|Bid||1,811.37 x 1000|
|Ask||1,811.87 x 800|
|Day's Range||1,810.53 - 1,822.06|
|52 Week Range||1,307.00 - 2,035.80|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.62|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||75.15|
|Earnings Date||Oct 23, 2019 - Oct 28, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||2,295.36|
Adobe, Southwest Airlines, GoDaddy, Amazon and WeWork are the companies to watch.
Surging consumer spending has kept the U.S. economy afloat – but it hasn’t been enough to buoy the financial results for FedEx.
Stew Leonard's is opening its 7th new store. Yahoo Finance's Adam Shapiro, Julie Hyman, Rick Newman and Stew Leonard Jr., CEO of Stew Leonard's discuss.
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(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc., which last month said it stopped using humans to review and transcribe users’ voice messages, will resume that practice for some audio collected from its Portal video-calling device.Facebook “paused human review of audio” around August. Bloomberg reported at the time the company hired contractors to transcribe private voice messages sent via its Messenger app. In that case, users had not been alerted to the possibility that their communications might be subject to human review. It was also unclear at the time that some of the clips Facebook had been collecting were coming from Portal.Facebook confirmed Wednesday that it was indeed collecting audio from Portal users who make a request from the device using the command “Hey Portal.” By default, those commands were recorded and stored on Facebook servers, and some of them were transcribed by contractors working with the company to improve the software algorithms used to understand the commands, according to Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s head of hardware. That practice was paused last month at the same time Messenger stopped using humans to transcribe messages.Facebook Paid Contractors to Transcribe Users’ Audio Chats“We paused human review of the ‘Hey Portal’ voice interactions last month while we worked on a plan that gave people more transparency and control, including a way to turn it off,” Bosworth said in a statement.Portal is now reinstating human audio transcriptions but will offer consumers an option to turn off that service in a new version of its Portal software, which will be distributed to existing devices and its updated Portal lineup shipping in October.The Messenger transcriptions are separate, Bosworth added, and that program is still on pause.“The reason they’re separate isn’t because the back-end systems are separate, it’s because the data is coming in from a different place,” he told Bloomberg in an interview Tuesday. “And therefore you have a different kind of user expectation.”Facebook shares were little changed at $187.49 at 10:34 a.m. in New York.Apple Suspends Listening to Siri Queries Amid Privacy OutcryThe controversial practice of transcribing user audio clips has gotten a lot of attention in recent months because of privacy concerns. Apple Inc. and Google have both suspended similar human transcription programs, and Bloomberg first reported in April that Amazon.com Inc. was transcribing some commands from its Alexa voice assistant without people’s knowledge. Amazon now lets users opt out of that human review.Facebook decided to reinstate this practice because it’s important for training the company’s software programs to accurately understand requests, Bosworth says. He’s also aware that the idea of having humans review user audio is unsettling to many people.“The consumer reaction the last several months to these practices, not just at Facebook but other companies, gave us insight into the fact that this was something people weren’t entirely comfortable with or weren’t sure about,” he said when explaining the new privacy setting.Facebook will still collect and transcribe “Hey Portal” commands if users don’t change the default settings. Portal’s data usage policy states that the company does collect “voice queries and commands” after a user wakes the device with “Hey Portal.” The policy does not say that those audio clips may be reviewed by third-party contractors.Facebook Quizzed by Watchdog for Listening to Users’ ChatsThe importance of audio transcriptions and recordings has increased alongside the rise of digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Tech companies improve the accuracy of their software by transcribing millions of clips, which help the machines learn language and speech patterns. The practice has, however, served up a new privacy trade-off: users want the help of smart assistants but not the threat that strangers might be listening to their private conversations or messages.Facebook does not yet have an advanced standalone audio assistant to compete with the other tech giants, though its Portal device can carry out some basic commands after users wake it by saying “Hey Portal.” For more complicated requests, Portal also comes equipped with Amazon’s Alexa software.Bosworth says that while Facebook is working to improve and further develop its “Hey Portal” software, it doesn’t have any plans to completely replace Alexa on Portal devices with its own proprietary software, and Alexa is indeed present on Facebook’s newly announced set of devices.The new Facebook Portal and Portal Mini will open Facebook’s distribution of the video-calling platform beyond the U.S. and into Europe, where higher privacy standards have already saddled the social media giant with increased regulator scrutiny.(Updates with Facebook shares. An earlier version of this story corrected the spelling of executive’s name in sixth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Sarah Frier.To contact the reporters on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at email@example.com;Mark Gurman in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Vlad Savov, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Amazon.com Inc. said Wednesday it is launching Amazon PayCode in the U.S., which allows customers to pay for online purchases in cash at Western Union Co. locations. Amazon said 80% of Americans live within five miles of one of Western Union's 15,000 locations. Western Union's stock rallied 3.5% in premarket trading, while Amazon shares slipped 0.2%. The ecommerce giant said Amazon Cash, which allows customers to load cash into their Amazon Balance for making online purchases, is also now available in cash-loading locations. Amazon said PayCode has already been available in 19 countries. Amazon's stock has rallied 21.3% year to date through Tuesday, while Western Union shares have run up 34.0% and the S&P 500 has gained 19.9%.
U.S. homebuilding surged to more than a 12-year high in August as both single- and multi-family housing construction accelerated, suggesting that lower mortgage rates were finally providing a boost to the struggling housing market. The jump in homebuilding activity last month added to strong retail sales data in suggesting the economy continues to grow moderately and is probably not flirting with a recession as has been flagged by financial markets.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Mark Zuckerberg’s cryptocurrency project, Libra, has become the regulatory equivalent of a pinata: Everyone is lining up to hit it with a stick. France’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire calls it an assault on sovereignty and a risk to financial stability, an attack backed up by his German counterpart Olaf Scholz who dubbed it a “parallel currency.” You can see their point.Across the Atlantic, U.S. Democrats and Republicans — including President Donald Trump — have called for tough scrutiny of the Facebook Inc. payments system, whose potential 2-billion strong user base could threaten the U.S. dollar’s supremacy.Facebook’s attempt this week to debunk the argument that it’s encroaching on government turf, via a Twitter thread from its blockchain boss David Marcus, won’t allay these fears. Marcus’s depiction of Libra as a system “running on top of” existing currencies rather than supplanting them — that is, a digital token backed by a basket of assets including dollars, euros, yen and the like — is exactly what has spooked politicians and central bankers. Libra is a so-called “stablecoin,” meaning its value will be anchored to the hard currencies that back it — similar to Singapore’s currency peg and unlike Bitcoin with its wild swings in value. But that doesn’t mean Libra’s rise would be good for those underlying currencies. If it took off, Libra would have a bigger potential user base than the combined populations of China, the U.S. and the EU. A mighty, privately-backed cryptocurrency would have all sorts of consequences on the enforcing of economic sanctions or regulation of global trade, as well as on central banks’ ability to respond to crises or recessions. Libra could gain great influence over countries with weak or unstable currencies that might otherwise lean toward the dollar or euro. That this would all be led by a tech industry that has frequently trampled consumer privacy underfoot is another worry, even if safeguards were put in place to keep the social media behemoth at arm’s length.Rather than debate with Zuckerberg, some central bankers seem to be mulling the idea of grabbing the Libra idea for themselves and setting up an alternative. If the problem with such a currency is Facebook, why not make one yourself that’s Facebook-free?The Bank of England governor Mark Carney floated last month the idea of a “Synthetic Hegemonic Currency,” one backed by a basket of reserve currencies but without the “fundamental” problems raised by Libra. This week Benoit Coeure, a European Central Bank executive, called on other central bankers to join forces and look into issuing digital currencies to fend off the private stablecoins. You can see why this might be preferable to digital coins run by Facebook, Amazon.com Inc. or Apple Inc. Ideally, central bank cryptocurrencies would have the convenience of digital cash and would probably do a better job of reining in illicit transactions and money laundering. They would let a central bank keep a tighter grip on financial stability too. And the risk of “digital dollarization,” in which countries find themselves falling under the sway of powerful digital tokens, is lessened.There are, nonetheless, trade-offs with any digital currency whomever issues it. National sovereignty might be protected but at what cost? A more efficient payments system may look cheaper but it would put central banks in a new role, one that would require more staff and better cyber-defenses. These are not things you naturally associate with cash-starved public institutions.The “sovereignty” of citizens could be eroded too as cash became more traceable. And we have no idea how it would perform in a financial panic. A digital bank run might be very ugly.These are political and social questions. It’s good for regulators to be grappling with them now rather than letting Facebook do what it likes. It doesn’t make the answers any easier, though. A central banker’s Bitcoin is no magic bullet.To contact the author of this story: Lionel Laurent at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Lionel Laurent is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Brussels. He previously worked at Reuters and Forbes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The profit warning that came in just ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season for retailers, wiped off the stock's gains for the year and prompted several brokerages to cut their price targets. FedEx shares are on course for their biggest one-day percentage drop since 2008. J.P. Morgan was the most aggressive in slashing its price target by $22, saying growth at the company's Express business, the largest unit, was taking a hit from delays in integration of TNT Express, a Dutch delivery company it acquired in 2016 for $4.8 billion.
(AMZN) — Amazon is making it even easier for customers to pay with cash. Amazon PayCode, already available in 19 countries around the world, launches today in the U.S. and allows customers to choose Amazon PayCode at checkout and then pay for their purchase in cash at one of 15,000 Western Union locations.
Facebook is preparing to challenge Roku in the video streaming device market as the social media giant looks to a future beyond advertising.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. on Wednesday upgraded its Portal video chat devices, with a new model for TVs and lower prices. It also said users can opt out of the company accessing voice recordings collected by the hardware.With the new products, called Portal TV, Portal, and Portal Mini, Facebook is trying to break into the crowded smart speaker and connected living room markets.The Portal TV, which goes on sale for $149 in October, can be connected to a TV set with standard HDMI cable and has a camera and several microphones to enable video calling via Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp services.The device supports Spotify, along with Amazon’s Prime Video service, Ring cameras and Alexa voice assistant. But it lacks content from Netflix Inc. and some other popular video-streaming services. That may make it difficult to compete without the range of video and apps offered by rival streaming devices from Roku Inc., Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth emphasized in a demonstration that the device’s primary purpose is video calling. That’s the company’s unique sales proposition and people will likely use additional devices for content that they can’t get via the Portal TV, he said.Facebook’s new Portal smart display devices, coming later in October, will sell for $129 and $179, down from the previous $199 starting price. The devices still come in two sizes, 8-inch and 10-inch variations. The new versions have improved speakers and a physical shutter that can either disable both the camera and microphone or just the camera.Facebook said it will transcribe some audio clips collected by the Portal devices, but users will be able to opt out.Facebook first launched its video-calling hardware in 2018, following a series of privacy scandals. The company doesn’t report Portal sales, but it slashed the price in half earlier this year. Bosworth said sales and consumer reception of the device were “warmer” than expected, but he declined to provide specific figures.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.org;Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.