Friday was a revealing day for Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report and its planned launch of the Model 3. The new vehicle will likely go into production later this year, according to CEO Elon Musk, and demand is heavy for it. The all-electric sedan will start around $35,000 and should get at least 215 miles per charge.
Tesla's brand name has a sort of aura around it due to the high-class look and feel of the Model S and Model X. It helps that the Model S, when maxed out, is the fastest production car in a 0-60 mph race. But that high-end performance will trickle down to its more affordable relative, the Model 3.
Answering a tweet, Musk said that the Model 3 will have a performance edition released in about a year. Of course, we don't even know the current specs for the planned Model 3, let alone what the specs would be the performance edition.
Musk did note that the Model 3 will not beat the Model S on acceleration, thanks to the latter having space for a larger battery.
However, a performance package does make one wonder how some of those with pre-orders for the standard Model 3 might feel. If they pre-ordered right off the bat, they've obviously got a great deal of interest in the product. That said, if they're that interested now, they may be even more interested in a more powerful model.
Even if this is the case, I wouldn't expect a great deal of customers to revoke their pre-orders, although inevitably some may do just that.
Shares of Tesla closed at $236.16 Friday, up 3.3%.
In 2016, Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report began committing more and more resources to live-streaming events. Sports, video games, political debates, entertainment award shows -- pretty much anything that would draw a crowd, big or small, was on the radar.
Perhaps its more high-profile deal was with the National Football League, where Twitter won the rights to stream 10 Thursday night NFL football games from NBC and CBS. The social media company had to doll out just $10 million for those rights, but it wasn't able to collect on advertisements.
In other words, it was more a "test" move to see if it could handle the streaming, draw interest among users and allow for a flowing stream of communication. Twitter, along with Facebook (FB) - Get Report , Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report and Google's (GOOGL) - Get Report YouTube are in the running for this year's rights as well.
Of course, Twitter would likely look to build off its progress from the previous season should it win this year's bidding process. Last year, Twitter didn't require users to sign in to view the game. Perhaps this year that would be different. Polls and other user-friendly products could be used to boost engagement.
But it all comes at a price. Facebook, Amazon and Google all have much deeper pockets. So Twitter must offer something unique to the NFL.
With YouTube rolling out a streaming TV service, it's unclear whether any overlap may cause it to be unwilling to pay up for the service. On the flip side though, maybe YouTube will want to stream the NFL even more to draw interest in its TV service.
Some expect the decision to be out within a month, ahead of an NFL owners meeting.
Shares of Twitter closed at $15.14 Friday, up 1.4%.
Over the last few years, it's no secret that prominent U.S. companies have struggled with tax issues in Europe. After years and in some cases decades of routing money through tax-lax countries like Ireland, the E.U. has been pushing back against companies like Alphabet, Amazon, Apple (AAPL) - Get Report and others.
However, the companies aren't going down without a fight -- either in Europe or the U.S. And in some cases, they're actually winning those fights.
Take Amazon for instance. The e-commerce giant successfully topped the IRS in a $1.5 billion dispute "over the online retailer's transactions with a Luxembourg subsidiary," according to Market Watch.
What does it mean? While this is just one tax-based case in a long line, it does show that Silicon Valley may not be as dead in the water as some investors assumed on this front.
We know the E.U. is railing hard to get its fair share of tax dollars back, and the IRS doesn't like when companies skirt the rules. This is especially true in multi-billion dollar cases.
But with deep pockets and regulations littered with loopholes, Amazon, Alphabet and others have the resources to tie up the government on these complex issues. In some cases, they can win too, as we see here. How many other cases they can claim remains to be seen, but at least for now, Amazon can hang its hat on this victory.
Shares of Amazon closed at $845.61 Friday, down 0.2%.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.