Luckbox Digest

Adventure Vehicles, AI and a Riskier Stock Market

By:James Melton

A weekly look inside Luckbox magazine

What's new in adventure vehicles

For the current edition, Luckbox's Vonetta Logan visited the 2024 Chicago Auto Show to look at the newest “adventure” vehicle offerings from Subaru (FUJHY), Ford (F) and General Motors (GM).

Ford Bronco
Image by Vonetta Logan

"Whether you want to conquer rugged terrain or just need something to take you to an off-the-grid location, adventure vehicles are the Swiss Army knives of the auto world. And more automakers are focusing on off-road or adventure-type cars," Logan wrote. Read the whole story.

ChatGPT faces competition

Monthly web visits to ChatGPT grew dramatically in the early days of the bot, soon leaping from zero to 1.5 billion. But they appear to have peaked in May 2023 at about 1.8 billion and then fell as low as 1.5 billion late last year, according to Similarweb.

Advanced artificial intelligence
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Competition leads the list of possible reasons for consumers’ waning interest in ChatGPT. Rivals ate away at the first-mover advantage. Alphabet (GOOGL), for example, began offering Bard—which was renamed Gemini in February. Its monthly web visits have risen steadily since early last spring, as highlighted in the above chart.

Gemini’s capabilities are on par with those of ChatGPT4, performance data indicates. That probably helps explain—at least in part—why user interest in ChatGPT has slowed.

Options trading opportunities looking riskier

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) recently notched a six-month high, signaling that the perception of risk is rising in the financial markets.

As many investors and traders are aware, the VIX had been trading at relatively depressed levels since last November. But a combination of geopolitical tension in the Middle East and a rebound in U.S. Treasury yields appears to have pushed the market’s well-known “fear gauge” back to about 19.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

In historical terms, 19 isn’t a high reading in the VIX. In fact, it’s close to the metric’s long-term average. But volatility in the markets has been relatively muted over the last couple of years. The VIX hasn’t traded above 40 since 2020, which is especially interesting considering the slew of negative geopolitical developments that have emerged in the interim—the outbreak of war in Ukraine and the recent escalation of hostilities in the Middle East, for example. Read the whole story.

Read the latest edition of Luckbox magazine here.

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James Melton is managing editor of Luckbox magazine. @JDMeltonWriter

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