|Bid||214.57 x 800|
|Ask||214.63 x 800|
|Day's Range||212.50 - 216.05|
|52 Week Range||143.43 - 222.75|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.06|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||34.30|
|Earnings Date||Jan 28, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||246.00|
The former first lady says there’s reason to believe Facebook’s “not just going to reelect Trump, but intend[s] to reelect” him.
A recent survey by Blind asked two questions: “In 2019, how much growth do you think you had while working at your organization?” and “Are you happy at your current workplace?”
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The most recent retail sales data provides a glimpse into the mind of the U.S. consumer.The latest monthly retail sales report from the U.S. Census Bureau recorded December sales (excluding gasoline, automobiles and restaurants) of $384.6 billion. Compared with the prior year’s $ 360.5 billion, that’s a solid year-over-year gain of 6.7%. Sales in November 2019 were $330.2 billion for a 1.1% gain over 2018’s $325.9 billion. Average these two-monthly totals and you get a 4.1% year over year gain for the holiday-shopping period.Those are strong numbers. Delving deeper reveals several interesting data points:\-- consumer sentiment has fully recovered from the lows after the financial crisis and is back to levels that prevailed in mid-2000s;\-- sentiment is still below the frothy dot-com peak of the late 1990s, suggesting that consumers are confident about the future but not in a reckless or unsustainable way;\-- consumer debt relative to disposable income remains at the lowest level in at least four decades, indicating that there's room for them to spend more:These three data points suggest that the next few quarters of gross domestic product growth, retail sales and durable goods orders are likely to be robust.In the typical election year, these economic positives tend to benefit the White House incumbent. I will let others debate whether this is a typical election year.Two other interesting issues worth mentioning: Online sales measured by point-of-sale credit-card transactions from MasterCard’s SpendingPulse showed that e-commerce in 2019 reached all-time highs. E-commerce now accounts for 14% of U.S. retail sales and likely will continue to claim a growing piece of the pie. Worldwide, online sales have nearly tripled during the past five years from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to more than $3.5 trillion in 2019, according to Statista. Projections are for this to more than double during the next five years.One surprise from the MasterCard data is that online shopping is accelerating, rising 18.8% last year compared with 2018’s 18.4%. There are few signs online retail is slowing. If anything, the generation that grew up online doesn't think of e-commerce as anything special; it's simply retail.One other observation: Perhaps the most intriguing online retail outlet is Instagram’s Checkout. It was named 2019’s Technology of the Year by Mobile Marketer. Fashion site Glossy describes Instagram as the next big sales channel “for direct-to-consumer companies and traditional retailers alike.”More than just promoting a brand or product, Instagram is facilitating the sale of products directly to consumers. The company takes its slice of the transaction. Combine this with the lethally accurate algorithms deployed by parent company Facebook Inc. and you can imagine the sort of sales growth that might lie ahead.To give you an idea of the size of this marketplace, Instagram has more than 1 billion accounts active each month worldwide (Facebook has 2.45 billion active users). Most of them have some form of payment system, including credit cards, Venmo, PayPal or Apple Pay.So far, Instagram Checkout has been rolled out slowly since the platform introduced it in March. It has been testing product tags in posts since 2016. Again according to Glossy, tags came to “Instagram Stories” about two years later. The fashion site, quoting Instagram, reports that 130 million people tap a product tag to shop or see a price every month. Instagram is native to mobile, which is where the new generation of consumers spend most of their connected time. Although Instagram hasn't made a big splash in online retailing yet, the potential is there.To be sure, there are some inklings of problems with counterfeit goods. This has been an issue that has haunted both Amazon.com Inc. and eBay Inc. If Instagram wants to become a serious player in retail, it needs to nip this in the bud.Disruption doesn't sleep. Don’t be surprised if the incumbent stars of e-commerce -- the leading members of the last generation of disruptive technologies — become the new victims of creative destruction.The relative health of the American consumer makes the disruption all the more likely — and sooner rather than later.To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Stock futures plunged as coronavirus fears hit the stock market rally. Apple earnings are on tap this week. So are AMD, Facebook, Microsoft and Tesla earnings
Despite a challenging regulatory environment, growing antitrust scrutiny, ad targeting headwinds, the social media behemoth is poised to announce strong second-quarter results.
Charlotte-based Asana Partners adds another piece to its significantly-expanded Atlanta real estate portfolio.
Fears over the spreading coronavirus have set into markets. Global stocks, as well as U.S. futures, are tumbling on Monday as the death toll from the virus rises and the number of confirmed cases grows.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up for Bloomberg’s daily technology newsletter here.The last two weeks have been remarkably eventful for Jeff Bezos. First, the Amazon.com Inc. co-founder’s visit to India was met with street-side protests, a new antitrust investigation into “predatory pricing and unfair trade practices” and hostile comments from the government led by India Prime Minster Narendra Modi.Then last week, Bezos’s yearlong tangle with Saudi Arabia burst into the headlines, with cybersecurity investigators concluding with “medium to high confidence” that Bezos’s iPhone was hacked via a WhatsApp message sent directly from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s account.Those are two very different situations in two separate parts of the world. But they had something in common—an overly optimistic bet (that Amazon placed, along with its Big Tech brethren) on global leaders whose dispositions turned out to be less open and, to varying degrees, more autocratic than Silicon Valley originally thought.Amazon first bet big on India in 2014, when Bezos stood on the top of a flatbed truck in ceremonial Indian wedding garb and presented the chief of his local operation with an oversized $2 billion check. Bezos met with Modi on that trip and amid mutual goodwill, seemed to believe the prime minister would loosen India’s rigorous restrictions on how foreign-owned e-commerce companies could operate.Since then, regulations in India have actually become stricter, with Modi catering to his party’s base of small business owners by limiting Amazon’s ability to sell items directly and to control its own prices. While gaining market share from Walmart Inc.-owned rival Flipkart, Amazon’s marketplace division reported steep losses in the last full fiscal year. On Bezos’s latest trip, Modi reportedly declined to meet with him.Bezos’s relationship with Saudi Arabia started with similar hopes. According to last week’s reports, Bezos and Prince Mohammed met at a 2018 dinner party in Los Angeles and exchanged phone numbers. Buoyed by the crown prince’s promise of modernizing the desert kingdom and diversifying its oil-based economy, Amazon was angling to close a $2.2 billion deal to put three data centers in the country. But that arrangement was put on ice after Saudi agents killed Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist at the Bezos-owned Washington Post. Saudi officials have said the crown prince had no involvement in the murder of Khashoggi or the cyberattack on Bezos. Now a Twitter account linked to the Saudi government is advocating for an Amazon boycott.In each country, Amazon’s agenda was complicated by the regime’s bellicosity toward coverage in the Post. But the sharp decline of its fortunes in India and Saudi Arabia is also about leaders whose true colors were much darker than they originally seemed. India under Modi recently passed a restrictive citizenship law that prevents many undocumented Muslim migrants from becoming citizens, while allowing for applicants with different religious affiliations. The Saudi government under Prince Mohammed has fueled conflict in Yemen, persecuted religious and political dissidents and unleashed coordinated Twitter attacks and other cyber tactics on its perceived enemies.Amazon wasn’t alone in pinning unrealistic hopes on these leaders. India has proved similarly challenging for Facebook Inc. The country accounts for Facebook’s largest user base, but the government has tried to force the company to identify users of the encrypted WhatsApp messaging service and threatened to introduce restrictive new rules to regulate social media. And in 2018 the Saudi crown prince cultivated many tech leaders who would likely be wary of such photo ops today.It wasn’t too long ago that tech leaders were overly optimistic about China, too. Mark Zuckerberg did a fun run for the cameras in Beijing and a meet-and-greet with President Xi Jinping. Google thought it could sneak back into China, after famously withdrawing from the country in 2010, with its secretive Dragonfly search project.Back in what now seems a simpler time, tech companies thought the world was becoming more receptive to the economic bounties and democratizing halo of the internet. But the world, and these leaders, have veered starkly away from this brand of idealism. It turned out they didn't want to be friends with Silicon Valley after all.If you read one thingWhen tech leaders tried to understand why large companies have trouble embracing new technologies, they turned to Clayton Christensen, author of the seminal book, the Innovator’s Dilemma, and several sequels. Christensen died last week at age 67 of complications from cancer treatment, according to Utah’s Deseret News.And here’s what you need to know in global technology newsYouTube got the streaming rights to some of the biggest esports leagues. Google signed a deal with Activision Blizzard to carry Call of Duty and Overwatch competitions. The Call of Duty league debuted Friday with a three-day event in Minneapolis.Salesforce encouraged employees to buy and expense a copy of the co-founder’s new book. The software company sent a memo to its 48,000 workers last fall promoting the book, Trailblazer, and offering reimbursement. On its website, Salesforce describes the book as an “instant” bestseller.Airbnb sued a real estate developer it partnered with to build apartments. The suit accuses NDG and its chief of stealing at least $1 million. The venture has long been a source of controversy for Airbnb, which is expected to go public this year.To contact the author of this story: Brad Stone in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Milian at firstname.lastname@example.org, Anne VanderMeyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Strengthening Prime-enabled services and expanding AWS services portfolio are likely to reflect on Amazon's (AMZN) fourth-quarter results.
We have highlighted four red-hot tech stocks positioned to surpass earnings expectations as they gear up to announce their last round of financial results for calendar year 2019.
Some American universities are beginning to monitor their faculty and students in ways frighteningly similar to the Chinese social credit system.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- When the world’s competition police reflect on big tech’s dealmaking over the past 15 years, you could forgive them for wondering what might have been. If Facebook Inc. hadn’t acquired WhatsApp or Instagram, or if Google hadn’t bought YouTube or DoubleClick, would there be stronger competition for the two Silicon Valley firms?It certainly seems that regulators, particularly in the U.K., are eager to avoid repeat scenarios where companies grab outsize control of an emerging market before it’s clear exactly how important or big that market may be. That’s why a 6.1 billion-pound ($8 billion) food delivery takeover may have broader implications for tech giants’ dealmaking-to-come.Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority is reviewing the Dutch firm Takeaway.com NV’s planned acquisition of Just Eat Plc, the U.K.’s online marketplace for restaurant delivery. It’s a remarkable step, given that Takeaway.com no longer has a British business, and so the two firms don’t currently compete, at least not in the U.K. The regulator, the CMA, is instead pondering hypotheticals. It’s deliberating whether, without a deal, Takeaway.com might still otherwise enter the market and add a healthy dose of competition.The move underscores a recent approach that could make it more difficult for tech giants to make acquisitions, even small ones. (Together, they’ve bought more than 250 companies in the last six years.) Companies might not obviously compete with the firm acquiring them, but the U.K. watchdog is increasingly taking into account the possibility they could become a competitor at some later stage. It seems to have listened to the findings of the government-commissioned review into digital competition last year by Jason Furman, previously economic adviser to former U.S. President Barack Obama, which recommended that the CMA should take “more frequent and firmer action to challenge mergers that could be detrimental to consumer welfare through reducing future levels of innovation and competition.”Across the Atlantic, DNA-sequencing firm Illumina Inc.’s scuppered $1.2 billion acquisition of smaller peer Pacific Biosciences of California Inc. also illustrates the challenge. Both firms are active in slightly different parts of the market, so do not directly compete: Illumina currently focuses on so-called short-read sequencing platforms, while PacBio’s expertise is in long-reads. Yet antitrust authorities in both the U.K. and U.S. pushed back against the deal because of concerns that Illumina would decide against developing its own long-read offering further down the line, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Aitor Ortiz. The firms called the deal off earlier this month.It’s healthy that technology deals are likely to attract more scrutiny. Acquisitions sometimes look like a catch-and-kill strategy: buying a startup that could become a rival before it's able to do so without necessarily using it to augment the business directly. For example, back in 2017, Facebook bought the fast-growing teen app tbh, before shutting it down just eight months later, citing low usage.But doing so presents a potential challenge for the CMA: ensuring that the U.K. remains an attractive place to found technology firms. Venture capitalists and big companies themselves often argue that a lot of startups are founded with the intention of ultimately selling themselves to a larger rival. If that exit strategy disappears, runs the argument, then they might decide to set up shop elsewhere.So far, it’s too early to determine whether that argument has any merit. And analysts still expect the Takeaway.com-Just Eat deal to complete, albeit with a slight delay. But because the CMA has the authority to impose remedies without a court case, unlike the U.S.’s Federal Trade Commission, technology firms have good reason to be wary.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Investors continue to pour funds into passive investment products that aim to replicate the performance of benchmark indexes. They’re also increasingly keen that their money gets used to influence corporations to stop damaging the planet and improve social inclusiveness. Unfortunately, many of the products designed to achieve both objectives currently fall short on the goal of responsible investing.The shift in emphasizing environmental, social and governance issues puts pressure on the index providers to come up with benchmarks that more accurately reflect the concerns investors are attempting to express by allocating capital to ESG investment products. Currently, though, even dedicated ESG indexes have shortcomings that many investors are probably unaware of.The U.S. Vegan Climate exchange-traded fund, for example, tracks a $124 billion index created by Beyond Investing that excludes companies engaged in a laundry list of potentially harmful activities, including animal exploitation, human rights abuses and fossil fuels extraction. While the $14 million ETF’s top five holdings — Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Facebook Inc., Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. — may all meet those criteria, they’re hardly the first names that spring to mind when thinking about the words vegan or climate. And there are many other examples.BlackRock Inc.’s announcement this month that it plans to prioritize sustainability in its investment decisions highlights the issue confronting index trackers. With two-thirds of its $7.4 trillion of assets managed passively, the world’s biggest asset manager acknowledged that the bulk of its cash isn’t available to pursue those goals. Harnessing that firepower will become increasingly important if the passive industry is to meet the ESG aspirations of its growing customer base.It’s even likely to radically change the industry, and sooner than people realize. To that point, Hiro Mizuno, the chief investment officer of Japan’s $1.6 trillion Global Pension Investment Fund, says the days are over when it’s enough for passive fund managers to compete simply on providing the lowest tracking errors at the lowest cost. Now they have to add value too. “The main battlefield among our passive managers is going to be in the stewardship area.” he told the Financial Times last month. BlackRock is far from alone in shifting to a more moral investing stance. A survey of 300 institutional investors, financial advisers and fund managers that use ETFs published on Monday by Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. showed that almost three-quarters of respondents expect to increase the amount allocated to ESG investments in the coming year.European participants in the BBH survey ranked ESG-themed products as the ETF category they would most like to see more supply of, while Chinese investors ranked the sector as their second most desired area of expansion, along with more funds designed to track core indexes.Money is flooding into the sector. ESG-designated assets were the fastest-growing category of ETFs listed on Deutsche Boerse AG’s Xetra market last year, with investments more than tripling to more than 23 billion euros ($25 billion). Globally, ESG ETFs have enjoyed net inflows for 52 consecutive weeks, taking in $30 billion in the past year and garnering almost $3.4 billion in the week ended Jan. 20, according to data compiled by Bloomberg LP, which competes in selling index data to investors.There are two main routes whereby ETF providers can meet the implicit demands of clients allocating money to passively managed ESG products. The first is to use their collective muscle to prompt index providers to increase the granularity of the benchmarks used to shape asset allocations. Improving the discrimination of ESG indexes would go a long way to ensuring investors aren’t being hoodwinked into products that aren’t as green or socially savvy as they first appear.The second is trickier. Excluding companies deemed to be damaging the environment or being socially irresponsibly isn’t enough to move the needle. Engaging with the boards of those firms and using the clout of a shareholding to force them to change their ways is much more effective.But that costs money, and the success of the ETF model has been founded in large part on its ability to charge ultra-low fees. If BlackRock and its peers are serious about taking their social responsibilities more seriously, investors will have to pay for the privilege — and the sellers of index trackers will need to be honest about the increased cost of that kind of activism. Let’s hope the buyers of the products decide it’s a price worth paying to do good.To contact the author of this story: Mark Gilbert at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Mark Gilbert is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering asset management. He previously was the London bureau chief for Bloomberg News. He is also the author of "Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Italy’s Matteo Salvini suffered a stinging loss in a key regional vote, providing a much-needed boost to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s fragile government and making a snap general election less likely.Interior Ministry figures showed a center-left bloc led by the Democratic Party, or PD -- a partner in Conte’s ruling coalition -- at 51.3% in Emilia-Romagna, a long-time leftist stronghold. A center-right group headed by Salvini’s anti-migrant League trailed at 43.8%.Salvini had hoped that taking Emilia-Romagna would deal a death blow to Conte’s government and force an early national election that he would likely win. Instead, Sunday’s defeat for the populist firebrand, after a failed power grab last year, settled nerves in the market and yields on Italian 10-year government fell the most since August 27.Investors have been closely watching the vote, spooked by the possibility that a Salvini government would clash with the European Union and give a prominent role to euroskeptic lawmakers within the ranks of his League party.Turnout at almost 70% appeared to favor the center-left. The anti-Salvini grassroots movement known as “the Sardines” had filled city squares in recent months and mobilized young voters.With their mission accomplished, the Sardines leaders said in a Facebook post that they plan to return to their normal lives and won’t be speaking to the media about the election.Meanwhile, support for the Five Star Movement, Conte’s main coalition partner which won more than a third of the votes in national elections in 2018, collapsed to about 5%, according to projections.The dismal result could shift the balance of power within the government, with Five Star possibly toning down its populist demands on issues from toll-road licenses to judicial reform. Five Star Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio quit as party leader on the eve of the vote and the movement’s implosion seems set to accelerate.Democratic Party leader Nicola Zingaretti claimed victory in the early hours of Monday, saying that thwarting Salvini will give fresh impetus to Conte’s government, while warning that the balance of power could be changing in the coalition.“A bipolar system is coming back into play, with two main forces fighting over leadership,” the PD leader said, in comments cited by Ansa news agency. “The Movement finds itself faced with this dilemma, though I say this as an ally, not an adversary.”Conte plans to set out a detailed plan for his cabinet’s priorities in coming weeks, including tax cuts, boosting private and state investment and speeding up the sclerotic justice system.Salvini said he was proud that the election was close despite Emilia-Romagna being a traditional stronghold of the center-left. He could take comfort in the result in a separate, less significant vote in Calabria, where a rightist coalition led by the League comfortably defeated the incumbent Democrats. Polls had shown Salvini’s forces comfortably ahead in the southern region.Salvini, 46, campaigned tirelessly across prosperous Emilia-Romagna, with up to a dozen campaign stops a day. He even pledged to head straight for Conte’s official residence in Rome and serve him an eviction notice if his group won Sunday’s ballot.Salvini has been trying to cash in on the lead he’s held in national opinion polls since last summer, when he abandoned Conte’s first coalition. That ploy backfired when Conte managed to cobble together a new alliance without the League.Nationally, surveys show support for the League at about 31%, and for the three-way center-right bloc at 48%. The Democrats are at 19% while Five Star has 16%, half the score it achieved when it won the 2018 general election.(Updates with official figures in second paragraph “Sardines” in sixth, PD leader in ninth)\--With assistance from Caroline Alexander, Alberto Brambilla, Flavia Rotondi, Iain Rogers and Tommaso Ebhardt.To contact the reporters on this story: John Follain in Rome at email@example.com;Alessandro Speciale in Rome at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at email@example.com, Jerrold Colten, Dan LiefgreenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Earnings seasons is chugging along and this week brings mammoth tests for the high-flying communication services and technology sectors. Consider this week of “not fooling around” earnings reports because ...
The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased more than 22% in 2019 and is already up 2.2% through three weeks of 2020, but it is about to face its biggest test of the young year, and potentially many years.
Content moderators working at a European facility for Facebook have been required to sign a form explicitly acknowledging that their job could cause post-traumatic stress disorder, according to documentation and employee confirmation obtained by the Financial Times. The facility, which is operated by global professional services company Accenture, hosts roughly 400 content moderators who trawl through hundreds of disturbing images and videos — ranging from bestiality and child abuse to hate speech, self-harm and terrorism — across Facebook and Instagram every day. The moderators’ jobs entail making granular decisions about why each image or video is objectionable.
After more than two decades as a top corporate lawyer and lobbyist, she took a golden parachute retirement package from her position as vice president of external affairs and policy at Consolidated Natural Gas. Build your network.
DEEP DIVE It’s happening again: The financial media is touting a potential shifting of investors to value stocks from the growth stocks that have propelled the extended bull market in the U.S. This last happened in September and October, though the value buzz ended up being short-lived.