CNBC.com's MacKenzie Sigalos brings you the day's top business news headlines. On today's show, CNBC's Josh Lipton breaks down reports that Apple's electric car ambitions are back and on pace to begin production by 2024. Plus, CNBC.com's Melissa Repko explains what last-minute holiday shopping may look like in the middle of a pandemic.
Apple is moving forward with self-driving car technology and is targeting 2024 to produce a passenger vehicle that could include its own breakthrough battery technology, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The iPhone maker's automotive efforts, known as Project Titan, have proceeded unevenly since 2014 when it first started to design its own vehicle from scratch. At one point, Apple drew back the effort to focus on software and reassessed its goals. Doug Field, an Apple veteran who had worked at Tesla, returned to oversee the project in 2018 and laid off 190 people from the team in 2019.
Since then, Apple has progressed enough that it now aims to build a vehicle for consumers, two people familiar with the effort said, asking not to be named because Apple's plans are not public. Apple's goal of building a personal vehicle for the mass market contrasts with rivals such as Alphabet's Waymo, which has built robo-taxis to carry passengers for a driverless ride-hailing service.
As holiday shoppers browse store aisles, wait in checkout lines and get carried away by the twinkle of Christmas tunes, they often toss extra items into their basket. A box of chocolates. A tube of lip gloss. Or the perfect gift for a friend or family member that wasn't originally on the list.
This year, however, retail analysts expect impulse buying to drop as consumers start their shopping earlier, reduce store trips and search for specific gift items online during the coronavirus pandemic.
Impulse shopping usually drives 25% of overall holiday spending, according to The NPD Group. This year, it's expected to drive 18% to 20% — a potential loss of $5 billion to $7 billion in sales for the season, the market research firm estimates.
Peloton shares are on pace to hit a record high Tuesday, on the heels of the company's announcement that it plans to buy the exercise equipment manufacturer Precor for $420 million.
The stock was up nearly 11% in premarket trading. It had closed Monday at $144.39, after hitting an all-time high of $144.88 in trading Monday afternoon.
Telsey Advisory Group analyst Dana Telsey said she expects the deal could increase Peloton's annual sales by $480 million to $500 million, assuming Peloton retains Precor's revenue. The deal is expected to close in early 2021. Once finalized, Precor will operate as a business unit within Peloton and continue to make its own branded products, the companies said.