AAPL Sep 2019 190.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
-2.95 (-9.53%)
As of 3:58PM EDT. Market open.
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Previous Close30.95
Expire Date2019-09-20
Day's Range27.65 - 32.15
Contract RangeN/A
Open Interest2.84k
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    Apple says new streaming service will include an Oprah Winfrey Book Club

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  • Business Wire

    Oprah’s Book Club Starts a New Chapter with Apple

    Apple® and Oprah Winfrey today announced Oprah’s Book Club will connect a community of readers worldwide to stories that truly matter by today’s most thought-provoking authors. Winfrey, the esteemed producer, actress, talk show host, philanthropist and CEO of OWN, will partner with Apple to build a vibrant, global book club that has the power to both transport and transform people — turning every book into an opportunity for self-discovery, and bringing the world together through reading. Winfrey’s first book selection is “The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, available for pre-order now on Apple Books (https://apple.co/OprahsBookClub) in both ebook and audiobook formats, and debuting tomorrow.1 Winfrey will interview Coates for the first installment of her new exclusive Apple TV+ series, “Oprah’s Book Club,” premiering November 1.

  • Apple May Get Clues About Its Chances of Winning Tax Case of the Century

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    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. may only need to wait until Tuesday to get early clues about its chances of success in the biggest tax case in recent history.The iPhone maker has been arguing its case at the European Union’s General Court to topple a record 13 billion-euro ($14.3 billion) EU tax order. This week the same panel of judges will deliver a ruling on two smaller but related challenges by Starbucks Corp. and a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV unit.They’re the first in a series of cases to come to a decision as companies rail against EU Competition chief Margrethe Vestager’s five-year crackdown on allegedly unfair tax deals.While the facts of the various appeals differ, Tuesday’s decisions “should have a far-reaching impact, both on the other pending cases and going forward,” said Howard Liebman, a tax partner at law firm Jones Day in Brussels, who isn’t involved in the disputes.The judges’ stance will “presumably establish some precedent as to how far the court is willing to allow the commission to extend its approach of judging tax regimes -– and individual tax rulings –- in the context of a state-aids analysis,” he said.Vestager’s ProbesAppeals have been piling up at the EU courts since state-aid investigators started work in 2013 to unearth what they deem to be the most problematic examples of otherwise legal individual tax agreements doled out to companies by countries. The judges’ verdicts could empower or halt Vestager’s probes, which are now centering on fiscal deals done by Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.Starbucks and Fiat were targeted on the same day in 2015 by a similar EU order to pay back about 30 million euros each over their tax arrangements in the Netherlands and Luxembourg respectively.The commission accused Luxembourg and the Netherlands of granting so-called tax rulings to the companies that backed “artificial and complex methods” to calculate their taxable profits that didn’t reflect “economic reality.”The EU said at the time the companies did this by setting prices for products and services sold between units -- called transfer prices -- that didn’t reflect market conditions.“As a result, most of the profits of Starbucks’ coffee roasting company are shifted abroad, where they are also not taxed, and Fiat’s financing company only paid taxes on underestimated profits,” said in a 2015 statement.Back TaxesLuxembourg has since also been ordered to recoup 250 million euros from Amazon.com and 120 million euros in back taxes from energy utility Engie SA, France’s former natural-gas monopoly, previously known as GDF Suez.In the Apple case, the EU said Ireland illegally slashed the iPhone maker’s tax bill between 2003-2014, a finding the company and Irish officials don’t accept.The EU alleged that “Apple paid essentially no tax on earnings in Europe” and “sought headlines by quoting tiny numbers, but this public campaign ignores the taxes Apple pays all across the world,” Apple attorney Daniel Beard said at last week’s hearing.The Dutch finance ministry said it had nothing to add to previous statements criticizing the EU’s approach. Fiat Chrysler, Starbucks, Apple and the commission declined to comment, as did the Luxembourg and Irish finance ministries. EU nations ordered to claw back the allegedly illegal tax aid have accused the commission of overreaching itself by using state aid law to attack individual fiscal arrangements that dated back many years. A key question for the commission in the cases is whether its argument that these tax rulings were selective and unfair stands up in court.“The commission did not identify a single instance where a taxpayer was treated less favorably than Apple,” Paul Gallagher, a lawyer for Ireland, told the judges in the court hearings last week.Luxembourg, which has so far faced the brunt of the EU’s decisions, has attacked the “arbitrary nature” of the commission’s approach which creates “complete legal uncertainty,” their lawyer Denis Waelbroeck said in a court hearing about Fiat’s case last year. Ireland and Luxembourg have supported each other in their respective appeals.The nation was among the first EU countries to be singled out in 2014 over its tax practices, when a group of investigative reporters published thousands of pages from secret arrangements between the tiny nation and companies including Walt Disney Co., Microsoft Corp.’s Skype and PepsiCo Inc. The so-called LuxLeaks publications have been used by EU regulators in their deliberations and EU officials further expanded their probes by seeking new information to find more “outliers” among these tax deals.Still, in a first in the EU’s continued crackdown on “outliers” among these otherwise legal tax rulings, the commission last year closed its probe into the fiscal deal between McDonald’s Corp. and Luxembourg, finding there was no violation of state aid laws.The cases are T-636/16 - Starbucks and Starbucks Manufacturing Emea v. Commission, T-755/15 - Luxembourg v. Commission, T-759/15 - Fiat Chrysler Finance Europe v. Commission, T-760/15 - Netherlands v. Commission,(Updates with more on Luxleaks revelations and McDonald’s probe in last two paragraphs.)\--With assistance from Peter Flanagan, Daniele Lepido and Ruben Munsterman.To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at sbodoni@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • Bloomberg

    No Banking Charter? No Problem. Fintechs Team Up With Small-Town Banks

    (Bloomberg) -- Customers of Square Inc., the Silicon Valley payments behemoth, might assume that the cash they send to friends on the platform is housed in a glassy building in Silicon Valley, tended to by hoodie-clad tech workers. Actually, that money is more likely to be sitting in a 117-year-old community bank in Iowa.Partnerships between high-flying tech companies and traditional banks, many of them tiny by comparison, are a key force behind the financial technology boom. Because virtually no tech companies have the license required to perform banking services, many of them partner with existing banks to offer a suite of services including checking accounts, credit cards and the back-end and regulatory work the tech companies aren’t equipped—or allowed—to handle.Now, driven by the tech industry’s thirst to jump into finance, a new crop of businesses are looking to broker the connections between tech and banks. One such business is Cambr, a little-known division of an investment company called StoneCastle, which counts Square and other fintechs as customers. StoneCastle works with more than 800 small banks, spread across the country, ready to take and hold deposits from Silicon Valley startups like Square.“Airbnb, one would argue they are one of the largest hotel chains that doesn't own a room,” said Josh Siegel, chief executive of StoneCastle Partners LLC. “Our network works in a similar way. We have an account at the bank, it's the room we rent, and we can rent it out to whoever we want.”Cambr’s service launched last year as a partnership between StoneCastle, which provides the bank connections, and digital banking platform Q2 Holdings Inc., which works on the software and programming. Square’s Cash App was one of Cambr’s first customers, Siegel said, and it has since added startups like Acorns Grow Inc., MoneyLion Inc., Qapital Inc. and robo-adviser Betterment LLC, in a recently announced deal.What Cambr aims to offer tech companies is a ready-made strategy to accept deposits that they wouldn’t otherwise have the license to handle. Here’s how it works: A tech company or startup might give Cambr as much as $100 billion of customers’ cash, and could then ask the service to spread the money around to potentially hundreds of different financial institutions. A result of spreading out the deposits is that more of the fintech’s cash is insured under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s $250,000-per-account guarantee, offering more coverage than if the money were deposited at a single institution.A Salve for Digital DisruptionThe partnership model, which has rapidly become the go-to for financial technology companies, does pose some risks for banks, particularly if fast-moving startups draw the ire of regulators, as has happened before. “The banks are the supervised entities so the buck stops with them,” said Brian Korn, partner and head of fintech practice at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. “The regulators are waiting for situations where there’s a breakdown.”But many community banks have embraced such partnerships, seeing them as a salve in times of digital disruption. More deposits can allow small banks to grow and make more local loans. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the 117-year-old Lincoln Savings Bank, which works with Cambr, has boosted its revenue by partnering with fintechs, said Mike McCrary, who runs e-commerce and emerging technology for the bank. McCrary said that when Lincoln Savings Bank considered how it could best position itself for the next 10 years, fintech partnerships were an obvious answer. “In order for us to be relevant years from now, there had to be something digital,” he said. “Now we’re putting a lot of resources into this area of our business,” including, he said, building out a new team dedicated to working with tech companies.  While the partnerships have injected cash into many small banks, some industry watchers have wondered if those banks could be left in a lurch if fintechs eventually got their own banking charters. If they did, community banks could find themselves as direct competitors to tech companies, without the same digital capabilities. But so far tech companies have made scant progress toward winning banking charters, particularly as government concern over digital financial services has grown. Some members of the U.S. Federal Reserve have voiced concern over fintech’s risk management capabilities. And Facebook Inc.’s foray into cryptocurrency has drawn ire from lawmakers.One option for tech companies has been to apply for an Industrial Loan Charter, which would effectively grant them license to provide financial services. Square first applied for the charter in the fall of 2017, but its request shows no signs of being approved. Social Finance Inc. also applied for an ILC, but withdrew its application altogether.“It’s not easy to become a bank here, and we haven’t seen much traction in general with the ILC,” Matt Burton, partner at venture capital firm QED Investors, said. “What we have seen is continued demand for non-banks to offer banking solutions.”Picking PartnersPartnering with multiple small banks is just one option for fintechs. Some, like Apple Inc. which developed a credit card with Goldman Sachs Group Inc., have teamed up with one big bank instead. But there are advantages to Cambr’s many-bank strategy. Some tech companies favor “the network approach over the big bank because they can negotiate better rates because both parties are getting something they want,'' said Lindsay Davis, a senior analyst at CB Insights. Smaller banks are also more likely to play ball because they aren’t developing competing services.“For the big banks, they are optimizing for customer acquisition and cross-selling services,” Davis said. “So a tech firm getting into financial services might be cannibalizing an existing business.” Joe Yeres, Cambr’s vice president of business development, is partly responsible for brokering the connections with community institutions, and travels a few times a month to places like Waterloo, Iowa, and Kansas City, Mo., where some of the banks it works with are located. The trips were eye-opening, Yeres said.“I was born and raised in New York metro, so the whole thing is a little funny to me,” Yeres said. “I was done with one of the leads of the banking team, and we went out for drinks after work one day, and walking around Waterloo it was like this guy was the mayor, everyone knew him. It was like, ‘Wow, this is how this part of the world works.’”Eventually, Cambr has its sights set on a bigger prize: It wants to handle deposits from the tech giants, not just the startups. Many industry watchers believe large tech companies will eventually move to offer more financial services, as Apple already has with the Apple Card. But Siegel realizes that Cambr, the little-known product of the relatively little-known StoneCastle and Q2, faces some hurdles. “Do they want to take a risk on a younger platform?” he asks, and in doing so, “upset big finance, which they’ll still have to work with on some things?”Still, Siegel is pitching the titans of tech, as they continue to march deeper into the world of finance. He adds: “We've probably been out and visited with almost all of them.”To contact the author of this story: Julie Verhage in New York at jverhage2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Anne VanderMey at avandermey@bloomberg.net, Mark MilianFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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    (Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc.’s “Fleabag” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” pulled off a near-sweep of the comedy Emmys awarded on Sunday night, cementing the company’s status as an outlet for high-brow humor.“Maisel,” a show about a New York housewife turned standup comic, picked up statuettes for best supporting actor and actress. “Fleabag,” a dark comedy about a young British woman struggling to get her life together, won for writing, directing, best actress and best comedy.Bill Hader, the star of HBO’s “Barry,” also snagged a comedy Emmy for acting at the awards, which Fox broadcast live from Los Angeles. The TV academy aped the film academy in staging an awards show without a formal host, though it did have an announcer providing sports-style running commentary.With media giants rushing to introduce new streaming platforms, Amazon has sought to build a reputation for high-quality original shows. It’s going to get harder to stand out. Walt Disney Co., Apple Inc., AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia and Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal will all roll out their services in coming months, setting up a historic fight for viewers’ eyeballs and wallets.Disney planted a flag early in the show with a commercial for its Disney+ streaming service, calling out its ownership of hit machines like Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar.Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the “Fleabag” creator, was nominated for best comedy and as well as best drama, for “Killing Eve.” That gave her a chance to match an accomplishment attained by prolific producer David E. Kelley in 1999, but the drama award went to “Game of Thrones.”“Maisel” also won five Emmys last year. “Saturday Night Live,” meanwhile, took this year’s Emmys for a variety sketch series.(Updates with best comedy Emmy in second paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at lshaw31@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, Virginia Van NattaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • Bloomberg

    Robot Wolves and Bionic Suits Might Just Save Japan

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- With flashing red eyes and a swiveling head, Yuuji Ohta’s robot wolf bares its white canines and lets out an array of ghastly growls. A matted coat of brown synthetic fur covers its life-size body.  This futuristic creature is part of everyday life for Ohta, president of a company that manufactures machine tools in rural northern Japan. While he started making mechanical wolves as a hobby, the side venture has become a serious business in recent years. As the country’s human population declines, the number of boars, bears, deer, monkeys and other wildlife is rising, encroaching on areas where people live and work. This version of the robot wolf is stationary, but the next will be able to chase animals away.Ohta’s fake wolf illustrates a silver lining of Japan’s demographic retreat – or the potential for a big missed opportunity. The country desperately needs to pour investment into robots and other technology that caters to its aging and diminishing population. The big question is whether Japan can wring out the advantages from the circumstances it faces.By 2050, almost 40% of Japanese people will be over 65, and the population is expected to shrink by about a third in the next five decades. The situation is even more dire in the countryside – including places like Naie, where Ohta has set up shop. The country’s rural population is projected to fall by nearly 20% in just 12 years.This labor shortage has the potential to transform Japan's economy for the better by ushering in a new era of technological advances. Just look at Yoshiyuki Sankai, chief executive officer of Cyberdyne Inc. His company makes a bionic suit, called HAL, to assist elderly people with trouble walking, or those with disabilities caused by stroke or accidents. These robot exoskeletons read bio-electric signals from the patient’s muscles and help them move. Cyberdyne also makes strap-on lumbar-support devices that prolong the working lives of employees in agriculture and construction, as well as robot cleaners that he says are now working the midnight shift at Tokyo's Narita and Haneda airports.“In the near future, Japan will be in a very severe situation,” Sankai said one recent evening at Cyberdyne’s offices in Tsukuba, an industrial research suburb about 90 minutes from central Tokyo. A Pepper android shuffled in the corner of a conference room. “To maintain a society, we need to meet technological challenges.”Japan has had a tough time replicating the success of Sony Corp.’s Walkman some 40 years ago. As innovation started to hit a wall in the late 1990s, Silicon Valley became the “it” place for technology, with the rise of portable computing and Apple Inc.’s iPhone. To its credit, the country remained a leader in the industrial robotics space. Japan is the world’s No. 1 manufacturer in this sector, and sales rose 21% in 2018.But even that edge is slipping, by some measures. Just 10 years ago, Japan had the highest robot density in the world, with 331 industrial robots per 10,000 employees.(1)  In recent years, however, other Asian countries have closed the gap as Japan stalled. Singapore now has a robot density of 831 and South Korea, 774. Japan, meanwhile, comes in at 327, just around where it was in 2009.  A big hurdle is getting money to the right places. Ohta, the robot wolf manufacturer, is fortunate that he had the resources to dabble. Regional banks have become more conservative since the Bank of Japan took interest rates negative, and have little interest in helping, he said. Japan is also proving a tough place for unicorns, as my colleague Nisha Gopalan has written. The country has only a handful of private startups with a valuation of at least $1 billion, according to CBInsights.Robots have long been a fixture of Japanese popular and commercial culture: Astro Boy, an android, first appeared in manga in 1952. That probably helps explain why I met few Japanese who were troubled about jobs being taken from humans, or the idea that machines may one day enslave us. “You mean like the ‘Terminator’ movies? Japanese people aren't so concerned,” said Ohta.The policymakers running Japan’s economy need to be equally open-minded. Regional banks need more, not less help, especially given the emptying of the countryside. Financing greater use of automation that can assist everyday lives ought to be a no-brainer. Humans and machines will soon interact in the same space, if they aren’t already, says Cyberdyne’s Sankai. “This isn't science fiction.” (1) The World Robotics Industrial Robots report, published by the International Federation of Robotics, specifies these are "multipurpose" industrial robots in operation per 10,000 persons employed.To contact the author of this story: Daniel Moss at dmoss@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at rrosenthal21@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Daniel Moss is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Asian economies. Previously he was executive editor of Bloomberg News for global economics, and has led teams in Asia, Europe and North America.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Things are changing at Apple, but the iPhone hype formula stays the same

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