Monthly Archives: March 2018

Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Watch For 2018

Is the bitcoin boom about to turn into one of history’s biggest busts?

The digital currency’s massive surge this year — it’s up more than 1,400% — has all the hallmarks of a huge speculative bubble, according to people such as Warren Buffett.

And if it bursts, the results are likely to be spectacular.

“In terms of how it ends, bubble history suggests it will be with a bang, rather than a whimper,” said Sharon Zoller, an economist at ANZ. “I can’t think of any reason why this time would be different.”

To better understand what may lie ahead, here’s the lowdown on four famous financial bubbles in history:

Tulip mania

In the early 17th century, speculation helped drive the value of tulip bulbs in the Netherlands to previously unheard of prices. Newly imported from Turkey, tulips were a big novelty at the time.

Hard data from those days is scarce, so it’s difficult to gauge exactly how much prices soared. But people were putting up their homes as collateral, according to the Rijksmuseum — the Museum of the Netherlands — in Amsterdam.

Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Watch For 2018: Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF(VCSH)

Advisors’ Opinion:


    For the details of SWISS RE LTD’s stock buys and sells, go to

    These are the top 5 holdings of SWISS RE LTDiShares Core S&P 500 (IVV) – 1,641,300 shares, 34.54% of the total portfolio. Shares added by 6.79%SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) – 1,003,200 shares, 20.97% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 34.15%iShares MSCI EAFE (EFA) – 2,800,100 shares, 15.78% of the total portfolio. Shares added by 170.34%iShares 1-3 Year Credit Bond ETF (CSJ) – 1,659,000 shares, 15.1% of the total portfolio. New PositionVanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF (VCSH) – 937,000 shares, 6.48% of the total po

  • [By Luke Kawa]

    The three-month moving average of weekly flows into the iShares Short Maturity Bond exchange-traded fund (NEAR), Floating Rate Bond ETF (FLOT), SPDR Bloomberg Barclays Short Term High-Yield Bond ETF (SJNK), PowerShares Senior Loan Portfolio (BKLN) and Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF (VCSH) sank to a record low outflow of $18 million after the first week of 2018.

  • [By Todd Shriber, ETF Professor]

    and the Vanguard Short Term Corporate Bond ETF (NASDAQ: VCSH).

    Three of Vanguard's mega-cap equity ETFs now sport annual expense ratios of 0.07 percent, down from 0.09 percent. Those ETFs are the Vanguard Mega Cap ETF (NYSE: MGC), Vanguard Mega Cap 300 Growth Index ETF (NYSE: MGK) and the Vanguard Mega Cap Value Index ETF (NYSE: MGV).

Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Watch For 2018: region(XIV)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Money Morning News Team]

    This led some traders to purchase leveraged ETFs that move inverse to the VIX, like theVelocityShares Daily Inv VIX Short Term(Nasdaq: XIV).

    The VIX is a derivative of the broad S&P 500, and the XIV is a derivative of that derivative.

Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Watch For 2018: AdvanSix Inc. (ASIX)

Advisors’ Opinion:


    In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Vodafone Group (VOD) , Schlumberger (SLB) , Encana (ECA) , Arconic (ARNC) and AdvanSix (ASIX) .

    Cramer was bearish on U.S. Silica Holdings (SLCA) .

Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Watch For 2018: Barnes & Noble, Inc.(BKS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) were down 12 percent to $6.85 after the company posted a wider-than-expected Q2 loss.

    SMART Global Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGH) was down, falling around 13 percent to $30.11. SMART Global Holdings priced an underwritten public offering of 3,261,102 of its ordinary shares at $33.50 per share.

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap book retailer Barnes & Noble, Inc (NYSE: BKS) reported fiscal Q2 2018 earnings with shares falling several percent in premarket trading on a wider-than-expected loss and a continued sales decline. Total sales fell 7.9% to$791.1 million as comparable store sales decreased 6.3% with approximately half of this decline attributable to last year’s release of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. The balance of the decline was primarily due to non-book categories. Revenue has fallen year-over-year for 14-straight quarterswhile same-store sales have fallen for eight-straight quarters. The consolidated net loss was $30.1 million versusa loss of $20.4 million. Outlook was given as the following:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) were down 10 percent to $7.025 after the company posted a wider-than-expected Q2 loss.

    SMART Global Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGH) was down, falling around 10 percent to $31.50. SMART Global Holdings priced an underwritten public offering of 3,261,102 of its ordinary shares at $33.50 per share.

Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Watch For 2018: Delcath Systems Inc.(DCTH)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Delcath Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: DCTH) dropped nearly 44% Friday to post a new 52-week low of $0.46 after closing Thursday at $0.82. The 52-week high is $8.80. Volume of around 4.5 million was more than 20 times the daily average of around 280,000 shares traded. The company had no specific news.

  • [By Money Morning News Team]

    If you’re looking for proof of just how explosively profitable penny stocks are, Delcath Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: DCTH) is a perfect piece of evidence. This company saw its stock price surge from $0.02 on June 1 to $0.19 on June 26. That marked a stunning 850% gain, which happened after the company announced phase 2 trial data for its cancer drug Melphalan would be released.

Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Watch For 2018: Gold Standard Ventures Corporation(GSV)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sara Cornell]

    The management team member who garners the most attention right now is Dave Mathewson, VP, Head of Exploration. Dave is a geologist with more than 35 years’ experience in the gold exploration space, and specifically, in Nevada. He is credited with a number of notable discoveries for Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE: NEM), and later went on to Gold Standard Ventures Corp (NYSE: GSV) helping take that company from a start-up to a now $481 million market cap.

Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Watch For 2018: White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd.(WTM)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ashley Moore]

    Here is a table of the 10 most expensive stocks trading on U.S. markets today:

    Company (Ticker)Price per ShareMarket CapBerkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A)$ 257,227.52$ 419.50 billionSeaboard Corp. (NYSEMKT: SEB)$ 3,760.00$ 4.48 billionNVR Inc. (NYSE: NVR)$ 1,944.23$ 7.19 billionThe Priceline Group Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN)$ 1,727.94$ 80.82 billionMarkel Corp. (NYSE: MKL)$ 978.51$ 13.78 billionWhite Mountains Insurance Group Ltd. (NYSE: WTM)$ 935.01$ 4.25 Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN)$ 846.08$ 408.27 billionAlphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL)$ 844.06$ 582.85 billionAutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO)$ 744.26$ 21.04 billionIntuitive Surgical Inc. (Nasdaq: ISRG)$ 735.63$ 28.41 billion

  • [By Money Morning News Team]

    Most Expensive Stocks No. 6: White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd.
    The sixth most expensive stock you can buy is Bermuda-based White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd. (NYSE: WTM). The insurance company currently trades at $826.04 a share.

Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Watch For 2018: Pilbara Minerals Limited (PILBF)

Advisors’ Opinion:


    The other producing lithium miners, and soon to be producers. I have discussed these previously in detail here, here and here. Needless to say, the top 3 producers are non-pure plays (SQM (NYSE:SQM), Albemarle (NYSE:ALB), and FMC Corp. (NYSE:FMC)). The top pure play currently producing miners are Orocobre (ASX:ORE) (OTCPK:OROCF), Tianqi Lithium (SHE:002466), Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium, Galaxy Resources, Mineral Resources [ASX:MIN] (OTC:MALRF), and Neometals [ASX:NMT] (OTC:RRSSF). The near-term producers include Altura Mining [ASX:AJM] (OTCPK:ALTAF), Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) (OTC:PILBF), Kidman Resources (ASX:KDR), Critical Elements, Nemaska Lithium (OTCQX:NMKEF) [TSX:NMX], Lithium Americas (OTCQX:LACDF) [TSX:LAC], Lithium X (OTCQX:LIXXF) (TSXV:LIX), Neo Lithium, and Bacanora Minerals (OTC:BCRMF) [TSXV:BCN], Advantage Lithium (OTCQB:AVLIF) [AAL], European Metals (OTCPK:MNTCF, ASX:EMH, AIM:EMH) and Pure Energy (OTCQB:PEMIF) [PE].


    The question now is more about speed of EV implementation. On the supply side, it has been great to see LAC, Pilbara Minerals (OTCPK:PILBF) and Altura Mining (OTCPK:ALTAF) get funding, but the continued issues with Albemarle’s (NYSE:ALB) LaNegra II expansion and Orocobre (OTCPK:OROCF) ramping up to Phase 1 capacity of 17,500 tonnes/year of lithium carbonate are further evidence that lithium projects take time and have considerable execution risk.

Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Watch For 2018: FMC Corporation(FMC)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    We also want to reiterate our bullish view on the agricultural commodities and the ag-related stocks (e.g., CF Industries Holdings (CF), Mosaic (MOS), Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT), FMC (FMC), AGCO, Deere). Following sharp multi-year declines, trends continue to improve.

  • [By Beth McKenna]

    Most investors interested in gaining exposure to the lithium space should stick with investing in one or more of the large players listed on a major U.S. stock exchange:Albemarle Corporation(NYSE:ALB), FMC Corp. (NYSE:FMC), andSociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile(NYSE:SQM), or SQM. Smaller players are speculative to varying degrees, and most are unprofitable.


    With an improving global economy, now is a great time to be a chemical company, Cramer told viewers, as he reiterated his favorites: Albemarle (ALB) and FMC Technology  (FMC) .

Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Watch For 2018: Avid Technology Inc.(AVID)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) shares were also up, gaining 24 percent to $5.01 following Q3 results. Avid Technology reported Q3 earnings of $0.00 per share on revenue of $105.26 million.

  • [By Anders Bylund]

    Shares of Avid Technology(NASDAQ:AVID) rose 20.3% in April 2017, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

    So what

    Last month’s share price surge rested on Avid’s release of a coherent cloud-based media production suite. The new version of Avid’s MediaCentral platform takes advantage of the cloud, central storage, and back-end data processing in a way older versions never attempted, modernizing the media production tool in a big way.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) is estimated to post its quarterly earnings at $0.36 per share on revenue of $144.02 million.

    Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: CWCO) is expected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.11 per share on revenue of $15.15 million.

Actually, California Regulations Can Occasionally Be Positive

If there is one state that comes to mind with high taxes and higher regulations that go above and beyond federal ones, it would be California. It turns out that even the state of California can sometimes look at the cost factors for consumers in their regulations.

PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PCG), the parent of Pacific Gas & Electric, has been the focus of many regulatory actions in California over time. And power lines have been targeted, and PG&E shares dropped after the 2017 wildfires in the state.

News of lower regulation helped PG&E shares out on Tuesday, but market uncertainty on Wednesday did not allow shares to keep recovering. PGE&E shares were up over 6% at $45.10 on Tuesday, but the stock gave back 1.7% at $44.32 in Wednesday’s midday trading.

Here is what matters. If California is really willing to update its liability laws and regulations around utility services after taking climate change and higher severe weather instances, then the worst of this issue may have been seen or may be near for PG&E. Unfortunately, blanket statements like this come with many caveats, including that PG&E has a long history of liability due to accidents and other unfortunate events. It turns out that there is no such thing as being risk-free when it comes to offering utility services to millions of people.

To prove the point: the current $44.32 share price compares with a 52-week trading range of $37.30 to $71.57. For a utility of this size ($22.8 billion after the drop) to lose about 40% of its value, things have to be very bad. And bad they are.

It was just on February 9 that PG&E said that wildfire costs remained uncertain, even after incurring $219 million related to wildfires already. PG&E shares were closer to $38.50 at that time.

Back in December, PG&E suspended its dividend due to the wildfires. Shortly thereafter, S&P placed PG&E’s A issuer credit ratings for PG&E and its subsidiary on CreditWatch with negative implications. PG&E’s preferred shares were also downgraded to BB from BBB after the dividend cut would trigger more uncertainty. On the dividend cut announcement, PG&E shares fell from $51.00 to $44.50 in a day.

Analysts have so far been rather quiet after the California news. We have seen a report from Merrill Lynch but, it was not incredibly positive. Analyst downgrades in January and December were seen from Guggenheim, Goldman Sachs, RBC Capital Markets, Wells Fargo, Mizuho and more.

Merrill Lynch has only a Neutral rating on PG&E and it has a mere $44 price objective. According to Merrill Lynch on the broader regulatory picture, Governor Brown of California issued a press release responding to the California wildfires. He is calling for an update on liability rules. The firm noted that specific language to address liabilities and regulations for utility services is a positive indicator for all California utilities, while the timeframe for introduction is likely Summer with many unknowns still existing. The firm said:

We believe its already assumed by many investors that there was positive momentum in the legislature to address wildfire liabilities and see the Governors office latest press release reaffirming this potential.

It would seem that the terms “California” and “regulations” together would ever be good for equity holders. It turns out that sometimes there is some good that can be seen between irony and paradox.

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Do 3 Fresh Analyst Upgrades for Century Aluminum Signal the All-Clear?

Trump spending spree may speed up the Fed

1. Will the Fed pick up the pace: Everything seems to move faster in the Trump era. Perhaps even the deliberative Federal Reserve.

The US central bank has long telegraphed a no-rush attitude about lifting interest rates from historic lows.

But the Fed may be forced to pick up the pace over the next two years, in part because of a spending spree by President Trump and Congress spending aimed at stimulating the already healthy American economy.

If the Fed doesn’t raise rates more quickly, it risks falling behind. The $1.5 trillion Republican tax cut, as well as a bipartisan $300 billion spending plan, could overheat the robust labor market.

That extra stimulation for the economy will push inflation higher and lead the Fed to raise interest rates four times this year instead of the expected three, Capital Economics chief economist Jonathan Loynes predicted in a recent report.

Wall Street will be hunting for clues on Wednesday, when the central bank wraps up its first meeting under new chief Jerome Powell.

Virtually everyone expects the Fed to raise rates this week, and at least twice more later in the year.

The real drama is over whether the Fed will signal a more aggressive stance, perhaps by adjusting higher its “dot plot” of projected rate hikes. And if it does, will that spook a stock market accustomed to low rates?

The strong economy, coupled with the burst of spending and tax cuts from Washington, will likely prompt the Fed to raise its rate hike projections in March, according to Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius.

Powell, Trump’s pick to lead the Fed, recently told Congress he doesn’t want to “get behind the curve of inflation and have to raise rates quickly and cause a recession.” For now, Powell said he sees “no evidence” that the economy is “overheating.”

Trump has made no secret of his desire for the Fed to take it nice and slow. “I’d like to see rates stay low,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal last summer. At the time, he called then-Fed chief Janet Yellen a “low-interest-rate person.”

All this raises questions about the wisdom of borrowing more money to stimulate an economy with low unemployment and high budget deficits.

“I’m not sure whether the tax cuts were necessary,” said David Leduc, chief investment officer of active fixed income at BNY Mellon Asset Management. “But people forget this expansion has been so anemic and unsatisfying.”

Rick Rieder, BlackRock’s chief investment officer for fixed income, was loudly calling for help from Washington years ago, when growth was sluggish.

“The timing has been off,” Rieder wrote in a recent report.

“It is almost as if the economic party was well under way, and then the punch bowl was just spiked (rather than taken away),” he said. “It will be fun for a while and then maybe tougher afterward.”

2. Tense time for a global summit: Frictions over global trade loom over the G20 meeting of major world economies, which opens Monday in Buenos Aires.

Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum sent a tremor through global markets and angered US trade partners, who said they aren’t afraid to retaliate. The administration has offered exemptions to Canada and Mexico. It’s unclear whether other countries will be spared.

China, which has been the target of frequent attacks from Trump over its trade practices, could be hit with separate tariffs on its products. How China reacts will go a long way toward determining whether a trade war breaks out.

If it does, American companies will suffer. Boeing (BA) in particular has a lot to lose. It’s the nation’s single largest exporter, and China is a critical market. The Chinese government has signaled that it will consider ordering jets from Airbus instead of Boeing if the United States steps out of line on trade.

3. AT&T trial begins: Corporate America will be paying attention when the Justice Department’s lawsuit to block AT&T (T) from buying Time Warner (TWX) goes to trial this week. Opening statements are scheduled for Wednesday in Washington.

The Justice Department argues that the deal would give AT&T the power to charge its competitors more for Time Warner content, or to block it entirely from other providers like Comcast (CCZ) and Verizon (VZ). The outcome of the case will help shape the media industry. (Time Warner is the parent of CNN.)

It could also influence the thinking of other companies considering deals. So far, they don’t seem to be afraid. Over the past few months, CVS (CVS) announced that it is buying Aetna (AET), Disney (DIS) said it would buy Fox (FOXA), and Cigna (CI) put in a bid for Express Scripts (ESRX). The deals are all massive in scale and could pose antitrust problems.

4. Food news: General Mills (GIS) plans to report earnings on Wednesday, and Darden Restaurants (DRI), which owns Olive Garden, reports on Thursday.

General Mills has been struggling to sell yogurt and cereal, although cereal sales ticked up last quarter. Darden, on the other hand, is enjoying success with Olive Garden. We’ll see next week how the food giants fared last quarter.

Starbucks (SBUX) holds its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.

5. Coming this week:

Monday Oracle (ORCL) earnings; G20 starts

Tuesday FedEx (FDX) earnings

Wednesday General Mills earnings; AT&T trial opening statements; Powell’s first press conference

Thursday Darden, Nike (NKE) earnings

A Risk-Free Way To Improve Your Portfolio Return

&l;p&g;&l;img class=&q;dam-image ap size-large wp-image-b55e977abb4444968127722e00e5fbde&q; src=&q;×0.jpg?fit=scale&q; data-height=&q;639&q; data-width=&q;960&q;&g; Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies as he gives the semiannual monetary policy report to the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

If you are like most investors, you probably have some extra cash sitting in your brokerage account. The cash may come from interest or dividends and may be considered temporary, it may be a result of a short-term asset allocation decisions, or it could be a strategic allocation to get exposure to fluctuating money market rates. Regardless of the amount, it&a;rsquo;s time to start paying attention to where your unused cash is held. It can be the easiest money you will ever make.

Any cash not invested in a purchased money market fund is likely being swept to an FDIC bank account, either at the bank arm of your brokerage firm or a &a;ldquo;participating bank,&a;rdquo; if your brokerage firm is not affiliated with a bank. These &a;ldquo;sweep&a;rdquo; accounts are bank deposits, and come with certain benefits– primarily FDIC insurance up to $250,000. Bank deposits, though, come with a cost– interest rates well below other alternatives.

The Federal Reserve has slowly raised interest rates over the last two years and is expected to continue to do so for the remainder of 2018 and into 2019. The Fed Funds rate, which rests in a 0.25% band, drives other short-term money market instrument rates. Interest rates for CDs, repurchase (or &a;ldquo;repo&a;rdquo;) agreements, Treasury Bills and commercial paper all take their cue from Fed Funds. The 1-year T-Bill rate has increased from 0.10% in 2014 to 2.07% today. Meanwhile, the interest rate for a bank checking account has not moved at all.

&l;img class=&q;size-large wp-image-338&q; src=&q;×509.jpg?width=960&q; alt=&q;&q; data-height=&q;509&q; data-width=&q;1200&q;&g; Short-term interest rates are on the rise.

According to the FDIC, the &l;a href=&q;; target=&q;_blank&q;&g;National Rate on Non-Jumbo Deposits&l;/a&g; (less than $100,000) for checking accounts is 0.04%. That&a;rsquo;s $4 per year on $10,000. If you invest $10,000 in a one-year U.S. Treasury Bill, you would earn $207 (based on a current rate of 2.07%). Unless you proactively take action, most brokerage firms will move your funds into a bank deposit. They will then invest the money in a different short-term instrument and pocket the return. You will get virtually nothing. They will not automatically move cash into a higher-yielding alternative. Fidelity explicitly warns investors in a &l;a href=&q;; target=&q;_blank&q;&g;disclosure statement&l;/a&g;:

&l;/p&g;&l;blockquote&g;The Sweep should not be viewed as a long-term investment option. If you are interested in a long-term investment option for your Cash Balances, please consider alternatives other than the Sweep that may be better suited for such purpose.&l;/blockquote&g;

There are many options for DIY investors when it comes to cash management in their brokerage accounts. Most online platforms provide commission-free purchases of Treasury bills and other short-term bonds (they make their money from the bid/ask spread– the difference between where they buy bonds for their own inventory and where they are prepared to sell them). You can purchase T-Bills as short a 1 week in maturity and earn 1.62% (source: Charles Schwab as of March 19&l;sup&g;th&l;/sup&g;). Alternatively, there are ETFs and mutual funds available for purchase that buy T-Bills and other investment-grade money market instruments. While the expense ratios to invest in one of these funds typically range between 0.14% (&l;a href=&q;; target=&q;_blank&q;&g;BIL ETF&l;/a&g;) and 0.42% (&l;a href=&q;; target=&q;_blank&q;&g;Fidelity Government Money Market Fund&l;/a&g;), the fund management company will take care of buying all the instruments, diversifying the portfolio and reinvesting interest.

Improving your strategy on investing excess cash is one of the simplest ways to enhance your portfolio return. Whether you are holding cash for a few weeks or as part of a broader asset allocation strategy, you need to pay attention to the rate you are earning. Actively manage your cash or call your advisor and ask them where your money balance is invested. It could be the easiest extra 2% you will ever earn.

Experts say crash video shows Uber’s failure to protect pedestrian

New video of the fatal crash involving a self-driving Uber vehicle in Tempe, Arizona, shows a failure of the expected performance of the autonomous vehicle’s technology, according to experts. The technology’s backup — the human test driver who was also in the vehicle at the time of the crash — also failed to react.

The test driver is responsible for ensuring safe operation of the vehicle, which is operating with unfinished software that is a work in progress and known to have limitations.

The Tempe police department released a short clip Wednesday of the March 18 crash in which a Volvo XC90 operating in autonomous mode struck and killed a woman walking a bicycle across the road. Volvo supplies Uber a vehicle, which Uber then retrofits with its autonomous driving technology.

The clip shows the woman, Elaine Herzberg, walking across multiple lanes of traffic, as the SUV drives forward without slowing. The test driver appears to be looking down or out the side window.

Experts told CNN that video released by the police department — which included both internal and external camera views — appears to show the autonomous technology fell short of how it should be designed to perform.

“This video screams to me there are serious problems with their system, and there are serious problems with their safety driver not being able to pay attention, which is to be expected,” Missy Cummings, an engineering professor and director of the Humans and Autonomy Laboratory at Duke University. Cummings has testified on Capitol Hill about autonomous systems.

“[The pedestrian] wasn’t jumping out of the bushes. She had been making clear progress across multiple lanes of traffic, which should have been in [Uber’s] system purview to pick up.”

According to Bryan Reimer, research scientist in the MIT AgeLab and the associate director of the New England University Transportation Center at MIT, it is possible the video represents what’s called an “edge case,” a rare situation the autonomous system was never trained to handle.

He also said the video could represent a failure of a vehicle sensor or its algorithms, but it’s unknown at this time if that’s what happened. A full investigation has not yet been completed.

Reimer also criticized police for publicly releasing a video that could prematurely influence consumer perception of a technology that may one day help save lives.

The Tempe police department has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Self-driving advocates have long pointed to automation as a way to address motor vehicle crashes, which are overwhelmingly caused by human error.

“It is really hard to understand how the system didn’t react, when even a standard automatic emergency braking system could reasonably be expected to at least hit the brakes,” Michael Ramsey, a research director at Gartner’s CIO Research Group, told CNN.

Autonomous car companies have test drivers on board to take over in case of emergencies. Companies hire human test drivers to sit behind the wheel of self-driving vehicles and take over when necessary — for instance, if a car’s sensors fail to recognize a bicyclist, pedestrian or other vehicle, or if the software system crashes.

Cummings said the video of the distracted Uber test driver is a reminder of how humans can develop too much trust in automated systems and may not be prepared to take control of them quickly when needed.

“The video is disturbing and heartbreaking to watch, and our thoughts continue to be with Elaine’s loved ones. Our cars remain grounded, and we’re assisting local, state and federal authorities in any way we can,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement.

The Uber test driver, Rafaela Vasquez, who has been cooperating with the investigation, has not responded to a CNN request for comment.

Tempe police chief Sylvia Moir told the San Francisco Chronicle Monday that the collision would have been difficult for any driver to avoid. The incident occurred at night and the pedestrian did not use a crosswalk while crossing the street.

“From what I know of autonomous systems, it was entirely avoidable,” said Paul Godsmark, co-founder of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence, a Canadian organization that advises governments as they prepare for autonomous vehicles.

“I’m very concerned that people are blaming the pedestrian,” Godsmark said.

While the pedestrian is only visible in the video at the last second, the SUV’s LIDAR and radar sensors should have detected and classified her to avoid a crash, according to Bryant Walker Smith, a University of South Carolina law professor who has written extensively about autonomous vehicles.

“I’m really looking forward to the [results of the] investigation and an explanation from Uber,” Godsmark said. “Why didn’t the [technology] see, and why didn’t the car react?”