AMZN - Amazon.com, Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Delayed Price. Currency in USD
1,820.97
+28.40 (+1.58%)
As of 12:27PM EDT. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close1,792.57
Open1,818.08
Bid1,820.75 x 800
Ask1,821.42 x 800
Day's Range1,812.61 - 1,826.00
52 Week Range1,307.00 - 2,050.50
Volume1,618,349
Avg. Volume3,685,374
Market Cap900.752B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.58
PE Ratio (TTM)75.55
EPS (TTM)N/A
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target EstN/A
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
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  • Amazon Turns Northern Virginia Into Country’s Most Competitive Home Market
    Bloomberg2 hours ago

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    (Bloomberg) -- Even before Amazon.com Inc. completes its northern Virginia office hub, the e-commerce giant has helped make the area the most competitive housing market in the U.S.It’s hardest for buyers to win a home in Alexandria and Arlington, cities near Washington’s Reagan National Airport and close to where Amazon is building its East Coast headquarters, according to a study by Redfin Corp. The brokerage’s analysis factored in bidding wars, waived contingencies, above-list-price offers and how fast properties went under contract.Homes that sold last month were on the market for a median 11 days in Arlington and 14 days in Alexandria, about a week less than in the previous July for both locations. That compares with 27 days in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and 38 days nationally. About 57% of homes near Amazon’s northern Virginia site were snapped up by buyers in two weeks or less.In Seattle, where Amazon is based, locals blamed the company’s rapid growth and big paychecks for helping to fuel a housing affordability crisis. In the area around the nation’s capital, investors are bidding up prices, anticipating that they’ll be rewarded over the next decade with the arrival of tens of thousands of workers earning an average of $150,000 each.“The Amazon HQ2 effect has become a permanent factor in the Arlington and Alexandria housing markets,” local Redfin listing agent Marcia Burgos-Stone said in the report. “Some sellers are still opting to hold on to their homes and wait until it becomes a more concrete reality in the hopes that they’ll get more money. This has led to a shortage of homes for sale, which puts pressure on buyers who are concerned that they’ll be left behind if they can’t find a home before things get too heated up.”In both Arlington and Alexandria, the number of homes for sale fell by about 50% in July from a year earlier, Redfin said.The brokerage’s analysis assessed a “compete score” on a scale of 0 to 100. In markets that score above 90, most listings get multiple offers, and contingencies -- such as appraisals or inspections -- are often waived. Arlington and Alexandria each scored 96, along with Grand Rapids, Michigan, a city with a strong economy, growing job market and relatively affordable prices, Redfin said. Following were Tacoma, Washington, with 95, and Oakland, California, with 93.To contact the reporter on this story: Prashant Gopal in Boston at pgopal2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Debarati Roy at droy5@bloomberg.net, Christine MaurusFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • Alibaba to Expand E-Commerce Presence With Kaola Acquisition
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  • Amazon Has Been Flirting With the Key 200-Day Moving Average Line This Month
    TheStreet.com5 hours ago

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    In this daily bar chart of AMZN, below, we can see that prices have been in a sideways to higher trading range market since early March. The May setback broke the 200-day moving average line and along with a declining On-Balance-Volume (OBV) line, the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) oscillator moved below the zero line for an outright sell signal. The July-August decline has not broken the 200-day average line but the OBV line declined and again the MACD oscillator generated a sell signal.

  • 10 Best High-Growth Stocks to Buy for Young Investors
    InvestorPlace5 hours ago

    10 Best High-Growth Stocks to Buy for Young Investors

    [Editor's note: This story was previously published in June 2019. It has since been updated and republished.] No investment strategy suits all the people all the time. This is particularly true for young investors in their 20's and 30's. Youth not only has social advantages; it can provide a significant margin for your portfolio to grow. As such, high-growth stocks are ideal for the young-adult, millennial demographic.Talk to any financial advisor, and more often than not, they apply the Pareto principle for 20- or 30-somethings. Colloquially known as the 80-20 rule, advisors recommend that young investors have 80% of their portfolio in stocks, and the remainder in safer, interest-yielding assets. When it comes to millennial stock allocation, spring chickens should really consider high-growth stocks.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On Time is money, and in many cases, time is more valuable. That's because time can "buy" you money, but never the opposite way around. In this case, a younger investor's additional working years can help mitigate investments that have gone awry. Moreover, the extra time allows riskier investments to fully expand to their potential.But don't just look into risk-reward ratios for their own sake. Instead, as a young investor in his or her 20s or 30s, you should broaden your horizon. While I'm not against trading current trends, this is a perfect chance to take advantage of longer-term growth forecasts.With that in mind, here are the top 10 high-growth stocks to buy for young investors. Amazon (AMZN)Whenever discussions about high-growth stocks arise, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) invariably makes most analysts' lists.Source: Shutterstock What's not to like here? Not only does AMZN leverage an enviable track record in the markets, management continues to forge ahead into new frontiers. Amazon is a disruptor among disruptors.But sometimes, high-growth stocks are so obvious that they're not obvious. We all know the adage that what goes up must come down. This applies to any investment, and AMZN is no exception.As I previously discussed, AMZN is on the verge of unprecedented greatness. Those of you who are in your 20's and 30's have some recollection of a time when ecommerce didn't overwhelmingly dominate the retail sector. But we're so close to a generation coming of age that has no clue about the prior brick-and-mortar hegemony.When Generation Z enters the workforce en masse, they will buy through Amazon and other e-commerce channels, no question. That's why you must consider AMZN stock. Carvana (CVNA)Carvana (NYSE:CVNA) takes a brilliant concept and brings it into fruition. Generally speaking, millennials don't share the same love for the automobile as did prior generations.Source: Carvana Part of the decline in interest is the haggling over the price that used to be a given when buying a new car.Enter Carvana. CVNA combines the tech wizardry that young people love with a centuries-old retail industry. Rather than negotiate with pushy or unsavory salespeople, buyers can instead browse cars online. When they find one they like, CVNA delivers their vehicle to their driveway. Plus, Carvana offers a money-back guarantee to soothe concerns about buying a car sight (almost) unseen. * 10 Stocks Under $5 to Buy for Fall Considering that young people do nearly everything online, Carvana is likely the future of car buying. That's one reason to buy CVNA stock. The other? Margins. Once the company firmly establishes itself, it has the potential to earn serious bucks. That's because CVNA charges a premium for its convenient services.So far, though, customers are willing to pay it, and that trend will continue with Gen Z coming aboard. TriNet Group (TNET)For those of you who have worked in Fortune 500 companies, you realize the intensity of large-scale organizations. In order to handle the needs of tens of thousands of workers, the biggest companies employ the best human-resources team. But what the needs of small and mid-sized businesses? That's where TriNet Group (NYSE:TNET) comes in.Source: Shutterstock TNET provides full-service HR for companies that are still in their growth phase. Essentially an outsourced HR firm, TNET offers comprehensive services for smaller organizations, but without the massive overhead.Therefore, management can concentrate its resources on its expansion strategies.TNET stock also makes sense from an industry trend point of view. Experts predict that by the year 2020, an astounding half of the U.S. workforce could be comprised of freelancers. Additionally, small businesses that employ fewer than 100 workers are not only becoming more prominent, they're collectively hiring millions annually.This new digital economy will require HR services. As a result, you'll want to keep a close eye on TNET stock. Canopy Growth Corp (CGC)The legal-marijuana industry generates significant controversy. However, one thing cannot be denied: high-growth stocks levered towards cannabis have been hot and a little more volatile than one might prefer. One such name is Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC).Source: Shutterstock Volatility aside, I'm digging CGC primarily because it's the most well-capitalized marijuana investment. Canopy sported a $14 billion-plus market cap, substantially higher than Aurora Cannabis' (NYSE:ACB) $7.7 billion.As InvestorPlace's own Bret Kenwell pointed out, that market cap rivals several well-known companies, including Macy's (NYSE:M) and Chipotle (NYSE:CMG).Ultimately, Kenwell advised to wait for a correction on CGC before jumping onboard, and that may now have happened. Either way, young investors must keep CGC on their shortlist. * 15 Growth Stocks to Buy for the Long Haul By the time millennials are looking at retirement, marijuana will have lost its Schedule I classification -- likely long before this point. History shows that the Prohibition era failed to curb Americans' desire for alcohol. History will eventually prove the same for cannabis.Indeed, as the Pew Research Center demonstrates, attitudes towards legalization have shifted positively. It's only a matter of time before the government listens to the will of the people. When that day comes, CGC will explode even higher. Square (SQ)Square's (NYSE:SQ) appeal is immediately recognizable to anyone who observes business trends.Source: Shutterstock As we discussed for TriNet Group, small businesses have grown rapidly since the Great Recession. Given the nature of technology in our lives, companies today value agility and specialization more than outright size.What makes SQ stock a compelling investment is that it evens the playing field for small businesses. Square provides portable credit-card readers that attach conveniently to your smartphone. That enables entities ranging from sole proprietors to small corporations to quickly setup a payment platform. * 7 Safe Dividend Stocks for Investors to Buy Right Now Another factor driving SQ stock for the longer term? An increasing number of Americans are going cashless. According to a CNBC report late-last year, 50% of surveyed individuals reported they only carry cash half of the time they're out and about. Those that do carry cash usually hold $50 or less.Logically, this means we should see fewer cash-only businesses moving forward. And the types of businesses that would have once been cash only will likely gravitate towards Square's unique and convenient solution. Despite SQ stock's bumpy year, it still has added nearly 10% since January. Control4 (CTRL)I first covered Control4 (NASDAQ:CTRL) in late July of this year. Since then, CTRL stock has jumped as much as 47% in the markets only to come tumbling down and then rally again, climbing 45% in the past three months.Source: Shutterstock Like the other mentioned names, CTRL will likely gain on broader social trends, making it a strong pick for young investors and a potential high-growth stock.Control4 specializes in home-automation solutions, providing clients with interconnectivity benefits along with security. Given that anything can happen these days, people love the peace of mind of having an integrated smart-home system.But beyond the practicality that Control4's products and services provide, its target audience is extremely receptive to the company's offerings.Experts forecast that by the year 2020, home automation will become a $40 billion industry. Further, 47% of millennials own smart-home products. And 81% of prospective homebuyers are likely to select a home that has installed automation services. General Electric (GE)General Electric (NYSE:GE) is a controversial pick for many reasons, but the biggest is this: for years, GE has become a negative-growth stock. Why on earth would I then include it among high-growth stocks?Source: JPstock / Shutterstock.com Admittedly, the idea isn't conventional and considering its history, GE stock is incredibly risky. The markets agree, selling it off by 55% last year alone. But recently it's been making a comeback and the opportunity is enticingly lucrative.That sentiment is doubly valid for young investors who have the extra margin to patiently wait out the current trouble.The question everybody asks is if management can truly turn this sinking ship around. While speculative, I think GE has a legitimate chance. * 7 Stocks Under $7 to Invest in Now Analysts appear to be bearish on General Electric because of its lagging Power division. The fear is that renewable energy will overrun the company.I say, not so fast! While renewable energy "works," it's still economically inefficient and while this is being corrected, GE has time to adapt, whether that means growing its own renewable energy offerings or compensating for lost revenue in other areas.That's the ticket for GE stock. However, it will take time, which suits young investors perfectly. Voyager Therapeutics (VYGR)As millions of families worldwide can attest, watching a loved one suffer from a neurological disease is a painful journey. It can also be agonizingly frustrating as a once proud and independent person succumbs to physical and mental ailments.Source: Shutterstock Voyager Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VYGR) aims to put an end to this scourge, and I give them all my blessings. Utilizing a common, naturally occurring virus called adeno-associated virus (AAV) as a "treatment carrier," VYGR scientists propose to target diseased cells for repair.A significant advantage for using AAVs is their long lifespans. A single dose could potentially lead to lifelong benefits.The technology is very promising but VYGR is still relatively in the early phase. Naturally, Voyager's financials aren't the greatest, and its share price is volatile.However, if the company manages a breakthrough, we will witness a paradigm shift in how we approach ailments such as Parkinson's disease, and it will become a hig-growth stockFurthermore, gene therapy holds the key for solving a multitude of other diseases. VYGR is among a few high-growth stocks that could spark a medical revolution. Young investors should carefully watch this space. Kinross Gold (KGC)Although regular readers probably know my work involving cryptocurrencies and cannabis, I'm also a believer in gold.Source: Jeremy Vohwinkle via Flickr (Modified)At the risk of sounding like some 2 a.m. infomercial, a healthy portfolio should include some physical precious metals, or at least SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA:GLD).But for those who want to take a little bit of risk, I'd look into Kinross Gold (NYSE:KGC).As with many other high-growth stocks in the gold sector, KGC has a shaky history. Primarily, Kinross made expensive acquisitions at or near the gold bubble earlier this decade. Investors subsequently punished KGC stock. * 3 Monthly Dividend Stocks to Buy Today However, the shares have rebounded 21% over the last month as gold prices have increased to multi-year highs. And with the geopolitical and international trade outlook growing more uncertain, there's a good chance that gold prices will keep climbing for a long time.It's not a perfect story, but young investors have the time to wait out KGC, which looks poised to become a high-growth stock. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHVYF)I'm going to close my list of high-growth stocks with a contrarian play, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (OTCMKTS:MHVYF) a core company of the Mitsubishi Group. Source: Shutterstock With many Asian investments focusing on Chinese companies, it's easy to forget about Japan. However, I think this is a misstep that young investors should capitalize on, and MHVYF is ideal for this purpose.Let's pick the low-hanging fruit first. MHVYF is a renowned manufacturer of mining and industrial equipment.Although purely conjecture, Mitsubishi could play a significant role in Japan becoming a natural-resource exporter. According to CNBC, Japanese researchers found a "semi-infinite" amount of rare earth metals off Minamitorishima Island.Before you get too excited, the critical metals were discovered in the deep-sea bed, so currently, it's not economically feasible to extract them. However, where there's a will there's a way, and Mitsubishi could play a significant role. If so, this could launch MHVYF.Another trend working in Mitsubishi's favor is military conflict. With unpredictable North Korea mere miles away, Japan needs to beef up its defenses. I'm not talking about another war, but rather, a show of force to dissuade enemy attacks and provocations. Mitsubishi is one of Japan's major military contractors, and all geopolitical events point towards a rising MHVYF share price.As of this writing, Josh Enomoto is long gold bullion. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * The 7 Best Dow Jones Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 * 5 Boring Stocks to Buy This Summer * 7 S&P 500 Stocks to Buy With Little Debt and Lots of Profits The post 10 Best High-Growth Stocks to Buy for Young Investors appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Plug Power Is Performing, and PLUG Stock Eventually Will Follow Suit
    InvestorPlace6 hours ago

    Plug Power Is Performing, and PLUG Stock Eventually Will Follow Suit

    In late June, yours truly here suggested the world was finally ready for hydrogen-powered electricity solutions provided by the likes of Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG). As such, PLUG stock may have finally become a worthy bet. The fact that Plug Power stock made a major low that day and rallied through the early part of July underscored the idea.Source: Shutterstock Since then, despite topping last quarter's earnings and revenue expectations (both of which were improved year-over-year), the PLUG stock price has moved to even lower lows.As of right now, shares are under their pivotal 200-day moving average line that has acted as support the day of my previous look.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsI'm going to stick with my thesis though, on faith that a sweeping, marketwide meltdown won't materialize and completely undermine Plug Power stock. The company's still got too many catalysts cued up for later this year. Plug Power Is Getting the Job DoneI was wrong about Plug Power's acquisition of Canadian company EnergyOr being one of the four major announcements the company had in store for the year. Becoming a supplier of engines for 100 DHL delivery trucks is still one of the four, but CEO Andy Marsh explained in the second quarter's letter to shareholders there are still three more developments that have yet to be revealed.It's not clear if Thursday's press event counts as one of the other three. It probably doesn't, though it's certainly a noteworthy development. * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On The press event in question is taking place at Plug Power's headquarters in Latham, New York, but the purpose is to showcase the success of the company's pilot program with Albany International Airport. In February, the airport replaced many of its luggage-handling vehicles with fuel cell-powered versions. Undoubtedly the event will serve as validation of the idea of liquid hydrogen fuel cells.Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) are both customers, using forklifts and other load-handling equipment powered by Plug Power's battery-replacing fuel cells.All told, the company has sold more than 28,000 fuel cells since its inception, with 2000 of them being delivered last quarter.For perspective on that pace, last quarter's revenue of $57.1 million was up 43% from the year-earlier figure of $39.9 million. The loss was whittled down from twelve cents per share of PLUG stock to only eight cents. Investors Waiting on More EvidenceThere's little not to like.Although still in the red and expected to be for at least a couple more years, the company's current fiscal trajectory could put it in the black by 2022. Investors have been more bullish on stocks with weaker prospects. Click to EnlargeThe impasse is arguably a lingering lack of awareness regarding hydrogen fuel cells and their potential. They're seemingly too good to be true, only generating heat and water when they produce electricity.To that end, ironically, there's a downside that makes the premise of hydrogen fuel cells all too real. Their drawbacks include their expense, and the difficulty in storing and transporting hydrogen.They can also be dangerous; liquid hydrogen also serves as rocket fuel. On balance, however, hydrogen has proven to be an effective alternative. Not only is it renewable, but it's also about twice as efficient as burning fuel in a traditional combustion engine.As is the case with all new technologies though, time is quelling the uncertainty. The fuel cell market is expected to grow in excess of 20% per year through 2026.And Plug Power has gotten very, very good at serving as one of the growing fuel cell industry's key influencers, positioning itself as a category leader of a group that includes a bigger (as measured by market cap) Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ:BLDP) and a smaller Hydrogenics (NASDAQ:HYGS).Events like the one scheduled for September in Latham create that much-needed spectacle the hydrogen fuel cell premise needs. They may not create the same kind of buzz Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is capable of creating at its unveiling events, but for the sliver of consumers and corporations that care about alternative energies, such events draw clear attention to the company.If nothing else, current and would-be owners of PLUG stock are amped up in anticipation of what the long-teased "other three" announcements will be. Bottom Line on PLUG StockWhile the backstory is right, that won't necessarily put or keep Plug Power stock in an uptrend.Blame the market environment more than anything else right now. When fears of a recession are at their most frenzied, investors don't want to own much of anything. They're particularly unwilling to take chances on still-new technologies in that scenario. Plug Power also lacks the size that translates into solidness in many investors' minds.Nevertheless, hydrogen fuel cells work. Plug Power is making them a legitimate alternative. It took solar and even wind power years and years to reach true, fiscal viability.If nothing else, PLUG stock has earned a spot on your long-term watchlist at least through next month when its publicity event will include another big announcement.As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can learn more about James at his site, jamesbrumley.com, or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks Under $5 to Buy for Fall * 5 Stocks to Avoid Amid the Ongoing Trade War * 7 5G Stocks to Buy Now for the Future The post Plug Power Is Performing, and PLUG Stock Eventually Will Follow Suit appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • ECB Says the Next European Bank Hack Is Just a Matter of Time
    Bloomberg7 hours ago

    ECB Says the Next European Bank Hack Is Just a Matter of Time

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.A senior official at the European Central Bank warned that banks embracing external data storage and other digital technology need to face an uncomfortable truth: there’s a good chance they’ll get hacked.“There will be accidents, especially in the cloud,” Korbinian Ibel, a director general at the ECB’s supervisory arm, said in an interview. “It’s not that clouds are more vulnerable, they’re actually often better protected than in-house systems, but they’re seen as juicy targets.”So far, Europe has been spared the kind of hack that hit Capital One Financial Corp., which said last month that data from about 100 million people in the U.S. was illegally accessed. That may change as the region’s banks face increasing pressure to reduce costs with new technology and make up for the squeeze on revenue from lower interest rates.European banks already use some services of companies like Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. Germany’s Deutsche Bank AG eventually wants to move the majority of its applications to the cloud -- giant external data centers -- from what it has called “expensive and inflexible physical servers.” For now, European banks tend to avoid putting “highly confidential data” on public clouds, said Ibel.“We see the benefits” of cloud computing, Ibel said. “The rule is that the banker is always responsible for their data and services.”Failings can have consequences. The ECB can tell riskier lenders to hold more capital, squeezing their returns, or order potentially costly qualitative measures such as improving how users access computer systems.Banks have responded to the digital revolution by hiring tech experts, sometimes even naming them to their top management bodies. That’s good, but it doesn’t go far enough, said Ibel.“It’s not enough to have one person as the IT expert,” he said. “You need a common understanding at board level of the needs and risks of IT.”To contact the reporter on this story: Nicholas Comfort in Frankfurt at ncomfort1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net, Christian BaumgaertelFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg7 hours ago

    Amazon Wants to Put Alexa in Cars. Google and Apple Are There Already

    (Bloomberg) -- Somewhere between Spotify crashing and Alexa failing to locate his favorite sushi place, Rafael Rivera decided he was dealing with an unfinished product.The software developer’s rectangular Echo Auto, perched on the dashboard of his 2005 Mini Cooper, picked up his voice seamlessly over blaring music or air conditioning. But repeated restarts and clunky mapping made the on-the-go hub for Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa less useful.“Am I part of a beta program?” he recalls thinking. “Is this thing done?”Introduced almost a year ago and shipped to the first invited customers in January, the sometimes-buggy Echo Auto is the most visible element so far of Amazon’s ambition to take Alexa on the road.Behind the scenes, the company is trying to persuade automakers to bake the voice-activated digital assistant into their entertainment systems. Those efforts are gaining some traction—BMW and Audi earlier this year began selling select models that integrate Alexa’s software by default. But Amazon is entering a market already contested by Google and Apple Inc., not to mention automakers leery of ceding control of the dashboard to Big Tech.While colonizing the car probably won’t generate much in the way of revenue at first, just being there would help Amazon position itself for a coming era of voice-based services. “Amazon wants to get into the car in a big way,” says Mike Ramsey, a senior research director at Gartner who tracks the auto industry. “They sense that there is a big opportunity.”Amazon declined to make anyone available to discuss the program, but a spokesman pointed to comments Ned Curic, vice president of Alexa Automotive, made last month to the Automotive News: “The real North Star for us is to be embedded with all the cars,” Curic said. “We’re working very hard to get there because we believe that is the best experience.”The company has said it wants to make Alexa, its hub for trivia, music and Amazon products, ubiquitous. The company built teams in recent years charged with making the software useful beyond the living room, seeking ties to home automation and security companies, building out voice and video calling functionality and even exploring wearable devices and home robots.The first tie between Alexa and an automaker was, like many Amazon efforts, an experiment. In 2016, Hyundai Motor Co. rolled out the first application linking Alexa to a big carmaker in a tool that let owners of some models start their vehicle or set the climate control from an Alexa device.Amazon formalized its push a year later, hiring Curic, an executive with Toyota Motor Corp.’s North American subsidiary, to run the automotive efforts. Curic’s team plucked staff from Lab126, the San Francisco Bay Area hardware division behind the Echo speaker, and Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud-computing arm. Amazon also went shopping for recruits who knew their way around the industry, seeking veterans of German stalwarts like Daimler AG, BMW and Volkswagen, companies that have been among the most aggressive in exploring voice software.Hanging over the exercise to take Alexa on the road is Amazon’s failure to build a smartphone to rival Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple. About 62% of  people who use their voice to control music or other applications in their car today do so through a smartphone, a market dominated by Google and Apple, according to a survey by voice technology news site Voicebot and dashboard entertainment startup Drivetime. Another 32% opt for the software included in their car’s entertainment system while 6% use different technology, including the Echo Auto.“Amazon’s Achilles heel is not having a play on the phone,” says John Foster, chief executive of Aiqudo Inc. a startup working to tailor mobile applications for voice control. “They’re going at it the best way they can. But I do think they suffer from this disadvantage that Google is really starting to make clear.”Google, the company behind Android, the world’s most popular operating system, has gotten automakers on board, building ties that could be used to hook drivers into Google's Assistant, Alexa's biggest rival in the U.S. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and Volvo are all building entertainment systems on Android.“Google has a much bigger footprint in the auto industry than Amazon does,” says Ramsey, of Gartner. “They’re getting big wins. Amazon is just starting to scratch the surface.”Other carmakers are going their own route.Some, like Daimler’s Mercedes, have thrown their weight behind proprietary voice software. The Mercedes-Benz User Experience system, like many automaker-branded software, is powered by technology built by Nuance Communications Inc., a software company in Massachusetts.“Each of these manufacturers wants to preserve their own brand” in the car, says Richard Mack, a Nuance marketing executive. “When you press that button on the steering wheel, Mercedes would much rather see their emblem come up rather than a Google or an Amazon or a Microsoft logo.”Amazon has tried to assuage carmakers worried about Google or Apple's potential automotive ambitions by suggesting Alexa could be one among several voice assistants embedded in a future entertainment system, according to two people who have heard the pitch, but aren't authorized to publicly discuss it. Amazon last year released tools that let carmakers build Alexa into their cars. The company has also tried to leverage Alexa’s popularity in the home, saying to potential partners that customers would rather use voice software they’re already familiar with than learn a new program while behind the wheel.As Curic’s team negotiated with carmakers, Lab126 engineers got to work on an end around, repurposing the Echo speaker’s microphone arrays and software, originally designed for homes, for noisy car environments. The device avoided dealing with in-car communications systems entirely by piggybacking off of customers’ smartphone to connect to Alexa servers.When it was released, analysts said the Echo Auto seemed to fill a gap in the market, offering a device that promised to bring modern voice control to older car models. It drew more than 1 million orders, Amazon said, though the device is still shipping in batches and only to invited customers.Reviewers said the device lacked polish, coming off at times like a work-in-progress. A reviewer at tech news site the Verge said some of the auto-focused applications Amazon touts on its website “are laughably bad right now.”It’s harder to get a read on how customers feel because Amazon, which helped popularize online product reviews, has disabled customer reviews for the Echo Auto.Ryan Adzima, who bought one to replace the outdated voice control system that came standard in his Jeep, is a fan. The owner of five Echo smart speakers figured the device’s introductory price tag of $25 was a bargain compared with replacing his entertainment system or buying a voice-activated navigation system.He liked the device, which heard his commands over road noise with the windows open and top down and easily handled tasks like calls and music. Connectivity, dependent on sometimes spotty wireless service around his Las Vegas home, left something to be desired, forcing him to reach for his phone to skip songs by hand when Alexa’s servers couldn’t be reached.Adzima isn’t in the market for a new car. But if Alexa is integrated in enough models by the time he is, he’ll consider it.“If I was sitting on a lot, and one car had Alexa built in, the other didn’t, and the cost difference wasn’t that much?,” he says. “That would definitely make my decision.”To contact the author of this story: Matt Day in Seattle at mday63@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Exclusive: EagleBank CEO talks about Ron Paul exit, government investigations — and the bank's future
    American City Business Journals7 hours ago

    Exclusive: EagleBank CEO talks about Ron Paul exit, government investigations — and the bank's future

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  • Bloomberg8 hours ago

    Google, Facebook Unite With Trump to Protest French Tech Tax

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. The relationship between President Donald Trump and the largest U.S. technology companies has often been frosty but a common opponent -- France’s plan to tax U.S. tech giants -- will bring the two sides together, at least temporarily.Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are all scheduled to testify in Washington on Monday in support of the Trump administration’s efforts to potentially punish France for enacting a 3% tax on global tech companies with at least 750 million euros ($832 million) in global revenue and digital sales of 25 million euros in France.France’s digital tax “is a sharp departure from long-established tax rules and uniquely targets a subset of businesses,” according to prepared remarks a Google representative is scheduled to deliver in the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office hearing in Washington on Monday. “French government officials have emphasized repeatedly that the” tax is intended to target foreign technology companies.How ‘Digital Tax’ Plans in Europe Hit U.S. Tech: QuickTakeThe U.S. is probing France’s new tax, which French President Emmanuel Macron signed into law last month, using a tool that could be a precursor to new tariffs or other trade restrictions. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer could take action as soon as Aug. 26 when a comment period on the issue closes.‘Radical Left’The effort to crack down on France has created common ground for Trump -- who has called Google and Facebook “on the side of the Radical Left Democrats” and accused Amazon of avoiding taxes -- and technology companies that are both worried foreign governments are looking to use American corporations as a way to collect additional tax revenue.The U.S. is looking to use France as an example to deter other countries from targeting American technology firms for tax dollars. The U.K., New Zealand, Spain and Italy are among countries considering their own digital taxes, a move that U.S. officials say could lead to companies being taxed multiple times on the same profits.Trump has threatened to tax French wine or other goods in response to the digital tax. He tweeted last month “we will announce a substantial reciprocal action on Macron’s foolishness shortly!” The so-called 301 investigation, which looks into unfair trade practices, is the same tool Trump used to slap tariffs on China over alleged intellectual-property theft.The U.S. says countries considering their own version of a digital tax should focus on ongoing global talks with 130 countries on how to tax tech companies. Any future pact would likely create a whole new set of rules governing which countries have the right to tax the companies, which corporate profits are taxable, and how to resolve the inevitable disputes that would arise. A deal could be reached as soon as next year.Opposition to France’s tax is a rare area of bipartisan agreement in Congress. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in June, Senators Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, and Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, urged the U.S. to look at “all available tools under U.S. law to address such targeted and discriminatory taxation.”The lawmakers included a suggestion to use a section of the tax code that would double the rate of U.S. taxes on French citizens and companies in the U.S.To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Davison in Washington at ldavison4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Sarah McGregor, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times10 hours ago

    Further reading

    Elsewhere on Monday, -- A new Satoshi claimant .  -- Solar roadways turned out to be not so good. -- What is WeWork? -- Some Kenyans believe fintech apps are enslaving them in debt.  -- And some Cambodians ...