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April 2019

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The Country Caller provides a quick review of Apple Inc.’s next-generation MacBook Pro

If recent speculation is to believed, then Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is lining up the launch of a significantly more powerful version of its current MacBook Pro. The Cupertino-based company is expected to roll out an Intel Kaby Lake-powered model of its current MacBook Pro by the end of 2017.

You might have heard that Intel has finally started mass-producing its latest processing chip, the Intel Kaby Lake. This has led to speculation regarding Apple introducing Intel’s new and improved processing chipset in its current flagship notebook device.

Intel has confirmed that its seventh-generation processing chipset is not only faster compared to Intel’s sixth-generation chipset, but is also designed to be more efficient at power consumption. Hence, any device which incorporates the new Intel Kaby Lake processor will effectively become faster and more efficient at consuming power. This is why Apple simply cannot afford to miss out on Intel’s seventh-generation processing chipset.

Moreover, majority of Apple’s rival companies are expected to incorporate Intel’s latest processor in their upcoming notebook and hybrid devices. This is why it is so critical for the Cupertino-based company to roll out a Kaby Lake-powered variant of its MacBook Pro before the end of this year.

For those of you who don’t know already, the current Skylake-based variants of the MacBook Pro are limited to offering up to 16 GB worth of RAM. However, with the incorporation of Intel’s Kaby Lake processor, Apple will be able to enhance the RAM on its flagship notebook offering up to 32 GB. Hence, the next-generation MacBook Pro could potentially represent a serious upgrade in terms of performance.

Comment and let us know what you think about the possible launch of a Kaby Lake-powered variant of the MacBook Pro. Stay tuned as we keep you posted about all the latest rumors and speculation surrounding Apple’s upcoming projects.

As Citron’s Andrew Left shorts Valeant stock, The Country Caller investigates if investors should follow

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) stock closed at $21.62, plummeting about 7% against the previous day’s close. The stock is already down about 0.56% during today’s pre-market trading hours.

The plunge in stock price came on the heels of news that Citron Research’s Andrew Left has taken a short position in the stock. On top of that, news also surfaced that the drug maker’s ex-CEO, J. Michael Pearson had sold a higher number of shares than what was known previously – tumbling Valeant’s share price much lower.

According to the documents which were not disclosed to the public, however were acquired by CNBC, the ex-CEO has off-loaded about 5 million shares of the company and stock options amounting to nearly $97 million. Following the turmoil, one of Valeant’s largest shareholders – Sequoia Fund also entirely divested its stake in the pharmaceutical corporation.

As per the documents, Mr. Pearson sold 288,000 shares for $5.7 million on June 30, 4 million shares for $83 million on July 1 and another 411,000 shares on July 5. These stock proceeds amount to a total of $97 million. As the ex-CEO departed from the company during May of this year, Valeant refused to take any responsibility for the stock filings on his behalf.

Moreover, Citron’s Mr. Left has been in the limelight ever since he turned into a whistleblower after he pointed some accounting malpractice in the company. During spring of this year, the analyst disclosed to CNBC that has taken a long position in the stock, and just two months after he told The Street about his new short position in the stock.

He believes that the stock is moving towards a “zero.” He said: “I think it’s obvious it’s a zero now.” In addition to this, Mr. Left also indicated towards Sequoia Fund’s divestiture in Valeant stock, which explains everything about the company. He further added: “They’ve sat down, and they’ve seen, and they’ve interviewed, and they walked.”

The troubled drug maker’s stock has slid about 79% during the period from January 4 through July 13, substantially underperforming the S&P 500 Index’s gain of 5.30% over the same time span.

Futures slipped by 1.7% in New York after soaring 3.2% in the three earlier sessions

Having shown a price rally in the recent weeks, crude oil prices have started declining once again. Currently, West Texas Intermediate is trading at $53 per barrel down by 1.83% while Brent crude is trading at $56.03 per barrel down by 1.87%. The decrease came as drilling activities in the US have surged giving rise to doubts if any OPEC cuts would actually be implemented for long and if yes, would all key members of the oil exporters’ group contribute to that.

Futures slipped by 1.7% in New York after soaring 3.2% in the three earlier sessions. Having said that, it shall be noted that according to a representative of the group of armed youths, Niger Delta Avengers, will soon restart its bombings on foreign oil facilities and pipelines across the southern Delta. Big oil including Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) have a large presence in the Niger Delta and account for most of Nigeria’s production. Therefore, any attacks would be a benefit for the global energy prices, striving for a supply cut so that they could grab some gains.

On the contrary, Libya, a key member of the OPEC that has been exempted from the oil cuts, is putting in efforts to re-open crude oil fields. These include the lucrative El-Feel field, an indication that increases in the country’s oil output would add up to the global oil supplies, hampering the energy market.

Another stark parallel that The Country Caller has drawn is between the Gulf oil rich nations like UAE, Saudi Arab and Qatar which have curbed their output levels ,while, on the other hand, Baker Hughes has shown US drillers adding rig for a tenth week straight.

Tamas Varga, analyst at PVM Oil Associates stated: “Developments over the weekend are putting the oil complex under fresh pressure.”

Tesla to start its retail and service expansion in Spain, as it has started recruiting people for locations in Barcelona and Madrid

In June, The Country Caller reported that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) returned love to Spain in the form of Supercharger expansion, after CEO Elon Musk received a public letter for considering Paterna, Valencia as home to Tesla’s European manufacturing plant. Although Tesla has now launched a handful of Supercharger locations in Spain, there had been no report about the retail and service expansion in the country until now.

Electrek reported that the automaker is expected to start opening its stores and service centers in the region, as it has started listing sales jobs for retail locations in Barcelona and Madrid, according to its career website. Tesla is seeking for Marketing Specialists, Product Specialists, Sales Advisors, Senior HR Business Partner, and Supercharger Installation Manager.

The sales staff is expected to be responsible for the Model X launch and is consistently growing its overall sales in the country. It will also assist in organizing and implementing several events “supporting Model S and Model X sales in their market.”

The automaker already has six Supercharger stations in Girona, L’Aldea, Lleida, Murcia, Tarragona, and Valencia, as well as 41 Destination Charging locations across the country. Spain is not a very big automobile market, it accounts for a major chunk in Europe. Despite the recent economic crackdown affecting the local auto industry, it grew 42% over the last three years and merely crossed over 1 million sales in new vehicles in 2015.

Spain joins other list of countries, such as Macau, Mexico, South Korea, and Taiwan, where Tesla has started operating this year. It is also reportedly coming to the New Zealand before the end of this year. After the Spanish expansion, the company will likely expand its footprint to Portugal, where a Tesla community held its first meeting in Lisbon in June.

During the event, a group of Tesla Roadster and Model S owners joined to show their support for the cause. Tesla plans to connect Lisbon in Portugal to Moscow in Russia by the end of this year, according to 2016 Supercharger plan.