Apple stock jumped over 2% this morning as news came out of the acquisition of a self driving car startup called Drive.ai.
With some $77 million in funding successfully raised, the startup was at one point worth $200 million.
The acquisition basically means that the company will soon cease production, and Apple will harvest and utilize dozens of technicians and engineers.
About 90 employees will be laid off, according to reported estimates.
“The startup had offices in California and Texas,” writes Mike Murphy at MarketWatch. “A purchase price was not disclosed. The Information reported that the deal was in the works earlier this month. The deal could signal a renewed driverless-car push by Apple.”
The corresponding move in Apple stock brings the equity close to that psychological price point of $200, with stock playing right around that marker today.
If Apple investors experience the FOMO affect of such a psychological price point, we could expect an even higher rally in Apple stock – up to, say, $215 or $230 at least.
The blue-chip tech company is nothing if not a stock behemoth – after rising to over $200 in the past year, Apple has had immense staying power in the strong and steady increase that took decades, with the legacy of Steve Jobs, the Apple II personal computer, the iPod and iPad, and later, the dominance of the iPhone in both Verizon and AT&T stores.
Now, with a push into self-driving cars, Apple could be making a move toward the next level.
The news comes as U.S. regulators get ready to conduct an antitrust probe into Apple and other top tech stocks, including Facebook, Amazon and Google, that are part of the notorious FAANG group (also Netflix).
But to date, being part of FAANG seems an indicator of both past and future success – there hasn’t been a lot of pushback against, say, Amazon’s e-commerce eclipse, or Apple’s front-running operating systems. We’ll see what the rest of 2019 brings.