously compensated for most of that period.

William Howard Taft, who was inaugurated in 1909, is the highest-paid president in American history. That year, Taft earned more than $2.5 million in today’s terms.

In 2001, Bill Clinton left office saddled with legal debts thanks in part to an impeachment battle. For his successor, though, the presidential salary doubled to $400,000, bringing it from an all-time inflation-adjusted low of $355,000 to $700,000 in today’s dollars.

No one has touched the presidential salary since, and with inflation running above target in recent years, the next president’s compensation looks set to keep dropping in value—potentially below Clinton’s all-time low by 2028.

WHY IT MATTERS “The American president is shielded from so much—but on a fixed salary, inflation is one place where they may really feel the country’s economy under their stewardship,” says Forbes general assignment reporter Kyle Khan-Mullins. “And a drop in purchasing power might, all else equal, make the White House less attractive for politicians who aren’t already rich.”

MORE Joe Biden Released His 2023 Earnings. Here’s What It Means For His Net Worth


Virginia is the latest state to plan a crackdown on student phone use amid mental health concerns. Governor Glenn Youngkin asked Virginia school districts to develop their own cellphone restrictions for classrooms in an executive order on Tuesday:

77%: The share of schools in the U.S. that say they restrict cellphones outside of academic use as of the 2021-2022 school year, per the National Center for Education Statistics

2023: The year that Florida approved a bill that made it the first state with a ban on cellphone use during class

‘They should be focused on their studies, not their screens,’ California Governor Gavin Newsom said last month, calling for tighter restrictions on phone usage in schools


Advice about how to succeed in your career today is littered with trendy buzzwords, but recent research shows there’s a surprisingly old-school trait atop the list of what employers are looking for: a strong work ethic. Companies recognize that most hard skills can be taught, but sought-after traits like integrity, professionalism and accountability only come from consistent effort over time.



Pickleball grew in popularity in the U.S. during the Covid-19 pandemic, and has since taken the amateur sports world by storm, but the tennis-adjacent sport has actually been around since the mid-1960s. Similarly, a “new” sport that originated decades ago is also picking up steam and is predicted to be the next pickleball, what is it?

A. Breaking (break-dancing)

B. Padel

C. Squash

D. Disc golf

Check your answer.


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Thanks for reading! This edition of Forbes Daily was edited by Sarah Whitmire and Chris Dobstaff, with writing contributions by Tavon Thomasson.