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Slowdown "Effect" Hits Market, And GM Talks Up Driverless Cars

Slowdown talk hurts tech, commodities, defense stocks today. UBS downgrades IBM on concerns about a slowing in tech orders; Deutsche Bank downgrades Boeing and Goodrich . Commodities weak across the board—metals, steel, iron ore (2nd day in a row.)

Defensive stocks—consumer, drugs all strong. Lilly upgraded at Morgan Stanley.

GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner will devote part of a Tuesday speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to electronically controlled driverless cars, according to AP. The cars--which could even park themselves--could be ready for sale within a decade.

It's all based on linking technology that is already available: radar-based cruise control, motion sensors, lane-change warning devices, electronic stability control and satellite-based digital mapping.

It will certainly reduce traffic jams and almost certainly reduce accidents (assuming the technology is perfected). The question is, does anybody want to relinquish control of their cars and become passengers?

Questions? Comments? tradertalk@cnbc.com

  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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