|Day's Range||155.97 - 155.97|
One in five users say they had their privacy violated on social media, according to an exclusive new Verizon Media survey.
European Central Bank board member Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on Tuesday that "stablecoins" like Facebook’s Libra highlight gaps in rules and the media giant's payments project faced a tough regulatory approach. Facebook's planned Libra is the most well-known of the stablecoins, cryptocurrencies backed by assets such as traditional money deposits, short-term government securities or gold. Facebook has said it will apply for a licence as a payments services operator in Switzerland, but this may not be comprehensive enough to satisfy regulators.
Stablecoins designed to minimize the volatility experienced by many popular cryptocurrencies may be subject to liquidity risks in times of stress.
A new social network has entered the already crowded field in Vietnam as the communist party squeezes U.S. tech giants Facebook and Google with a new cybersecurity law. Lotus, a social network that allows users to create content and share posts to a home page, had received 700 billion dong ($30.14 million) in funding from tech corporation VCCorp and hoped to raise another 500 billion dong, company General Director Nguyen The Tan said at the launch ceremony. "Lotus was born not to compete with Facebook or any other social networks," Tan said late on Monday.
(Bloomberg) -- Crypto-exchange behemoth Binance Holdings Ltd. has made its first strategic Chinese investment, joining a funding round that valued crypto-data website Mars Finance at about $200 million.Investors in the round also included Ceyuan Ventures and Matrixport, the financial services startup created by Bitmain Technologies Ltd. co-founder Wu Jihan, Mars Finance said in a statement.The funding is Binance’s first strategic investment in China, a market it withdrew from in 2017 after Beijing banned digital coin trading. Founder “CZ” Zhao Changpeng said in the statement that Mars Finance has rapidly expanded its influence since inception.Beijing-based Mars Finance was founded by local entrepreneur Wang Feng in 2018, one of several dozen nascent Chinese-language crypto news services similar to CoinDesk. It previously completed two funding rounds with backers including IDG Capital and the venture arms of exchange operators OKCoin and Huobi. The startup also runs its own venture fund called Consensus Lab, which has invested in Hong Kong-based Coinsuper.Prior to Mars Finance, Wang co-founded Linekong Interactive Group Co. in 2007, a mobile game developer and publisher that went public in Hong Kong in 2014.Read more: Crypto-Platform Behemoth Binance Plans Rival to Facebook’s LibraTo contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Joanna OssingerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Facebook Inc. is once again defending Libra -- this time against fears that the envisioned cryptocurrency could replace sovereign currencies from the U.S. dollar to the Euro and threaten central banks’ control over money creation.David Marcus, the executive leading the project, posted a series of tweets the same day members of the Libra Association met with regulators convened by a G-7 working group in Switzerland. He argued that creating Libra isn’t the digital equivalent of printing U.S. dollars or minting new euros. The simple existence of Libra, he says, doesn’t create new value.Facebook’s crypto plans, unveiled in June, have faced intense push-back from regulators all over the world. One of the biggest concerns is that the new digital currency will be used by smugglers, drug dealers and terrorists. Another is that the social media giant, which has run afoul of regulators over user data in the past, should not be trusted to handle sensitive financial information. Facebook has said repeatedly it would be just one of many companies managing the new currency.“Recently there’s been a lot of talk about how Libra could threaten the sovereignty of nations when it comes to money,” Marcus tweeted. “Libra will be backed 1:1 by a basket of strong currencies. This means that for any unit of Libra to exist, there must be the equivalent value in its reserve,” he tweeted. “As such there’s no new money creation, which will strictly remain the province of sovereign nations.”Currency competition is yet another sticking point for wary regulators.In a follow-up call after Marcus’s tweets, Christian Catalini, the lead economist inside Facebook working on Libra, declined to say whether or not the issue came up during Monday’s meeting. But he did say that this element of Libra is one of many that are “misunderstood or not correctly interpreted.”“All of the design of Libra is really around being a complement of fiat [currencies], not a substitute,” he said.Why Everybody (Almost) Hates Facebook’s Digital Coin: QuickTakeLibra does not yet exist, and Facebook has pledged that it will not launch until regulators are appeased. It hopes to start the currency sometime in 2020.The concern from regulators is that giving over the control of currency creation to Facebook -- or any private company -- would strip governments of one of their greatest assets: monetary policy. The response from central banks has varied from active engagement as in the case of Singapore, to China considering its own equivalent.In a blog post from July on Harvard Law School’s forum for “corporate governance and financial regulation,” three professors who wrote a paper about regulating Libra argued that it posed a threat to sovereign governments.“Once Libra becomes well established in some countries, national governments will lose control of their money supply and lose monetary policy as a tool of economic expansion or contraction,” the post reads. “They will also lose the capacity, in times of severe uncertainty, to impose capital controls to prevent capital flight. All of these changes may well prove highly destabilising to the entire global financial system.”Catalini disagrees. He says that even for countries whose currency is not part of Libra’s reserve, there is little fear of Libra replacing local tender because of how the digital coin will be used. Its main purpose, Catalini says, is to help with payments that include lots of fees or burdens, like cross-border money transfers. It will be less useful for day-to-day commerce, he added.“It’s unlikely that Libra will be used locally because the local currencies have better properties” for local commerce, he said.To contact the reporter on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edwin Chan, Joanna OssingerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Foxconn Technology Group, pulled out of next year’s presidential election in Taiwan, a move that may help unite the opposition Kuomintang party.Gou apologized to his supporters in a statement on Facebook Tuesday outlining his decision to withdraw from the race as an independent. After he quit the KMT last week, he had come under pressure from opposition leaders, including former President Ma Ying-jeou, to drop out of the race and support their nominee to help return the China-friendly party to power.“With this poor election climate and prevailing populism, I’m not willing to participate in this political farce, not only for my own personal and factional interests, but also because class struggle is tearing Taiwan apart,” Gou said in a video released Tuesday.Gou could still run as a candidate for one of Taiwan’s established political parties.Shares in companies controlled by Gou slumped Tuesday. FIH Mobile Ltd. was the worst performer on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Composite Index, tumbling as much as 23.2%. His flagship Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. fell 2% in Taipei.Gou had been widely expected to run for the presidency after publicly flirting with the idea since losing the KMT primary to Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu in July. Gou’s candidacy threatened to sap support for Han who will challenge President Tsai Ing-wen in the Jan. 11 election.Gou trailed the two candidates from the main parties by at least seven percentage points, according to a survey released by TVBS last week. In a two-way race, Tsai leads with 49% of support, compared with 42% for Han.What had been shaping up as Taiwan’s most competitive presidential election in decades could end up being essentially a straight fight between Tsai and Han. Another prospective independent candidate, Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je, said he had no intention of running for president, according to a report by TV news channel TVBS on Tuesday. Still, Tsai could face increased competition for voters who favor a stronger push for the island’s formal independence. Former Vice President Annette Lu announced her intention to run as an independent. Lu served as vice president under Chen Shui-bian between 2000 and 2008.(An earlier version of this story was corrected to fix spelling of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. in fifth paragraph)\--With assistance from Tony Jordan.To contact the reporter on this story: Debby Wu in Taipei at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org, Samson Ellis, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The message to Adam Neumann was clear: You’re not Zuckerberg.Over the past month, as Neumann’s grandiose plans for We Co. started to fray, bankers began warning that he would have to loosen his iron grip on the company.The old era of Mark Zuckerburg was over, WeWork executives would soon learn. Back in 2012, Zuckerberg could take Facebook Inc. public and still retain extraordinary voting power. But that was then.And so it was that Neumann, the polarizing co-founder of WeWork, begrudgingly agreed this week to cede some of his powers. The question now: Will that be enough? Already, WeWork’s hoped-for valuation has plunged by more than half, or some $30 billion.By Friday morning, Neumann’s company had hastily filed an amended prospectus for an initial public offering -- one that will test not only WeWork and its guru-CEO but, in many ways, an entire generation of money-burning, grow-at-all-cost startups.In a matter of weeks, WeWork’s IPO has gone from one of the most hotly anticipated deals of the decade to perhaps one of the most dreaded. Despite growing skepticism over WeWork’s business prospects, Neumann has resisted corporate-governance changes that would be considered standard elsewhere.The chaos was apparent Thursday and Friday, as WeWork picked a stock exchange, emailed bankers and filed its new prospectus -- all in about 12 hours.Nasdaq ListingDefying skeptics -- among them, some of its own financial backers -- WeWork is plowing ahead with plans to go public on the Nasdaq stock market. Not even Nasdaq officials knew for certain that the company would chose the exchange until the last minute on Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter.Emails were flying into the night. The new prospectus hit just after 6 a.m. on Friday.Now, yet another deadline looms: September 27, the Friday before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Neumann is expected to observe the holiday and be out of communication for several days, people familiar with WeWork said. WeWork representatives did not respond to a request for comment.Neumann didn’t get where he is, atop one of the most talked-about startups of the decade, by sharing. But in a new prospectus WeWork disclosed that Neumann would wield less power via an unusual class of high-voting stock.Now, executives must persuade investors that their company -- which has raised $12 billion since its founding and never turned a nickel of profit -- is worth billions on the stock market. As of late Friday, it was unclear whether they would be able to start marketing the stock via a roadshow starting on Monday, as many had expected.$65 Billion Value?Unclear, too, is just what WeWork might fetch on the open market. Only months ago, some bankers whispered it might be worth as much as $65 billion. Now that figure has fallen to as little as $15 billion.Beyond a page or so of steps WeWork would take to tighten up its corporate governance practices, Friday’s amended prospectus was little changed from the initial one in August.The dedication, even the second time, is pure Neumann:TO THE ENERGY OF WE –GREATER THAN ANY ONE OF USBUT INSIDE EACH OF USAmong other things, the company will trim the voting advantage that gives Neumann sway over the board, and no member of his family will be allowed to sit on the board. WeWork will also announce a lead independent director by year’s end.The move leaves in place a rare three-class stock structure and Neumann still maintains a voting majority, so it’s unclear how much the changes will appease both investors and the banks in charge of managing WeWork’s IPO.Valuation QuestionsQuestions remain about how investors will value the fast-growing, money-losing office leasing business that’s backed by SoftBank Group Corp. Both of the company’s lead financial advisers --JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. -- have previously voiced concerns about proceeding with an IPO at a valuation around $15 billion, people briefed on the discussions have said.Looking to save the IPO and limit its downside, SoftBank is in discussions to buy about $750 million worth of additional stock in the offering, the people said.The board will have the ability to remove the CEO, and the updated prospectus has taken out a clause that previously said Neumann’s wife Rebekah -- who’s listed as a founder and chief brand and impact officer of WeWork -- will have a role choosing any new chief. Some criticized the changes as not going far enough.“This is an example of posturing,” Jeffrey Cunningham, who teaches management at Arizona State University and has served on several corporate boards, said of WeWork’s changes. The company appears to be facing pressure “to go public at a time that is inappropriate and with a governance record that is questionable.”Still, the moves drove WeWork bonds to be the biggest price gainers in high-yield bond trading for part of Friday. A Fitch Ratings analyst said the changes addressed many of the issues that the ratings company raised in downgrading WeWork’s credit grade last month.“A key component of WeWork’s model is the ability to restrain growth in the event of a downturn and these governance changes increase the likelihood that an independent board will have the power to enforce such a decision,” Kevin McNeil, a director at Fitch, said in an emailed statement.(Corrects the size of the drop in WeWork’s hoped-for valuation in fourth paragraph)\--With assistance from Michelle F. Davis, Anders Melin, Tom Giles and Crystal Tse.To contact the reporter on this story: Gillian Tan in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Liana Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Michael J. Moore at email@example.com, David GillenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Associate Stock Strategist Ben Rains dives into Apple's (AAPL) new iPhone 11s, as well as its streaming TV service and video game push. The episode also breaks down what's next for Apple stock and why the tech firm looks strong heading into the holiday shopping season. - Full-Court Finance
Facebook’s Libra is not intended to challenge the “monetary sovereignty of nations,” according to cofounder and Calibra CEO David Marcus.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The bankruptcy of Purdue Pharma LP lays bare a distinction that the internet is making it more and more difficult to maintain: that between a company and the people who own or founded it.The Sackler family owns Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, an opioid that has contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans. There are numerous charges and more than 2,000 lawsuits against the company and its owners, and some recent joint settlements. The company has now declared bankruptcy, and wants to give control of Purdue to a trust run by the states, cities and counties that have filed suit against it.But what about the personal fortune of the Sacklers, estimated at $13 billion or more? Under traditional corporate theory, there is a clear distinction between the assets of the corporation and those of the owners. The limited liability company can go under, but the assets of the company owners are safe — just as, say, holding shares of Volkswagen in your mutual fund did not expose you to any personal liability for the automaker’s actions in falsifying emissions data.It turns out that this distinction is harder to uphold, if only in the eyes of the public, when a single family owns and runs a company. Last week New York State alleged that the Sackler family drained at least $1 billion from Purdue for the purpose of avoiding penalties against the corporation and thus shielding its wealth. If it looks like the Sackler family was trying to avoid legal penalties and fines, there will be strong political pressure, possibly backed by public opinion, to go after those additional funds.More generally, if a company is endangered by lawsuits, and the suits are not settled, its owners have a rationale to extract money from the company and stash it far away. But doing so will elicit a legal and public response, and the distinction between the personal and the corporate will not always be respected.Consider the Federal Trade Commission’s recent settlement with Facebook, under which some of founder Mark Zuckerberg’s personal assets are potentially on the line if Facebook does not respect its privacy agreements with the federal government. Some FTC commissioners suggested harsher treatment yet for Zuckerberg’s personal assets.Or, to give another example, Senator Elizabeth Warren has been promoting the notion of personal criminal liability for corporate CEOs if the firms engage in wrongdoing. Her bill would extend corporate liability beyond the company itself, and of course most CEOs of major companies are also shareholders to some extent. Maybe the goal is to punish these individuals in their roles as executives rather than as shareholders. But such penalties would blur these distinctions in the mind of the public — and eventually, perhaps, under the law.So how does the internet matter in all this? First, social media is very effective at drumming up outrage, and negative news seems to have a longer lifespan than positive news. The media’s pre-existing negative bias has been amplified, creating further animosity against any actual or supposed corporate villain.More important, social media personalizes agency — in effect, making it easier to accuse particular individuals of wrongdoing. Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and the Koch brothers all have images or iconic photos that can be put into a social media post, amplifying any attack on their respective companies. It is harder to vilify Exxon, in part because hardly anyone can name its CEO (Darren Woods, since 2017), who in any case did not create the current version of the company. Putting the Exxon logo on your vituperative social media post just doesn’t have the same impact. With Bill Gates having stepped down as Microsoft CEO in 2000, it is harder to vilify that company as well.This personalization of corporate evil has become a bigger issue in part because many prominent tech companies are currently led by their founders, and also because the number of publicly traded companies has been falling, which means there are fewer truly anonymous corporations. It’s not hard to imagine a future in which the most important decision a new company makes is how personalized it wants to be. A well-known founder can spark interest in the company and its products, and help to attract talent. At the same time, a personalized company is potentially a much greater target.The more human identities and feelings are part of the equation, however, the harder it will be to keep the classic distinction between a corporation and its owners. As the era of personalization evolves, it will inevitably engulf that most impersonal of entities — the corporation.To contact the author of this story: Tyler Cowen at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tyler Cowen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of economics at George Mason University and writes for the blog Marginal Revolution. His books include "Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
There is a feeling in financial markets right now that the U.S. and global economic environments are actually improving. Look no further than Citi's Economic Surprise Index, which measures how economic data is coming in relative to expectations. For the first time since early 2019, this index has poked into positive territory.If the U.S. and global economic environments are actually improving, then the long end of the U.S. Treasury yield curve shouldn't be so low. Right now, the long end of the curve is basically screaming "recession." The data disagrees with this assessment. Almost always, the data wins out. Thus, there are murmurs out there that the long end of the yield curve should actually move higher over the next few months.While that is great news for the economy, it's bad news for growth stocks. Low rates inflated growth stocks, because as rates went lower, so did the discount rate for which investors used to discount future profits. Growth stocks get all of their value from future profits. Thus, as the discount rate on those future profits tumbled, the present value of those future profits soared, and so did growth stocks.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThe opposite could happen, too. Rates could rise, and if and when they do, growth stocks could drop. * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now Of course, this blanket assessment doesn't apply to all growth stocks. For many of them, this unwinding of the growth trade that was inflated by low rates will just be a blip on the radar. Once rates stop moving higher, these stocks will stop moving lower, and they will continue on their secular up-trends.But, for some growth stocks, this unwinding could be more serious. Which growth stocks could get hit hardest in this unwinding period? Let's take a look at five growth stocks to sell as rates creep higher. Growth Stocks to Sell as Rates Move Higher: Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG)Source: Northfoto / Shutterstock.com YTD Gain: 88%One growth stock which looks like it could get hit particularly hard if/when rates move higher as the U.S. economic outlook improves is Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG).Shares of the fast-casual Mexican eatery are up more than 88% year-to-date, mostly because the company has successfully and impressively executed on its turnaround initiatives, including building-out the digital delivery business, expanding the menu, and re-branding the chain as a "healthy ingredients" restaurant. Comparable sales have turned into sharply positive territory. Margins are have run higher. Profits have soared. So has CMG stock.But part of this rally has unequivocally found support in low rates. How else do you explain a restaurant sock trading at over 45-times forward earnings? The average forward earnings multiple in the restaurant sector is 28, less than half of Chipotle's forward multiple.As such, if/when rates creep higher over the next few months, CMG stock could get hit particularly hard -- not because the fundamentals here aren't good, but because the valuation looks almost entirely dependent on rates remaining low. Workday (WDAY)Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com YTD Gain: 9%One growth stock which has already been hit hard in the unwinding of the growth trade in anticipation of higher rates is Workday (NASDAQ:WDAY).Workday is a market-leading provider of cloud-hosted enterprise resource planning solutions. The cloud growth narrative has been on fire this year. So has Workday's growth narrative. In 2019, Workday's revenues, profits, and stock have all marched higher. But, as I've pointed out before, WDAY stock has marched into aggressively overvalued territory, and investors are finally starting to notice as the company's numbers have shown signs of weakness.Over the past two months, WDAY stock has shed more than 20%, mostly thanks to slowing growth trends in the company's most recent earnings report. During those two months, the 10-Year Treasury yield actually dropped from over 2% to about 1.6%. Thus, even with the long end of the curve dropping, WDAY stock has still dropped big over the past two months because the growth narrative here is losing momentum. * 10 Battered Tech Stocks to Buy Now If the long end of the yield curve reverses course here and starts to move higher, that will add more pressure to what is an already pressured WDAY stock. That added pressure should result in material weakness in Workday stock for the foreseeable future. Match Group (MTCH)Source: Shutterstock YTD Gain: 80%Another growth stock that seems aggressively overvalued and which could get hit hard in the event that rates do move higher is Match (NASDAQ:MTCH).MTCH stock is up 80% year-to-date -- and up 400% over the past three years -- as the company has emerged as the unchallenged leader in the secular growth online dating space. Specifically, two things have happened here. One, Match has acquired all of its competition (ex: Bumble) and now holds a portfolio of apps which cumulatively dominate the entire online dating landscape. Think Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) of online dating. Two, online dating has turned into a super valuable industry, as consumers have expressed ample willingness to pay up for premium and exclusive online dating services and perks.Consequently, Match's user base, revenues, and profits have all expanded dramatically over the past few years. This big growth has fueled big gains in MTCH stock. But, this is now a stock which trades at 37-times forward earnings, on revenue and profit growth that was under 20% last quarter. That's a really big multiple for not-that-big of growth. Excluding legal fees, Facebook is growing revenues at a faster rate and profits at a comparable rate. And FB stock trades at just 19.5-times forward earnings.From this perspective, it does appear that low rates are inflating the valuation underneath MTCH stock. If/when rates do move higher from today's all time low levels, then MTCH stock could suffer from material multiple compression. Roku (ROKU)Source: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com YTD Gain: 388%It's tough for me to put streaming device maker Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) on any "stocks to sell" list. The long-term growth narrative is just so good. But, ROKU stock has come so far, so fast, that I do think this stock could get hit hard if/when rates creep higher.Big picture, ROKU stock is a long-term winner. The company is transforming into the cable box of the streaming TV world, and in so doing, will one day have over 100 million active accounts, from which the company will be able to extract tons of high-margin dollars through TV ad sales and subscription sharing agreements. This company is in the first few innings of a very big long term growth narrative -- and that narrative will ultimately end with ROKU stock being way higher in the long run.In the near-term, ROKU stock is ahead of itself. See the math here. It's tough to justify a price tag above $150 today for this stock, even under aggressive long-term growth assumptions. The only justification for a price tag above $150? Low rates support it. But, if that low rate support disappears, you could see a big sell-off in ROKU stock. * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession As such, while I love the growth narrative underlying ROKU stock, I'm also worried that the stock could give back gains in a hurry if/when rates move higher. Starbucks (SBUX)Source: monticello / Shutterstock.com YTD Gain: 41%Joining Chipotle as the only other non-tech growth stock on this list, coffee retail giant Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) seems susceptible to a sizable pullback in the event rates move higher.The logic here is simple. Starbucks is firing on all cylinders today -- positive comps, upward moving margins, double-digit profit growth, etc. That's why SBUX stock has rallied 41% year-to-date to fresh all-time highs.Starbucks is also growing at a slower pace than it has over the past several years. Sure, profits are expected to grow at a 10%-plus pace for the foreseeable future. But since 2014, EPS growth has been largely north of 15%, and often north of 20%.During that 15%-plus profit growth stretch, SBUX stock averaged a 25-times forward earnings multiple. Today, during a slower growth era, SBUX stock is trading at 29-times forward earnings. A bigger multiple for slower growth? That doesn't make sense … unless you consider that today's valuation is inflated by low rates.That's exactly what is happening. SBUX stock is trading at a bigger-than-normal multiple today for slower-than-normal growth because low rates support a bigger multiple. That low rate support could disappear over the next few months. If it does, SBUX stock could be due for some serious pain.As of this writing, Luke Lango was long FB. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy * 7 Hot Penny Stocks to Consider Now * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now The post 5 Growth Stocks to Sell as Rates Move Higher appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Facebook (FB) plans to launch its WhatsApp payment service in India before the year wraps up, according to WhatsApp India head Abhijit Bose.
Facebook’s planned digital currency, Libra, has elicited strong reactions. Some think it poses a serious risk to the global financial system.
U.S. internet stocks have been red-hot once again in 2019, gaining roughly 45% year-to-date.Each month, Nomura Instinet analyst Mark Kelley tracks the latest trends in global internet usage by taking a look at Sensor Tower data for the month. In addition, Kelley looks at recent headlines to get a sense of which internet stocks are winning over users. Investors who get ahead of the curve by examining internet usage data can potentially get valuable insight heading into third-quarter earnings season for stocks. * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy With that in mind, here's a list of Nomura Instinet's top five internet stocks to buy now and their usage trends from the month of August.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Internet Stocks to Buy Now: Spotify (SPOT)Source: Spotify Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) was once again the most downloaded music streaming app in August. The Spotify app had more than 17.7 million downloads. Downloads were up 18% in August from a year ago -- its lowest growth rate since February.However, Spotify downloads again outpaced its closest global competitors in YouTube Music (12.3 million), JioSaavn Music (5.2 million) and Deezer (3.4 million). Kelley says Spotify's 10% price hike in Norway doesn't seem to have had a major impact on revenue or cancellations, potentially opening up the door for higher prices in other regions.Nomura Instinet has a "buy" rating and $190 price target for SPOT stock. InterActiveCorp (IAC)Source: Rob Thurman Via FlickrInterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IAC) is an 80% stakeholder in Match Group (NASDAQ:MTCH), the parent company of popular dating sites including Match.com, Tinder, OKCupid and PlentyOfFish.One of the biggest overhangs for IAC stock this year has been the launch of a Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) dating service late last year. Kelley says the latest data suggests Tinder has not been negatively impacted by Facebook's service. He says Facebook is a manageable risk for Match, and online dating is far from a "winner take all" market. Subsidiary Hinge was a major growth source in August, with year-over-year downloads up 56%. * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now Nomura Instinet has a "buy" rating and $314 price target for IAC stock. Pinterest (PINS)Source: Nopparat Khokthong / Shutterstock.com Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) had 10.7 million downloads in August, up 18% from a year ago. The social media company also opened a new headquarters in Australia in August and reported a large earnings beat after making improvements to its platform.Kelley is projecting a three-year compound annual revenue growth rate for Pinterest of 42% -- the highest among the 12 internet media stocks under coverage and well above the 25% average growth rate of the group. Unlike some of its unprofitable peers, Kelley is also projecting annual net income growth of 45% as well.Nomura Instinet has a "buy" rating and $39 price target for PINS stock. Facebook (FB)Source: rvlsoft / Shutterstock.com Facebook and its advertising business just keep on trucking through all the political controversy, regulation, boycotts, lawsuits and antitrust probes.FB stock is up another 42.8% in 2019. Facebook's WhatsApp was the most downloaded social media app in August, with more than 57.2 million downloads. Messenger was a close second with 55.3 million downloads followed by the Facebook app with 52.5 million downloads and Instagram with 36.9 million downloads. While download growth on these four platforms slowed from a year ago, a clear sweep of the top four spots and a total of nearly 200 million downloads is extremely impressive.Nomura Instinet has a "buy" rating and $235 price target for FB stock. Alphabet (GOOGL)Source: achinthamb / Shutterstock.com In addition to Facebook and Match, Kelley says Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) is the big winner from the August usage data.Behind the four Facebook platforms, YouTube was the most-downloaded social media app in August with more than 23.3 million downloads. Surprisingly, users downloaded Google Search 8.2 million times in August, up 39% from a year ago. Search had previously not gotten more than 5.9 million downloads in any month during the past year. The Google Chrome app also got 6.4 million downloads in August.Nomura Instinet has a "buy" rating and $1,400 price target for GOOGL stock.As of this writing, Wayne Duggan did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy * 7 Hot Penny Stocks to Consider Now * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now The post Nomura Instinet's Top 5 Internet Stocks to Buy Now appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stock is the little brother of the "Cloud Czars." With a market cap of $534 billion, Facebook trades at 31.7 times last year's earnings. This is helped by a balance sheet that showed $41 billion in cash and no debt in June, even while the company spends capital at a $15 billion per year rate.Source: rvlsoft / Shutterstock.com Facebook's rate of capital spending growth is extraordinary. The company's capital budget was $293 million in 2009. In 2018 it was almost $14 billion.Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) gets primary credit for creating the cloud concept. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has turned the cloud into a market. But no company has been as dedicated to pushing cloud technology as Facebook. Its Open Compute Project, launched in 2011, continues to push cloud costs down.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsYet none of the Cloud Czars -- not Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), not Alphabet, not Amazon, not even Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) -- is as hated as Facebook. Blame the Free WebMany have come to believe that Facebook is partially responsible for the election of President Donald Trump. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg later testified that he believes Facebook did not "do enough" to prevent disinformation and fake news articles from swaying election results.While Alphabet is actively pushing beyond its free web roots, Facebook is doubling down on all things free. As politicians call for the breaking up of the free web's giants, Facebook is choosing to more tightly integrate its ancillary services. * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now This doesn't mean Facebook is ignoring the threats. In July, Facebook agreed to pay $5 billion to settle a Federal Trade Commission investigation into its privacy practices. In the aftermath of this fine, Facebook is changing its default settings on photos, so it won't automatically use facial recognition software to tag photos. This will ease the automatic collection of biometric data. Facebook is also considering hiding the likes on its news feed and is meeting with government officials trying to protect the 2020 election.In general, however, Facebook is showing government the same blank, bland face Zuckerberg showed in Congressional testimony last year. It tells the government what it thinks lawmakers want to hear but otherwise does what it wants. Exasperated, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden recently suggested that Zuckerberg belongs in prison. The Facebook FightbackUnder the surface, Facebook is fighting back.It is paying for a new series of fact-based media templates in Europe as part of its Facebook Watch platform. It has launched pop-up windows on its social media platforms to counter misinformation about vaccines. Facebook has also issued a white paper on data portability -- the notion that a user should be able to move their data from Facebook to another platform -- in response to growing demand.Facebook is often used for phishing. Picture friends' faces popping up through Messenger, earnestly asking for money or personal information. I have personally faced several of these phishing attempts and twice almost gave hackers hundreds of dollars as a result.Mainly, Facebook continues to treat political problems as technical ones. After this summer's Messenger Kids breach, which exposed thousands of kids to unauthorized users, its response was a technically focused letter.The test of whether this attempt to fight back is working may be Libra, its blockchain project. Libra seeks to replicate services already available from Chinese rivals like Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY). While trying to get support, Facebook has said blockchain technology will protect payments and lower costs. The European Union is already investigating Libra to see if it harms its competitors, even before its launch. FB Stock's Secret SauceWhile there are analysts who think Facebook should double down on services, say by buying Yelp (NYSE:YELP), it is Facebook's data centers and its cloud network that hold the key to its future.That network now includes two data centers in Europe and an 11-story center in Singapore, all built with the low-cost standards created by the Open Compute Project.Analysts will continue to look at Facebook through the front door of political controversy and privacy policies. They need to look instead at the back door of Facebook's data center footprint.If the former is too deep and technical for you, Facebook is a buy.Dana Blankenhorn is a financial and technology journalist. He is the author of the environmental story, Bridget O'Flynn and the Bear, available at the Amazon Kindle store. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing he owned shares in AAPL, MSFT AMZN and BABA. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy * 7 Hot Penny Stocks to Consider Now * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now The post Growing Data Center Network Makes Facebook Stock a 'Buy' appeared first on InvestorPlace.
ZURICH/LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Facebook's attempt to drag cryptocurrencies into the mainstream with its Libra digital coin met with further scepticism on Monday when an ECB board member said such "stablecoins" posed serious risks. Benoit Coeure told central bank officials from around the world that the new breed of virtual currencies were largely untested and pledged a tough regulatory approach, adding to warnings from authorities elsewhere.
The market didn't end last week on a high note, but then again, it didn't need to. Even with Friday's 0.07% setback for the S&P 500, the index still mustered just a little less than a 1% advance for the five-day stretch. That makes a third winning week in a row.Source: Shutterstock Oversized Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the reason the broad market could get up and over the hump, falling nearly 2% in Friday's action after investors rethought the costs related to the company's strategy of attracting people to its hardware and new streaming service. That impact was more than smaller names like General Electric (NYSE:GE) could offset. GE was up nearly 1% on the last day of last week, buoyed by optimism surrounding what should amount to a $5 billion debt reduction, funded by asset sales. * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy As for names worth exploring as Monday's action gets going, however, the stock charts of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Merck (NYSE:MRK) are of the most interest. Here's why.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Microsoft (MSFT)There's no denying Microsoft shares have been one of the market's best and most reliable performers for years now. Even the headwind that hammered most names late last year wasn't horrific for MSFT stock, and shares recovered quite nicely this year from that lull.This year's overheated rally looks like it has run its full course though, progressing even faster than the 2017/2018 gain. Although it's not past the point of no return yet, the action since late July suggests the bears are taking their shot. They've been nice enough to leave clear clues. * Click to EnlargeThe biggest clue to speak of is the converging wedge shape that's formed since July. The lower boundary, plotted in blue, traces all the lows going back to December's low. * Although not overwhelmingly so, the volume tide has started to lean bearishly. Should the Chaikin line on the weekly chart fall under zero, that may be the proverbial tipping point. * As for a plausible downside target, the past two major setbacks have pulled Microsoft shares just below the 200-day moving average line, marked in white on both stock charts. Merck (MRK)Shares of drugmaker Merck have dished out a healthy, even if at times uneven, rally over the course of the past year and a half. Even factoring in the current lull, MRK stock is still up 56% from its early 2018 low.The complexion of that advance has slowly but surely -- maybe even imperceptibly -- taken a turn for the worst though. While still seemingly in bullish mode, the momentum is fading and the pokes at key technical floors are more frequent and more potent. * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now * Click to EnlargeThe slowdown of the advance is easily indicated on the daily chart, with each resistance line, marked in yellow, plotted at a shallower direction than the prior one. * It's not a detail even the most focused of chart watchers would notice or care about, but each peak of the Chaikin line since the beginning of this year has been lower than the past, underscoring the slowdown. Ditto for the MACD crossunders. * So far the 200-day moving average line, marked in white on both stock charts, has held up as a floor. The straight-line support that tags all the key lows since early 2018, however, was tested again last week. That's the make-or-break level, marked as a dashed blue line on the weekly chart. Facebook (FB)It's interesting. All stock charts demonstrate some degree of interplay with their moving average. Sometimes it means a lot, and sometimes it means little. It's something that at the very least has to be respected though.To that end, Facebook has been strangely responsive to its moving average line, sometimes being stopped and reversed at them, and other times being blasted past them when they're passed. That's what makes the past couple of weeks so curious … and a little bearish. * Click to EnlargeThe chief worry here is how FB stock tested but failed to hurdle the 50-day moving average line, plotted in purple on both stock charts, this month. As the daily chart shows, the 50-day line has been a biggie. * That being said, there are still a couple of other, albeit less meaningful, moving average lines that have been boundaries in the past that could become a boundary again. * Fueling the prospect of more downside is the fact that, over the long haul, FB stock is no stranger to major moves. The stock is still closer to being overbought than not from this year's rebound move, as indicated by the weekly chart's RSI tool.As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can learn more about him at his website jamesbrumley.com, or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy * 7 Hot Penny Stocks to Consider Now * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now The post 3 Big Stock Charts for Monday: Merck, Facebook and Microsoft appeared first on InvestorPlace.